Four Important Tips for Selling in the Changing Market
From 2011 through 2015, it was smooth sailing for real estate brokers.
Well... at least on the listing side. The market was very strong: prices continued to appreciate, inventory remained low, and as a result, sellers (and their brokers) had it made. But during this frenzied buying period, the preparation a broker must give to a listing in order to optimize the sale when it goes to market (or rather, the broker's attention to detail, if you will) was lost in the heat of the buyer's market. What does this mean, exactly?
I’ll break it down in a few steps:
Apartment Maximizing – Gone are the days where you come into an apartment and it’s cluttered, the photos aren’t shot by a professional real estate photographer, and there isn’t a legible floor plan. Today, with the market settling into a more reasonable place, and the majority of homes not selling within a few days, you have to make your home stand out from the crowd. A skilled broker must help with the staging of the home, guide the photographer, and involve new forms of marketing like video and virtual tours.
Document Readiness – When you have multiple offers, it’s easy to accept one that has the least amount of strings attached to it (which means thorough diligence documents may not be necessary). But when you are faced with a market where your first offer may be both your best and only offer, you’d better have all the diligence documents on hand so that you’re able to work with that offer, regardless of its strings. Your broker should do everything necessary to have the purchase application, financials, offering plan, and if possible, a generic questionnaire on hand. The financials and questionnaire should be vetted by some of the banks to ensure financing is a non-issue. If you try to acquire these documents after accepting a bid, the buyer could get cold feet or suspicious as they wait around.
Launch Finesse – There is a strategy when you list an apartment. As we live in an age of short buyer attention spans, you’d better have your timeline and marketing schedule on lockdown. You should never list the home until all marketing materials are prepped both online and in print. If the description isn’t perfect, don’t list. You’ll only have a short window to capture the buyer’s attention, so make it count.
Broker Connections – the real estate brokerage industry is very much an 80/20 business. If 20% of the brokers are conducting 80% of the business, then it makes sense to speak to those brokers who are the most likely to sell your home. All of us agents are busy running around with our own listings and buyers. If you proactively contact them to put your listing on their radar, it betters the chances to sell the property.
These are just a few of the many tips I could provide on how to properly prepare a home to be listed. The fact remains that we are in a brave new world in the market, and the more you can do to prepare, the better off you’ll be once you’re live. Do not take the preparation for granted!