IN TODAY'S REAL ESTATE MARKET, WHEN ALL THE PIECES FIT THE PUZZLE IS NOT SO CONFUSING.....But we all need to step back, re-evaluate the means of our business and seek new ways or re-establish old ways that worked for us in the past...pieces that fit into the "NEW" picture. THIS IS A "NEW" REAL ESTATE MARKET AND IS MORE CHALLENGING THAN EVER!
WHEN THE PIECES ALL FIT THE PUZZLE IS NOT SO CONFUSING....
WHAT ARE THE KEY INGREDIENTS TO SELLING IN TODAY'S "NEW" REAL ESTATE MARKET?
1. AWARENESS OF MARKET CHANGES--HOW THE MARKET HAS CHANGED AND WHAT THE CHANGES MEAN TO A SUCCESSFUL SALE...AND LISTING;THIS IS A "NEW" REAL ESTATE MARKET AND IS MORE CHALLENGING THAN EVER! :
- Awareness of the shift in this difficult market is critical to a successful real estate deal; the buyer today is very well educated about the real estate market, however they know that they don't "know it all" and will be more than appreciative if you are able to complete the true picture for your marketplace....also, this is a great time to dispell incorrect information or bad rumors about the local market for the buyer. If you have market reports available, the buyer needs to read them. A great example of one I use is shown below; this is actual data supplied to my company, for agents use from Miller Samuel, Accountants. These reports are always available on the Prudential Douglas Elliman website: www.prudentialelliman.com/marketreports.
- An example of the important information that must be included:
Highlights of the Quarterly Survey of Hamptons & North Fork Residential Sales 4Q 09
The Hamptons/North Fork market reflected a surge in sales and stabilizing prices. Purchasers have been taking advantage of newly found affordability with reduced prices and low mortgage rates.
- Average Sales Price $1,313,264 -2% $1,339,510 -11% $1,474,771
- Median Sales Price $701,161 0.2% $700,000 1.6% $690,000
- Number of Sales 564 22.9% 459 55.4% 363
- Days on Market (from Last List Date) 175 -11.8% 198 16.5% 150
- Listing Discount (from Last List Price) 12.5% 16.9% 15.4%
- Listing Inventory 2,159 -10.7% 2,419 3.8% 2,079
Average Sales Price $1,313,264 -2% $1,339,510 -11% $1,474,771
Median Sales Price $701,161 0.2% $700,000 1.6% $690,000
Number of Sales 564 22.9% 459 55.4% 363
Days on Market (from Last List Date) 175 -11.8% 198 16.5% 150
Listing Discount (from Last List Price) 12.5% 16.9% 15.4%
Listing Inventory 2,159 -10.7% 2,419 3.8% 2,079
2. MARKET DATA IS CRITICAL. IN THE EVENT YOU DO NOT HAVE SUCH A REPORT AVAILABLE TO YOU, IT IS IMPORTANT TO CREATE YOUR OWN:
Sales transaction data is usually available within most marketplaces on a monthly or quarterly basis and should be shared with regularity with any customer---However, if you do not have such a report or a data service, you can create your own from the town data that is public information and is available on the internet or in local publications and newspapers.
I like to send an email NEWSLETTER with current data as soon as I have read it. In most cases this information is valuable to both your buyers and sellers; from my experience, they find it very useful and they tell me that it helps them to make their decisions about whether to buy now, sell now or wait until the market projections are more positive. I get responses to my newsletters each and every time I send one out---this is always a nice surprise and in some cases, I have been able to revive a buyers interest or a sellers willingness to sell!
3. MAKE SURE THE BUYER IS AWARE OF THE STATE OF YOUR MARKET; USE KEY WORDS SUCH AS "VALUE" AND "DISCOUNT" TO MAKE A POINT:
Inventories are high and "value" and "discount" are the words that work in today's marketplace. No matter where your market is, there are sellers anxious to sell their homes; in some cases homes that are not ready for short sales are coming on the market and here is where you need to pay attention to the sellers situation. Make certain the buyer knows that a property IS NOT a short sale if it isn't...this is important so that the buyer understands where and how the negotiating process will progress in the event they like a property.
3. "SHORT SALES" ARE A SEPARATE ENTITY AND MUST BE DISCUSSED IN DEPTH WITH A BUYER IF THEY ARE LOOKING FOR SUCH A PURCHASE; REFER THEM OUT TO A SPECIALIST IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE TRAINING:
Do NOT take on a "short sale" unless you know what you are doing; this includes both ends of the deal. Buying and selling "SHORT SALES" ARE A TOTALLY DIFFERENT KIND OF REAL ESTATE AND REQUIRES SPECIAL TRAINING TO BE PREPARED FOR THE VAGARIES OF THIS KIND OF DEAL!
4. PRICING PROPERTIES PROPERLY IS CRUCIAL WHEN WORKING WITH SELLERS:
Most of you have probably seen my featured post from 2 weeks ago: "How are YOU Handling Your Sellers When They Want You to Over-Price Their Homes???." This was widely read and re-blogged so the point was made and is clearly a crucial one! You are doing a disservice to the seller if you are not carefully studying the market data, transactions and recent in-contracts to determine accurate pricing. The influx of short sales coming on the market in most areas is creating a competition that did not exist in the past---therefore, pricing becomes the key to getting enough showings and thus a deal on your listings. ESPECIALLY, DO NOT OVERPRICE IN THE FIRST 2-3 WEEKS ON THE MARKET--THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TIME FOR A NEW LISTING AND IS WHEN THE INTEREST IS AT IT'S PEAK!
5. MARKETING YOURSELF IN THIS DIFFICULT AND COMPETITIVE MARKET PLACE:
- First and Foremost: find your "niche" or "specialty" area and study it; become the "expert" in that market place. FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS!
- How do you get the word out that you are the best real estate agent to work with? Print advertising? Blogging? Facebook, Twitter? Google Ads? I have nothing against social networking--it works if you do it consistently; however, I find that it is such a personal thing to participate in and a lot of agents don't feel they have time to do it---I leave that up to the individual. In my case, I find blogging on ActiveRain is the best way to get the word out. I have been sent referrals through the AR system and though have not really maximized it yet, I feel like it is just a matter of time!.
- Print advertising can be used effectively by running an ad in a local newspaper showing the properties sold within a certain time period--or recent sales and "in-contracts". This will get your name out there and sellers watch for this kind of information when they are considering selling their home.
- Networking. The single most effective way to generate referrals is networking with other brokerages in other areas and is one KEY to getting the word out about your area of expertise. A nearby major city; another state where you find an influx of buyers originating from and any other contacts through a former business, friends in another field such as "Finance" and former customers and clients....these are all possible "farming" areas and should be included in your efforts to put your name out there in the public arena.
GOOD LUCK TO YOU IN THIS GREAT "NEW" REAL ESTATE MARKET!!!!
WHEN ALL THE PIECES FIT, THE PUZZLE IS NOT SO CONFUSNG......
**ALL INFORMATION AND CONTENT IN THIS BLOG IS ORIGINAL TO PAULA I. HATHAWAY
Paula I. Hathaway, Senior Vice President, Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Southamtpon Village Real Estate Specialist since 1995; Also Specializes in North Sea, Noyac, Water Mill and Bridgehampton, New York
Diamond , Gold and Chairman's Circle Awards; Top Producer since 2005
Click here to see my Hampton's website to see all my listings; please email me or call me for all your real estate needs in Southampton, Bridgehampton and Watermill: http://www.elliman.com/paulahathaway
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