August 27, 2017

Seasonal change means doubling down on housing market tactics


The dog days of summer have passed, and there are ample signs that fall is just around the corner. It's a seasonal shift that in some ways makes the housing market look like the beach after Labor Day. It's a changing of the season that brings some new housing market challenges and opportunities for buyers and sellers.


2017 NETAR President

nventory is definitely a big concern even though new listings are picking up. But there's a group of consumers who typically drop out of the market until after the first of the year because they don't want to be in the market during the upcoming holidays. That's leverage for buyers.

But while the fall buying and selling season might be a little slower than it was a few months ago there are solid reasons to resist the temptation to buy or sell a home without a professional Realtor®.

Here's why:

While some people do buy and sell on their own, sellers who partner with a Realtor® consistently get a better price and buyers don't end paying more than they should regardless of the season. That's a reality because Realtors® are skilled negotiators who leverage their client's financial abilities and housing needs to the best price and terms market conditions will bear.

Ture, consumers can get a wealth of information about the housing market with a few clicks on the computer keyboard. But there's a big difference between information and local market knowledge.

Look at it this way. A Realtor® has access to everything you do on the Web and more. And the “more” is the icing on the information cake. They have access to real estate databases that are not avaiable to the public. We're talking the kind of databases with real time information instead of what happened last month. And what's just as important, they have connections in the profession that give them the inside track on what is and what is not working on the market. That's important because sometimes even the best local market information is not always the power you need.  When you need a handyman, a good painter or a lawn service ask your agent about their contacts.

And while market knowledge and ninja negotiating skills are critical tools don't overlook the need for problem-solving skills. After you've bought or sold a couple of homes, you know that stuff happens. Roofs leak, so does plumbing. What looks like a minor repair can take a turn for the worse and appraisals come in below the contract sales price. This is stuff that has to be fixed, and while these things are Maalox moments for clients, they're second nature for the professionals because a Realtor® who isn't solving problems is not selling real estate.

And if there's anything a Realtor® is better at than solving problems it's preventing them.

A seasoned agent is going to walk his clients through the process before they start their property search or before a seller's home is listed. They're going to ensure their buyers are preapproved and so they and the seller's agent knows they have the purchasing power needed for the homes they'll be touring.

They will outline all of the things sellers should do to make the process smoother. Things like getting a pre-listing inspection, making a check list of repairs and all of those quick spruce-up touches needed before the listing hits the Multiple Listing Service.

After that's done, it's time to put on the show.

Even when the market is tight like it is now and there's a lot of competition for homes in the marketing sweet spots the property has to be presented at their best. Getting to that point involves some first-class staging and photo skills. Video and aerial photos are not out of the question in today's market.

Above all else, a good Realtor® is your partner. They're on your side and in your corner 24-7. They are advisers during every step of the transaction.

Eric Kistner is the 2017 president of the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors®. The real estate education and trade group is the voice for real estate in the Tri-Cities and has over 1,200 local Realtor® members and over 100 affiliates.