We just sold a home in San Anselmo at 26 Berlin Ave. in 14 days and have had several inquiries as to how that was done in this market. Here is the advice we give all sellers when they are faced with the decision of whether to sell their home or wait for better times.
First, as a seller, your motivation has to be high. Your reason for moving has to be compelling and one that moves you both emotionally and/or financially. This is not a market to test to "see what I can get." An improved quality of life both mentally and financially are good strong motivators.
Second, hire a professional who has experienced tough markets. Newer agents of the last couple years have only had the experience of being an "order taker" and not one of understanding what is involved in getting a home sold when all the rules have changed. A true professional will give you accurate and honest pricing which is not what many sellers want to hear. When it comes to pricing, sellers are living in the past and buyers are living in the future. More than the emotional appeal of a home, a buyer must feel that he is making a sound financial decision before he will buy a home. It's called value pricing, where the features and benefits of a home has more value than that of the competition. This is a buyer's market and buyer's aren't so concerned about what has sold as to what else can they buy.
Next, how sound is the agent's marketing? While we got the house on Berlin looking its best we did a lot of pre-marketing which involves getting the word out to the other top agents through our Top Agent Network. Let's face it, 80% of the business is being done by 10% of the agents and as the eyes of the buyers, these agents want to know what's coming up. We have even sold homes before they hit the market which can work very well in every respect.
The next step is an aggressive pro-active marketing campaign which involves a very high internet presence. Buyers don't shop from the printed media any more, they go online which is why we splash our listings all over the world. Internet marketing and a good website is critical. For Berlin,wWe also spent time selling the neighborhood to potential buyers. Buyers are buying more than a house, they want to know about the neighborhood -schools, the town, recreation, weather etc.
A professional agent will also be aware of the hurdles in selling even after they get an acceptable offer. The appraisal process is not what it used to be and there are traps one has to watch out for. We are seeing more and more BOM (back on market) home sales that fell apart because of the loan and appraisal process.
Lastly, good honest communication is critical. A seller who wants to "wait until the market turns" needs to know that time is not their friend in this. The market is not going to turn soon to the point where there home is going to be worth much more than it is today. They need to know that when the tide comes in, all ships rise and that eventually they may get more for their home but they will pay more for what they buy. They can also be assured that as the housing market improves, interest rates are going up.
For more information on who we are and what we do please visit the about us section of our website.