The way the consumer sees the home prices is very interesting. In the last 25 years I have shown property to a lot of buyers. The average buyer looks at 10—25 homes before choosing. Most of the time these homes re in the city that the buyer wants to buy in and within a specific school district.
Some weeks ago, I had the opportunity to take a buyer around Lakewood in a specific school district. We looked at six homes, three of them had the same floor plan and out of those three, two were almost identical in upgrades. Both had central air and heat, remodeled kitchens with the last five years and great back yards. The only difference was that one was priced at $435,000 and the other was priced at $475,000. This greatly confused the buyer. I stated that the $435,000 home was a good price but not a steal. The buyer wanted to know why there was a forty thousand dollar difference for the same home.
SO LET’S START WITH THE LISTING INTERVIEW … The sellers decide to sell their home and they interview two agents. One agent brings comparable sales and everyone can see that the homes that have new kitchens in the area sell between $420,000 and $440,000. So the agents looks at the location, upgrades, floor plan and emotional appeal of the home and tells the sellers that they should price the home at $439,900.
The second agent brings comparables to the interview but the conversation with the seller is not focused on reality but on what the seller wants or what the other agent stated the home was worth. When the sellers say that the first agent said the home was worth $440,000, the second agent may say … ‘well, I can get you $460,000’ … of course there are no recent sales to substantiate that value. The second agent just wants the listing …. You must understand that when the sellers get confused and think well maybe … of course, who would not want $20,000 more?
A good agent will always review the comparable sales in the neighborhood with the seller. Remember, we need THREE recent sales within the last six months to use for comparables for the appraiser.
A good agent will recommend what price a home should be listed at, not ask the seller what amount they want. Do not let an agent BUY your listing by telling you an inflated price. You want to sell your home at the highest price possible and be able to move on.
You do not want buyers looking at your home wondering what was the listing agent thinking.
You do not want to be locked into a six month listing contract with the agent telling you to reduce the price and not doing anything about marketing the home.
A home that sells within 30 days is priced right, gets the seller the most amount of money and has very few appraisal issues. Don’t let your home sit on the market for more than 45 days, because if you reduce the price … the buyers still do not offer the listed price as you have already been on the market for 45 days.
It is wrong for an agent to give you an inflated price just to sway you into listing with them. You count on that money to make lifetime plans. Interview two agents and then list with the one that shows you recent comparable sales and has pictures available of those recent sales for you to actually see what the home looked like. Below is a quick video of Lakewood's market in March 2014.
List with the agent that recommends a price that fits within your parameters and one that has a great marketing plan and examples of what they have done in the past … not just promises of what they WILL do in the future. Here is some current information on what is happening in our local Lakewood real estate market.