When it comes to selling your Boston condo, you want three things: to sell it for the most money you can, to do it in a certain amount of time, and to do all of that with the fewest hassles. And, while the current housing market is generally favorable to sellers due to today’s limited Boston condo for sale supply, there are still factors that can cause delays or even prevent a house from selling.
If you’re having trouble getting your Boston condo to sell in today’s sellers’ market, here are a few things to think about.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a seller is limiting the days and times when buyers can view your condominium. In any market, if you want to maximize the sale of your home, you can’t limit potential buyers’ ability to view it. Remember, minimal access equals minimal exposure.
In some cases, some of the most motivated buyers may come from outside of your local area. Because they’re traveling, they might not have the luxury to adjust their schedules when faced with limited options to tour your house, so make it available as much as possible.
Pricing is a critical factor that can significantly impact your home sale. While it’s tempting to push the price higher to try to maximize your profit, overpricing can deter potential buyers and lead to your home sitting on the market longer.
Jeff Tucker, Senior Economist at Zillow, notes:
“. . . sellers who price and market their home competitively shouldn’t have a problem finding a buyer.”
Not to mention, buyers today have access to a number of tools and resources to view available homes in your area. If your house is priced unreasonably high compared to similar homes, it may drive potential buyers away. Listen to the feedback your agent is getting at open houses and showings. If the feedback is consistent, it may be time to re-evaluate and potentially lower the price.
When selling your town house, the old saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” matters. Putting in the work on the exterior of your home is just as important as what you stage inside. Freshen up your landscaping to improve your home’s curb appeal so you can make an impact upfront. As an article from Investopedia says:
“Curb-appeal projects make the property look good as soon as prospective buyers arrive. While these projects may not add a considerable amount of monetary value, they will help your home sell faster—and you can do a lot of the work yourself to save money and time.”
But don’t let that stop at the front door. By removing personal items and reducing clutter inside, you give buyers more freedom to picture themselves in the home. Additionally, a new coat of paint or cleaning the floors can go a long way to freshening up a room.
For all of these things, lean on your real estate agent for expert advice based on your unique situation and feedback you get from buyers throughout the process.
Boston Condos and the Bottom Line
If your Back Bay condo isn’t getting the attention you feel it deserves and isn’t selling in the timeframe you wanted, it’s time to ask your trusted real estate agent for advice on what you may need to revisit or change in your approach. To get those expert insights, let’s connect.
Here’s the scenario, you listed your property with a reputable Boston real estate broker, but your Back Bay condo is NOT selling. Even worse you’re not even receiving offers. What do you do? In this Boston real estate blog post I’ll provide for you a guide, to help solve this problem.
Tomer Fridman, a luxury agent with Compass said the prices on some of the homes were exorbitant in the first place, so the reductions represent a long-overdue correction. “When you do a price adjustment at this level, that seller has to make it impactful,” he said. “You have to show you mean business.”
Once a home is for sale but not selling, how do you know what to do? Just dump on price? Lower in small increments and risk irritating buyers? Isn’t there a guide somewhere?
Both buyers and sellers can apply my List-Price-Accuracy Gauge:
Once on the open market, if you are……
- Getting visitors and offers, you are within 5% of being right on price.
- Getting visitors but no offers, you are 5% to 10% wrong on price.
- Not getting visitors, then you are more than 10% wrong on price.
The serious buyers rush out the first week to take a look, but after that it’s crickets, with only an occasional visitor. It is tough for sellers to cope, or make adjustments. But once the initial urgency has expired, you have to do something – don’t just sit there.
How quickly should sellers make adjustments? The DOM clock is ticking!
0-14 days on market – Hot property, sellers have max negotiating power.
15-30 days on market – Buyers get suspicious, want to pay under list.
30+ days on market – The jig is up, and buyers expect deep discounts.
After being unsold for two weeks, sellers will suspect that something is wrong. But it is natural to resist changing the price and instead blame everything else.
Sellers, and agents, need to shake that off and act quickly to keep the urgency higher. The first price reduction should be for at least 5% and happen in the first 15-30 days for maximum effectiveness. If the home doesn’t sell in the next two weeks, then another 5% is in order, and by then the fluff is eliminated.
Typically sellers just pick apart the comps to convince themselves why their home is the best around, and then settle on a list price that will show everyone who’s the boss. If you don’t have any negatives, then you probably will get your price! But typically sellers are forced to come to grips with the negatives of their house, and adjust accordingly.
Do sellers have to lower their price? No, not necessarily.
There are other alternatives:
1. Make your house easier to show. Listing agents who insist on buyers jumping several hurdles just to see the home aren’t realistic about today’s market conditions. Make the home easy to see!
2. Fix the problems. New carpet and paint is the best thing you can do: 1) it looks clean, 2) it smells new, 3) you have to clean out your house to install it, and 4) you are managing a business transaction now – it is the logical solution. Utilize staging too.
3. Improve the Internet presence. Have at least a 12-25 hi-res photos and a simple youtube tour.
4. Wait for the market to catch up. If unsold for 60+ days, cancel and try again later – probably next year.
5. Reset the Days-on-Market stat. As long as the MLS allows agents to refresh their listings, then it’s in the best interest of the seller to reset the DOM. It is a gimmick, and instead sellers should concentrate on creating real value for buyers – that’s what will cause them to pay more.
The longer it takes to sell, the more discount the buyers will be expecting – usually about a 1% off for each week on the market. When other homes are flying off the market, the buyers’ obvious conclusion is that your price is wrong, and they load up the lowball offers.
Even if you complete one or all of the five ideas above, don’t be surprised if you need to lower the price too. Keep it attractive!
Source: Wall Street Journal