How do you get from “for sale” to “sold?” It’s the price! Even though the real estate market in Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond and other eastside cities is red hot, the price is still critical to getting a “sold” sign posted on the “for sale’ sign in your front yard.
Almost half, 48%, of the homes for sale between September, 2011 and March, 2012 sold in 10 days or less! With these homes only on the market for fewer than 10 days, the homeowners and their Realtors did everything right. The homes had to be priced right, show well, have fabulous photos and great marketing or the homes would not have sold.
Seeing these incredible numbers should help blow several common misconceptions out of the water:
1. Should you leave negotiating room when you set the price for your home? NO. Some homeowners think they should leave bargaining room. This, however, will send that homeowner down a path toward a longer market time and a lower selling price. Look again at the top line of the first chart. Almost half the homes sold within 99% of asking price and in under 10 days. With sales prices coming in at 99% of the asking price, there was little bargaining in the final sales price.
2. What if you want to price your home high because you’re in no rush to sell? A homeowner who overprices a home will shoot themselves in the foot. Let’s say a buyer is out searching to buy a home and sees 5 homes. The buyer will compare each one’s price, location, and features. They don’t compare whether a seller is a rush to sell or has all the time in the world. The buyer won’t know that. The buyer will only know that when comparing the homes, the overpriced home will stand out. Most buyers don’t bother to make an offer because there are 4 other homes that are more attractive and priced right. There’s no need to waste time pursuing an overpriced home because, even though the supply is low, there are other homes on the market. If today’s market pricing doesn’t meet a homeowner’s needs, then don’t put the home on the market.
3. Were these homes underpriced, because they sold so quickly? No. In today’s real estate market, we’re dealing with very savvy buyers. They know the market and they know pricing. They know when they see a home that’s well priced and they’ll pay for it. The buyers don’t have time to waste. The good homes are going fast. Secondly, does anyone really think that half of the homes that sold in the last 6 months were underpriced? I don’t think so!
The other 52% of the homes took 149 days to sell and sold with an average of a 10% discount. If you look at the second chart, you can see for every 30 day period a home is on the market, the selling price drops. Homes that were on market for a long time were the homes in which sellers could bargain with the buyers, but it usually meant the price dropped. Buyers think a home is overpriced or there’s something wrong with it if the house is on the market for more than a month in this market.
If you decide to sell your home, you’ll need to decide in which half of the market you’d like to be. Do you want to be in the market in which your home could sell quickly and for a good price or do you want to test the waters, take your time, and more than likely sell for less? It’s your decision.