The Keys to Selling in Today's Competitive Market
With the housing market in a rut, many companies are asking what they can do to reduce the amount of time a home sits in inventory, and how to reduce the costs associated with relocating a home owner. The good news is; it’s not all bad news. Homes are selling. So what are the people who have sold homes doing differently from the ones who haven’t? They have gotten seller savvy, and you and your transferee can too. Below are some creative solutions you can put into place, that when adapted early enough in the relocation process can save you time and money.
Sell vs. Rent Analysis and Education
There are some areas there is just no getting around. The market has taken too big of a hit. A good example of this would be the greater Phoenix metro area. If a home was purchased two years ago at $540,000 and its current market value is $270,000, the homeowner most likely can’t afford the $270,000 loss. Most companies do not want to have to pay that much out on a loss on sale. In this case try suggesting to the homeowner that a more suitable option may be to ride out the storm and rent the home for the time being. Educate them on what is involved in renting a property and even suggest the use of a property management company to take away the stresses of being a landlord. By renting the home the homeowner is able to make their mortgage payments each month, and the company is able to avoid paying duplicate housing and a large loss on sale payment.
Price it Right
Research shows that when a home is priced realistically it will sell faster then a home that is not. Let’s face it though; most homeowners think their house is worth more than it is. Establishing listing guidelines in your policy can really help. Arrange for candidates to have a Brokers Market Analysis (BMA) performed by two agents. Stipulate that the candidate may not list their home for more then 105% of the average of the two BMA’s. After the home has been on the market for 30 days it should be revaluated. Have there been any offers? If not, it’s time to make a change. Careful though, you don’t want to get in the game of making a thousand price cuts as that can be counterproductive. Experts say you should make the cut significant enough to be noticed.
Staging starts before marketing even begins. Take this time to fix any minor repairs that need to be done. There is no need to renovate, but the property should be revamped and neutralized. Create a home that is appealing to everyone’s tastes, not just the current homeowners. Replace old worn-out green carpeting with new beige carpeting. Freshen up the walls with new paint in either white or another neutral tone. Get rid of clutter and as many personal touches as possible. When potential buyers go into a house they will try to envision it as their own. That can be hard to do when there are too many family photos around. Clean up entry ways, and maximize curb appeal. This includes everything from making sure your house number is clearly visible at any time of the day, to sprucing up your front landscaping. Lastly, staging is not limited to just the house. When selling a home, sell the community, its neighbors and schools, etc. Consider having the owner write a seller’s letter that answers any anticipated questions about the house and neighborhood. In this letter they should include the fact that the move is for a new job, and that had that not been the case the family would be happy to stay in the home for many more years to come. Include all this information in the home’s marketing materials.
Offering incentives can help to entice buyers and their agents to view the property, and hopefully make an offer. Incentives can include paying the real estate taxes for one year, paying closing costs, offering a redecorating allowance, and paying discount points to lower the mortgage rate. Some other creative incentives could be to include a rider mower if the house has a large yard or a snow blower if the house is located in a city where winters are extreme. Don’t forget about the buyer’s agent either; offer a premium like an added point to their commission.
Other Helpful Hints
When you are listing the property highlight all the upgrades that have been made to it. The seller may be aware that those granite countertops were an extra $6,000, but the prospective buyer most likely has no idea. Highlighting these features will give the home added value. Keep the listing and marketing materials fresh. Buyers are checking out the listings everyday. Update the pictures regularly; something as simple as taking a picture of the backyard from a different angle can make a big difference. When hosting an open house take advantage of all the senses, not just sight. Have an apple pie or chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven, it is a warm and welcoming scent that will remind prospective buyers of being “home”.
Now that you know what strategies are working to move houses, how do you start taking advantage of them? GMS can help you implement these simple solutions into your existing relocation policy, helping to reduce the days a property is in your inventory. For more information contact your Account Manager at 800-617-1904 today.
Back to top