Dear Home Seller,
Thank you for inviting me to discuss selling your home in 2012. It was great to walk through your property with you and to have a conversation with you about the listing, selling and closing process.
You have owned your home for a long time and have bought and sold homes several times over the years. Our conversation reflected your past experiences in the real estate market.
Unfortunately, what you know about selling a home may harm you when you sell in 2012. What it takes to sell a home this year is completely different from the last time you were in the housing market.
Here are six things you need to forget when selling your home in 2012.
- You’ll let the buyer do the updating needed in your home. Today, most buyers shop online for homes before they get into their cars to check out neighborhoods and home interiors. Photographs have become the basic building blocks of real estate marketing. HGTV has encouraged buyers to believe that every home should have granite countertops and tile bathrooms. If your photography shows dated kitchens and baths, you may be eliminated from consideration before the buyer leaves his computer. If you do get a buyer to visit the interior of your home, will your dated colors and worn carpet be able to compete with all the updated homes that are your competition?
- You and your buyer will set the sales price of your home. Although you and your buyer will come to an agreement on price in the sales contract, the final price may not be established by the two of you. It ultimately will be set by the appraiser and the underwriter. That’s why your asking price must reflect current comparable sales that the appraiser is most likely to use. We will have to justify the contract sales price to the appraiser and the appraiser will have to justify his opinion of value to the underwriter for the buyer’s loan. It’s not fair, but it is reality in 2012.
- You’ve always made money in real estate. Prices have been declining in our marketplace since 2008 and have fallen to 2001-03 levels. When we estimate your net from your 2012 sale, you may not make any money. Worse, you might have to bring money to the closing table.
- You can test the market. Remember that pricing in our marketplace has been declining for several years. Your home may be worth more today than it will be next month. If you don’t price and position your home to sell today, you may lose the opportunity for your best price for years to come.
- You have the luxury of being insulted by the buyer’s offer. Buyers know that prices have been declining in our marketplace. They’re afraid to overpay. They make low offers. The low offer you get tomorrow may be the only offer you get for a long time while prices continue their decline. You don’t have the luxury of being insulted and not responding. You should try to work with the buyer to see if an agreement can be made.
- You’ll just wait for a better offer. See Items 4 and 5 above for reasons why waiting for a better offer may not be in your best interest. The offer on the table may be the best one or the only one that you’ll get in 2012.
Thank you for letting me inform you about the mindset you’ll need to sell your home in 2012. It’s hard to change what we know from our past experiences.
Copyright 2012. Carol Fox. Allen Tate Realtors. *Six Things You Need to Forget When Selling Your Home in 2012*
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