What home sellers can expect in Summer 2018: The market is still in your favor if the price is right

Here’s the good news: Homes will continue to be a hot commodity through 2018. There aren’t enough people selling (thanks to a combination of factors, led by locking in extremely low interest rates and rising home prices). In some neighborhoods in our area you can drive an entire tract without seeing a “for sale” sign. Homeowners in our hot communities receive almost instant offers.

When it comes to pricing your home, we usually talk about the three types of sellers: Someone who is desperate and anxious and must sell as soon as possible; someone who has a “pie in the sky” view of their home value; and someone who is realistic about what the market will bear and is willing to price their home accordingly.  This year, given how overheated (some economists say) the market is, some are not sure any price a seller could dream up would be too high. Some housing economists, like Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller, say general impressions about the inherent risk of buying a home can indicate the presence of a bubble. At a conference in early December, Shiller noted the return of what he called the “buyer’s panic,” where potential buyers fear they will be priced out if they don’t purchase a home soon. “It’s not just interest rates and tax law that drive prices in speculative markets,” Shiller said.

Choosing the right price is the key to having a great selling experience. If you price your home too high, even in a hot market, it’ll sit on the market, growing stale, until you reprice it. If you price it too low, it should ignite a bidding war.

  •  Overcome any possible objections a buyer would have. Buyers are always looking for a reason not to buy your house. Your job as a seller is to eliminate any potential objections that would stand in the way for a buyer to make an offer.
  • Get your home into selling shape. Cleaning your home is a must.
  • Be realistic about the market, even if it’s a hot one. I know the current market and what types of properties are selling in your area and how many days they’re sitting on the market.  Accept the reality of your local market and make sure you price your home realistically. We will set a plan in action.  Sellers who set sky-high (or even pretty high) prices could wait months or years for an offer (we all have one overpriced home in our neighborhood that has been for sale for years) and may wind up with the same price they would have had if they’d priced their home correctly the first time — or a lot less.
  • Read all documents thoroughly before you sign them. Why would someone sign a legal document he or she hasn’t read? I’m not sure, but home sellers do it every day. If you’re going to sell (or buy) in the coming year, promise yourself you’ll take the time to read and understand the listing contract, offer to purchase and loan documents for your next purchase. (If you’re unsure about what you are signing ask me. I am happy to sit down and explain everything.) Unless you’ve got cash to spare, a mistake in these documents and the warranties they contain could seriously affect your finances.
  • Don’t get greedy. One big mistake many sellers make is to get a little greedy, particularly if the first offer is above the minimum acceptable price you’ve set. Then, the negotiation becomes a game of how much you can get.

Remember, a successful sale means everyone walks away feeling happy. If you get so greedy that the buyer walks away, you’ve let the deal get the best of you. Resolve to be reasonable, and you’ll end up shaking hands with the buyer at the closing. You should also know there aren’t unlimited buyers out there, and if you lose one it might take you quite some time to find another.

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