Surviving the Summer Doldrums


My oh my, how the last few weeks have changed the market. After a dynamite spring selling season which showed that multiple over-full-price offers were still to be had, the train skidded to a sudden halt in late June and early July. Though it may surprise some, this is actually not an uncommon occurrence. Traditionally, July and August here in Massachusetts have always made for a sluggish market, as buyers flock off to the "Cape of Cod" and other exciting Bay State destinations. When that happens, the hot market of June suddenly feels like a ghost town. As I write this, I'm sitting at an empty open house trying to find something to keep busy … and hoping that the odd buyer out there finds their way over.

So, what can Sellers do to maximize their opportunities this slow time of year? Here are a few tips for you.

First, keep your house cool. If you've got central air, now's the time to turn it on and leave it on. Many people leave for work and shut of the A/C to save on energy. For now, forget the electric bill and just chill down. If you don't have A/C, consider investing in some window units to cool things off .

Secondly, make sure that you can get people in for showings. This time of year you'll see far fewer "turns at bat" and you really don't want to waste any by telling your agent they can't show the home when they call.

Third, if you're not getting the showing activity, a price reduction may be warranted. I know nobody wants to hear that, but ultimately the "value" will find itself when and only when you see a buyer write a check. Yes it's true that you're listed for less than your neighbor sold for in March … but it's a diff erent market.

Fourth, and most importantly, DON'T BLAME YOUR AGENT!! Most of the time the agent is doing all that they possibly can. True there are some instances I've seen where an agent is doing more to hurt the transaction than help it, but those are very rare cases. I have several properties listed right now that are absolute creampuff s, and we're not getting tons of showings either, despite my using every piece of knowledge I've gleaned over the last 22 years. In times like these we all need to work together, and appreciate that we're all on the same team.

Fifth, it may be the time to look at putting together an incentive package, either for the agents, or the buyers. We now have the ability to even put together a discounted mortgage rate package through Chase Manhattan Bank which will allow a Seller to advertise their home as having "below market rate financing." That may be just the edge you need to achieve success.

Lastly, be patient and calm. Times like this, I almost feel more like a psychologist than anything else. I was just saying the other day that one of the best things I've learned in all these years is that markets change, and that time will pull us all through it. It's not the time to panic … but rather to stay the course.

Naturally. for Buyers, all of the above make this a phenomenal time to buy! There are some amazing deals out there to be had, and once we get through the summer heat, you may see a nasty spike in prices and/or rates, that will leave you wishing for July.

Looking for more tips for success? I've put together a suite of online videos that you might want to check out. There are five or six diff erent videos that you can watch right online which cover a huge array of diff erent topics. You can access them right off the home page on my website at www.stevelevine.com by clicking on the Video link.

Steve Levine is president of Steve Levine Inc., and an agent at REMAX First Choice. He's been ranked as the Top REMAX Agent in New England for 8 years, and can be reached online at steve@stevelevine.com or by phone at 508-735-4663.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=226

Posted by on Jul 27 2007. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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