After all the hoopla over flashing, I thought this post might be a little anti-climatic. Still, I wanted to share some of the points I’ve learned from my experience selling my home in Westchester.
Here’s a little background. I was lucky enough to get into the real estate market right before everything skyrocketed out of control. My three-bedroom, two-bathroom cozy little abode was purchased early in 2002. True. Real estate was on the rise, but I did manage to make a profit. I agreed to an asking price of over 1.5 times what I bought it for.
Soon after I knew the real estate market was plummeting, I put my home on the market. I decided to put my faith in Redfin in order to maximize profits. (But we’ll talk more about some actual figures next time). Keep in mind the following list is from the perspective of someone who didn’t have an agent on site to handle things like showings, etc.
1. In this market, you really have to stay on top of the changes every single week. I was pretty confident I priced my home right – you know, being a Redfin blogger for my own neighborhood and all. Well, that went out the window after two plus months on the market. I did price my home right initially. But prices were sliding steadily, homes were slow to sell, and I needed to be more flexible in price from the get-go.
2. Never do an incremental price reduction when real estate prices are falling. If you have to drop the price, drop it down to the next price point so you can catch the eye of more buyers. (i.e. drop from a $505k price tag to a $495k one, rather than $505k to $501k.) I dropped the price down twice during the sale of my home. The first time, it was a mere 2%. (Nothing happened.) Then I dropped it down another 3%. (The calls came pouring in and one of the original buyers came back with a higher offer.) The last price drop clearly was the winner.
3. Don’t bother with the lookee-loos. You know. The ones who aren’t ready to buy yet, but just want to check out your place. Buyers without an agent probably aren’t ready to buy for many, many months. You’ll know that if they have an agent, they’ve at least been prescreened so they should be able to afford your home.
4. Stay the heck out of the way. I opened my door, let the buyers and their agent in, and made myself scarce outside of the home. This way, I avoided the unwanted game of 20 questions from the buyers (can we say awkward and bad for negotiating karma?). And I avoided the wayward glance sideways of those who exited quickly because they clearly weren’t interested in buying.
Does anyone have a story to share about selling in this market? Please do.