In order to sell a house in today’s real estate market a house must make a compelling case to the market. Some things like neighborhood and location within the neighborhood you can’t control. But set those aside and you are left with two key variables that are controllable and important to the sale.
What I’d like to talk about today is being competitive in the market. The main variables a seller has control over is the price they ask for their home and condition and/or upgrades of the home. I have represented these two variables on an axis below so that I show you what I’m thinking. Basically, if your home is in great condition (and I mean exceptional) you can ask a high price compared to similar homes on the market. If your home is in poor shape you have to ask a lower price. This is not rocket science but it gets trickier when a house is somewhere between the extremes. It is in okay condition and has a middle of the road price. Looking at the chart below you can see the line running at 45 degrees. Think of this as the success line. Every house that fits above the line (price vs. condition) will most likely end up in a successful sale. Every home below the line will wallow until the price or the condition changes enough to get it above the line.
Right now the market is fairly slow. There are fewer buyers out there. This means that competition for sellers is tough. In order to be compelling to the small pool of buyers they have to bring a more compelling product to the market. This means that the line has shifted, sellers have to either improve their home to sell it for the same price or reduce their price to make it work.
Knowing where you are is the tricky part. I help my clients by giving good feedback and keeping them abreast of the market as it changes. The information you used to list your house is no longer valid. Get it priced right and have your house show the best it can. If you can’t afford to make improvements up front, lower your price. It’s simple economics.