I love numbers just as much as the next guy but numbers are empty without context. So today I am going to try and put a feel to the current Metro inventory statistic of 9 months. What does a 9 month inventory mean to you if you are a buyer or seller? How do you win in this market? Here are my tips for Buyers and Sellers for todays’ market.
Right now there are more sellers than buyers in the metro area. This doesn’t mean you have to have your house on the market forever to sell it, in fact you don’t want your house on the market forever. Average time on market is still under 3 months. Here is the plan for sellers:
1. Pretend your home is going to be on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens , your house and yard should look this clean and uncluttered. If there are any eyesores like an old fridge or a shed falling into the ground get rid of them. Also for most houses I’ve seen, you should have 1/2 to 1/3 of the stuff in the home. It helps to have a professional stager take a look at your house, even if they just re-arrange some furniture.
2. Price your house to the market. Now is not the time to price high and see what happens. I can tell you right now what will happen – you will sit on the market, likely not getting any offers and when you finally get down to the market price someone will want to push even further down and be more demanding during inspections. It’s always better as the seller to get an offer quickly.
3. Make your house easy to show. Don’t put an “appointment only” unless you absolutely have to.
4. If the market price isn’t what you want then stay off the market and live in the home or rent it out until you can get what you want.
Even though the numbers are on your side some neighborhoods are still in the seller’s favor. Here are my tips for finding a great home.
1. Decide clearly what you want: size, area, style, finish level, yard…. Get this as focused as possible.
2. Get to know the possibilities for your target home, area and price range. Drive the areas and keep a favorites list and track it.
3. Pick your Top 5 and tour them with your Realtor. This will show you what your options really are.
4. Make an offer – you never know what will happen until you put an offer in the seller’s hands.
5. Negotiate – Don’t be shy if the price isn’t where you need it but keep in mind that you have to step back in the negotiation process and see where you stack up at your negotiated price with the market – don’t negotiate yourself out of the house if you really want it.