Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Selling Your Home when the Inventory is High

Don’t be discouraged – it’s possible AND probable that you can sell your home quickly and painlessly if you follow a few guidelines.

If you are interviewing more than one Realtor, seriously question the Realtor that suggests (or agrees to) the highest list price and tells you that you don’t need to do a thing to get your home ready.


I have several properties almost ready to list. Each are in a stage of painting, re-carpeting, cleaning or staging. Because the inventory of homes is high, Buyers will not give your home a chance if it doesn’t sparkle and impress them the moment they see it from the curb and entry. Buyers today have much from which to choose and have little patience. They truly want a home that is “move-in” ready. And, just as a blind date, the first impression means EVERYTHING and sets the tone for what follows.

And, Buyers need to see themselves living in your home. They need to see that their furniture will fit and that they will feel comfortable in your home. You love your home and the way your furniture is arranged – it suits your lifestyle and taste.
But it may not be arranged in such a way to accent your home’s best features or detract from your home’s possible flaws. Get it right before you list your property. Follow you Realtor’s advice and paint the scuffed or out-dated rooms; replace the worn or slightly stained carpet; hire a cleaning crew to clean baseboards and ceiling fans and clear the cobwebs. Hire a home-stager to look at your home through a Buyer’s eyes. Don't be offended by your stager's advice. Do you want to be comfortable in your home while it's on the market OR do you want to SELL your home? Sometimes, even both can be achieved.

There are three criteria to selling a home: price, condition and marketing. Throughout the ebbs and flow of our real estate market, these three criteria have never changed. If your property is in the best possible condition, priced correctly and marketed aggressively, it will sell.
What you DON’T want to do is put your home on the market before it is top-notch condition. The traffic you receive in the first three weeks of your listing will not return if you make improvements later – they’ve already formed an impression of your home. And you DON’T want to over-price your home, thinking you can drop the price later – while price reductions are sometimes inevitable, competitive and realistic pricing from day one will increase your chances of getting top dollar for your property.

Your Realtor will study what is and is not selling in your area and paint a clear picture of estimated time to sell. You should work with your Realtor as a team to sell your home. Make sure that your Realtor is internet-savvy and will advertise your listing multiple places on the internet.

I recently did a market analysis for a property that I hope to list, and boy did that market analysis tell a story. Of the five homes sold in that subdivision in the last six months, four homes had been on the market less than three weeks and sold very close to list price. All three of the "pending" properties had been on the market less than a month. Of the twelve properties currently listed on the market, many had been on the market in excess of two, three, even four months. How could this be? Obviously the homes that sold quickly and for the amount they were listed had followed the three criteria strategy: correct price; immaculate condition and aggressive marketing.
When you consider personal frustration, extended mortgage payments and utility costs, it makes sense to “get it right” before you list. Please call me if you are interested in truly SELLING your home!
Lori Cain, 918-852-5036; lcain@tulsarealtors.com

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