By Steve Levine, President of Steve Levine Inc., and an agent for REMAX Prestige
Over the last months, we'se talked about a dire lack of inventory out here in Worcester County. Inspired by the lowest interests any of us have ever seen, and buoyed by the obvious fact that prices were once again on the rise, buyers have been coming out in droves for the last few months only to find that there was precious little out there to choose from. This meant homes flying off the market in days, often with multiple offers, and rising prices.
Starting in mid-May, however, the smart sellers started coming back into the marketplace at last, hoping to beat out the rest of the crowds and helping to rebalance the inventory shortage once again. This was great to see, and will enable us to form a far more stable base which will be able to support increased values down the road.
As we reached mid-summer, we saw a distinct narrowing of the price bands once again, with some of them still experiencing huge shortages and multiple offers, and others seeing a lack of buyers and actually an over-supply of homes. This was further complicated by a spike in interest rates into the mid 4% range, which although it is still historically low, represents an increase of almost a full percent over where we were. It almost seems that there is no rhyme or reason to why some of my listings are seeing eight over full price offers, and others are not, but it is at times like this that a professional realtor with nearly 30 years of experience comes in handy.
For 2013, almost all of my sellers are still doing great, with some selling at prices nearly matching the peak in 2006. It's the buyers now, who are a bit nervous, with some feeling as though they missed the best opportunity in 100 years. To some extent, I think they actually have. Earlier this year, with prices at 2003 levels, and rates at the lowest point in recorded history, that was the time to buy; however, all is far from lost. While they may have missed the absolute “bottom,” there is still a potential for a huge upside down the road.
As we have neared a more balanced market, it has become far more important for sellers to be ready with a product that exceeds expectations. I'se preached about this for years, and my sellers who have listened have done great. The best single tip to get top dollar for your home has been not to “rush” the home onto the market, instead of taking the time to prepare it properly. For this, a pre-marketing team is an essential value added service I like to bring to the table, and is the second thing you should ask a potential listing broker (right after the obvious question of how many homes they'se sold.)
I'se spent years and years assembling a team of professionals to assist us with all aspects of pre-sale preparation. By bringing in my team of painters, handymen, stagers, landscapers, carpet installers, etc., I's getting homes to hit the market as near to perfect as possible. The better job we can do in preparation, the less you'sl wind up being hit with after home inspection, and the higher price you'sl ultimately command for the property, which is a win-win for everyone.
Steve Levine is President of Steve Levine Inc., and an agent for REMAX Prestige. He has been ranked as one of the Top 100 agents in the world, and can be reached at [email protected] or on his cell at 508-735-4663.