My previous two blog posts had to do with the benefits of listing your home with a real estate agent as to exposure.  Pricing a home right from the beginning is key to getting you, as a seller, the most money possible.  When a seller contacts me considering selling, I schedule a visit to tour the home and get familiar with the property.  Prior to going out, I pull the tax record, the county GIS image (for both 2008 and 2010 if it's a lake property-see April 11th blog post regarding valuing Lake Lanier property) and also a copy of the deed. 

When touring the property, I also point out suggestions that will make the home show better.  I cannot overemphasize how important first impressions of the property are.  It's crucial that everything from the mailbox to the front door look good to achieve a positive first impression.  Many times, I'll suggest a seller replace door hardware and repaint the front door if it looks tired and worn.  Fresh mulch and colorful pots of flowers also add a nice touch.  This week's video highlights some suggestions. (I learned how to make my own videos today!)  Check out my YouTube Channel and subsribe to see my videos, which I hope you'll find interesting.

Often times, a seller will want to price high, reasoning he or she will negotiate down.  According to FMLS, April 2013 Overall List to Sales price ratio was 96.8%.  I think most would be surprised at that number.  The amount of time a house sits on the market is typically relative to the discount the seller will have to give off of list price.  If your house has been sitting on the market for a longer time than your market dictates it should, it might pay take it off the market for a short break and let it come back available as a fresh, new listing.  I did this myself with a listing that was listed at a time of year when folks weren't really looking, last November, around Thanksgiving.  I pulled if off the market for a couple of weeks, relisted it with fresh photos, and walaaa!!  We ended up with a contract 4% off list price.  Today's buyers are most often receiving daily updates of new listings.  The most activity and most critical showing time will be during that first month or two.  It's important to look at market activity during the listing term to determine if a price reduction is warranted.  If other properties in the area, similarly priced, are selling, then that's a good indication it's time for a price reduction.

I have turned down many listings during the past few years due to not being able to tell a seller what he or she wanted to hear.  And I've lost out on listings to other agents for this reason as well.  I certainly respect a seller's right to list a property for whatever he or she wants, but I think it's my job and responsibility to inform what the market dictates as realistic.  I understand that many buyers who bought in 2006 and 2007 are what we call 'upside down', meaning that more is owed than the house will bring.  In some instances like this, I have listed for market price and successfully sold as a 'short sale.'  However, a hardship like a medical issue or job loss is required in order to qualify for these type sales, where the lender or lenders accept less than what is owed in the sale of the property.  I learned a few days ago, that I was classified as a Short Sale Expert on several internet sites, due to the number of those transactions I've done. 

Next week, I'll discuss the art of negotiating to maximize your net proceeds.  Oh, and the house pictured below sold for just 2.2% off list price at $318,000. 

If you'd like this blog delivered to your email address, please subscribe.  And anytime I can help, whether it's with buying or selling real estate, from Gainesville, Dawsonville, to Hiawassee, find me at KimWaters.com.

'Til Next Week,


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