By KRISTI BAILEY
It’s a fabulous time to be a seller.
Interest rates have never been lower. That balances some of the price increases because lower mortgage rates mean a smaller monthly mortgage. Listings are spending less time on the market. There is seemingly no bottom of the well of pent-up demand that’s burning through an already inadequate supply of homes on the market.
Yes, we’re in one of the strongest sellers’ markets local real estate professionals can remember. That doesn’t mean sellers can just sit back and go with the flow. Sellers still have to compete against other listings and resist the temptation to cut corners.
The first big mistake is the all-to-common conclusion that “if the market’s so hot, I can save some money and sell on my own.” There are examples of owners who pull it off, but there are more who do not. The reality is about 90% of all FSBO’s (For Sale by Owner) end up listing with an agent because they don’t know how to negotiate and don’t understand that sellers have some legal obligations. The bottom line is a professional REALTOR® handles most real estate transactions because they are trained to market, negotiate, and handle situations sellers could never imagine.
Another all-too-common mistake is overpricing. Sure, prices have and will likely continue increasing, but we’re not to the point where there are bidding wars for every listing. Pricing is critical. Carefully go over the comparative market analysis with your REALTOR prepared for your specific property. It will show what is and is not working for houses that are similar to your listing. Once done, a price that hits the market sweet spot will attract more buyers and offers than one that is overpriced.
Once the offers start coming in carefully, review them because the highest offer is not always the best offer. Here are some points to consider:
- The amount of down payment.
- The amount of earnest money deposit.
- What type of financing does the prospective buyer bring to the table? If the property does not appraise at the price offered, can the buyer make up the difference, or will they want to re-negotiate?
- What type of contingencies? Will the buyer be doing a home inspection? It’s also crucial that sellers take care of any repairs that they know should be made before the home inspections. Home inspection glitches are currently one of the top issues souring deals and slowing closings.
Currently, the average time a home is spending on the market is a little over 100 days. That’s the average, and it is driven up by overpriced properties lingering on the market, wrangling over contingencies, or any of a multitude of glitches that a common in real estate transactions. The properties that a strategically priced and deals with pre-approved buyers tend to move faster- usually much faster.
NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It’s the largest trade association in Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region representing over 1,200 members and 100 affiliates involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.