Increasing the net sales price of your home in 2009
It appears that we may have turned the corner at last, and the first few weeks of March have seen a big job in sales activity here in Central Mass. and several multiple offer situations. Of course, when that happens, it often seems to be met by a big increase in inventory as home sellers come rushing back into the market to capitalize on any blip in the market that might arise, yet that has not been the case so far. Inventory seems be sluggish in coming on, most likely due to too many people focusing on the doom and gloom, and not on the positive aspects that come along with every market correction. As such, there are surprisingly few homes for sale, for the buyers who are out there looking to purchase.
As you contemplate entering, or in many cases reentering the market, it will be vitally important to do whatever you can to maximize your net sales price.
One of the easiest and most obvious ways to increase your net profit is to simply sell your home for a higher price. While it's important to take into account the corrections we obviously have seen in the market, it's still not the time to "under price" a property just to sell it, and wind up leaving money on the table. Doing a market analysis under the current conditions is very challenging and requires an extremely careful analysis of far more than just the recent sales figures. Don't over-react to the media reports or overaggressive agents in need of a quick sale and price too low at the outset. Remember, it's far easier to lower the price later than it is to raise it.
The second way to increase your net price on the home is to decrease the amount of extraneous expenditures involved in the sale. Brokerage commissions are probably the largest single expense involved in the selling of a home, so it's vitally important to make sure that you get the best possible value out of them. The old saying was always that you "get what you pay for" and it certainly couldn't be more accurate than in the case of selling your home in a challenging marketplace. Real estate remains one of the only industries I know in which you can hire the best possible person for the job, for no more money than someone inexperienced.
What I constantly find interesting is that so many consumers who painstakingly research everything, put little thought at all into researching agent selection. They still just assume that all agents are the same, and naturally nothing could be further from the truth. In our area, there are less than 10 agents out there (maybe less than five) who fall into the category of what I call the "uber-agents." These are people with 20+ years of experience, who routinely sell over 100 properties annually, compared to the statewide average of less than six transactions per agent per year.
These folks not only have thousands of transactions of problem solving and marketing savvy under their belt, but they've invested over and over again in means to truly perfect their art. For example, after being frustrated with the quality of the house photos I was seeing online all the time, I went out and invested thousands of dollars just in a professional quality camera with a wide angle lens to make sure each listing had the best online presence we could come up with. While the current real estate market is naturally petrifying to most agents, as it is to most consumers – to others, it merely represents a challenge to be dealt with, and a potential opportunity. This is the third recession I've been through, and I know first-hand that this is when life-altering decisions are made, for the positive. I sold, and purchased my home, in fact, during the last recession, and did very, very well.
In any case, when dealing with such life-changing things as selling your home, you need to take the proper precautions. That doesn't mean over-paying and "giving your money away," but it also doesn't mean trying to remove your own spleen to try and save on surgical bills. The key here is to make sure you have the best agent for the job, but at a fair price that you both can live with. Remember, an agent working for too low a fee has little incentive to sell the property, and could just as easily be using it to bounce buyers to other homes.
One obvious solution would be programs like the "Homeowners Blend," which can reduce the commission on the sale of someone's home by up to 50%, while still, (and this is vital), providing the same full and complete service and advertising that you deserve. This truly works wonders, as so many will attest.
Since so many people always have questions about how that works, I took the time to actually prepare a video that covers it, along with many other creative marketing topics. We also went out and interviewed a bunch of clients who recently went through the process, and had them comment about their experiences.
If you have 10 minutes to spare and want to watch the video online, go to www. stevelevine.com and click on the link on the home page that will take you to the video section. It may turn out to be the most productive 10 minutes you've spent.
There are at least a half dozen other methods I've come up with to increase the net sales price of your home, even in a buyer's market. Unfortunately they only give me so much space. Drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll e-mail you over some ideas.
Have a happy and healthy 2009.
Steve Levine, president of Steve Levine Inc., has been the #1 RE/MAX Agent in New England since 1999, and can be reached at (508) 735-HOME <4663> or onli ne at www. stevelevine.com You can also access the MLS data for all of Massachusetts at www.massachusettsmultiplelistings. com.
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