what are your recommendations for moving a house quickly in this market?

Asked by Mike S., 21224 Thu Oct 18, 2007

i have a high end rehab in canton/patterson park. includes 2 master suites, 2 master baths, parking pad, rooftop deck, wood floors, exposed brick, granite/SS kitchen, finished basement. would prefer to get top dollar on the sales price, but would consider help with closing costs, home warranty, and perhaps throw in a perk like a flat screen tv. any other suggestions?

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Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Thu Oct 18, 2007
If you price to cover the costs of items such as assistance w/ closing costs and flat screen TV, you may find that your buyers are headed to look at the competition.

If there are properties in the same neighborhood of the same size and equivalent condition which have a lower price, the buyers will gravitate toward those. Buyers look first at the neighborhood, price range and size. When that matches, they start looking at the details, condition first. Buyers don't get down to analyzing the value of perks until your property has already passed stages 1,2, and 3. The problem is, they could buy your competition before they get that far on your property.

You have a short window to catch the buyers attention. By focusing on a higher price w/ assistance, you could seem less attractive in the first 10 seconds when a buyer simply notices 6 untits available and yours is the highest in the group. Go for capturing the buyer quickly by focusing on pricing aggressively.

Exception......Entry level buyers sometimes need help w/ closing costs, etc. in order to get in. If you are selling to a first time home buyer and an entry level home, that could be valuable.

The other time an incentive can become valuable is when buyer and seller are close in price agreement, but can't make it come together. Save your incentive thoughts for that possibility, too.
0 votes
Billy Burke,…, , Rancho Mirage, CA
Thu Nov 20, 2008
You need two things:

First: TO be realistic in your expectations of the selling price.

If you understand that property values have decreased 20% to 40% across the board in the State of Maryland, then you don't think De-Nial is a rive in Egypt.

Second: You need to hire a qualified certified real estate auctioneer.

With property values eroding at a rate of 2% to 4% a month and the economy not getting any better, with no hope of home value stabilization until 2010 to 2011 then you need to sell and sell quick.

An auction will deliver cash in about 4 to 6 weeks, usually with no seller commissions.

The realtors are all going to scream at my answer but the proof is in the pudding. Just look at the average DOM or days on market for listings, then look at how many properties are listed in your market against how many sold last month.

Gimmicks like TV's and Counter tops have not worked since 2006 the only thing people want is to know they did not pay too much.

At auction a buyer "WINS" the property by paying one bid more than someone else was willing to pay.

Fact not fiction
Web Reference:  http://www.paxauctions.com
2 votes
Richard Peeb…, Agent, Hunt Valley, MD
Thu Nov 13, 2008
Mike, here is a very informative article just published that addresses your question. The whole article will not fit into the space Trulia allows, so to read the whole article, and it's worth it, go to my website and view my blog, http://www.BALTIMORES-BEST-HOMES.com

In denial: Homeowners believe their own home's immune to tumbling prices nationwide
• J.W. Elphinstone, AP Real Estate Writer
• Monday November 10, 2008, 3:44 pm EST
The housing market may have bust, but many homeowners are still living in a bubble.
Despite dismal housing headlines and reports showing falling prices nationwide, owners in some once-hot areas still believe their home is gaining value or at least holding its own. And by hanging onto too-high expectations, sellers are unwittingly keeping the market from finding a bottom.
Real estate professionals across the country are reporting difficulty convincing sellers the true market value of their homes.
"It's like pulling teeth in this market," said Twyla Rist of Reece & Nichols Realtors in Kansas City, where prices are off between 7 percent and 15 percent. "Even with everything being said, you still have people that think my house is better than everybody else's."
A recent Coldwell Banker report showed that more than three-quarters of its real estate agents surveyed said most sellers have unrealistic initial listing prices for their homes.
Likewise, an unscientific study released last week by real-estate Web site http://www.Zillow.com found that half of homeowners polled think their home's price has increased or stayed the same in the past year.
"We expected people to get a little more in touch with reality especially over the summer, because you couldn't turn on the TV or read the newspapers without seeing that home prices are falling," said Amy Bohutinsky, a spokeswoman for Zillow.com. "It was very surprising to see this kind of disconnect."
In fact, the median sales price of an existing home dropped 9 percent to $191,600 in September from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors.
It took John Cicero and his wife an appraisal, some convincing by their real estate agent and some hard-to-swallow facts to get them to lower the $525,000 listing price on their five-bedroom home in Valrico, Fla. They closed two weeks ago for about $380,000......................read the rest at my BLOG
2 votes
Michael Doyle, Agent, Brooklyn Park, MN
Fri Oct 19, 2007
Hire a good agent with a good marketing plan and price the home 5% below the closet comparable sold home in your area. I've tried everything you've mentioned over the years and the one thing that always works is a list price below the competition.
Good luck, Michael
2 votes
ian cockburn, Agent, New Orleans, LA
Thu Oct 18, 2007
Price it 10% below market value and use a professional with a plan to sell.
Your may want to get top dollar, but you need to decide which one you want...a sale or a property for sale?
Web Reference:  http://www.iansellsnola.com
2 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Wed Nov 5, 2008

If you are serious about selling your property it is important to be in touch with the current market trends. These trends are tied directly to today's housing market and overall state of our economy.

Since the housing market is flooded with resale homes and the country is knocking on the door of a recession the chances of getting top dollar for any property are slim. Pricing it high will only serve to prelong the agony of an eternal sale.

Our advice is to put your trust in a good agent, that can price it right for your local market, and promoteit with a
comprehensive marketing plan. A plan that includes aggressively seeking foreign buyers, high visibility advertising for your property, and an internet presence that exceeds other companies and agents.

Mike, make no mistake, today's buyers are seeking deals. There is an avid interest in short sales and foreclosures that represents your main competition. The sad news is that it is highly doubtful your flat screen TV will get the job done for you.

Good luck
1 vote
Chris Cooke, Agent, Baltimore, MD
Wed Nov 5, 2008

You have received some good advice from some knowledgeable agents. I have a slightly different perspective. The three most important things for selling a property quickly in this market are as follows:

1. PRICING - Price the property correctly. Too many Sellers try to list for a price that does not reflect the market. I recommend going out with your agent and looking at the competition prior to determining the list price. Look at your direct competition and ask yourself honestly how your property compares to the competition. When you find the best value in your pool of competition, price your home below that property. I find that Sellers will list the property for the right price, if they are confident that the Listing Agent has done everything to achieve the highest price the market will allow.

2. MARKETING - Make sure the agent that you use has a comprehensive marketing plan for selling your property. Make sure the agent works primarily in the area of your property. Ask the agent how many properties they have sold this year. Ask the agent for addresses of other properties that they are listing. 90% of the Buyers find their properties online. Check for yourself (online) and see how the agent advertises the property. I find countless properties that are advertised with no pictures. Pictures are everything. The pictures that your agent uploads into the Multiple Listing Service are the same pictures that the major retail and broker web sites use. They are pulled from one central database. If the property pictures are bad in the MLS, the agents will not show the property. Because these same bad pictures are displayed on the retail sites, the Buyers will not ask their agents to show your property. It hurts you in two ways. I have a full-time marketing manager on my staff dedicated to advertising client properties.

3. DETAILS - Walk through your property and take care of any punch list items to include: paint, spackle, cleaning, etc. With the abundance of properties available, Buyers are looking for reasons to remove your property from their list of potentials.

I feel that offering closing cost help is a good idea. Flat screen TV's are a waste of money. I would respectfully disagree with the agent that recommended auctioning the property. Few people are showing up at auctions today. In this market, Buyers are taking their time and being very selective and deliberate in their purchases. I would also respectfully disagree with the agent that said that you need to have a 3% coop fee or higher to get showings. I feel that agents recommend high coop fees to compensate for poor marketing. I have yet to meet an agent yet who would not show a property or submit an offer because the coop fee was 2.5% vs. 3%. In addition Buyers often provide the Buyers Agent with a list of properties that they are interested in seeing. Can you imagine an agent telling a Buyer that they can't look at a property because the coop fee is too low?

Properties are selling in this market. We recently listed a property for about $500K that had been for sale for over two years with five well known real estate agents. We placed this property "under contract" in less than 3 weeks for close to full price. I am on pace to complete $20 million in sales / 100+ transactions for 2008. We have achieved these results through a very detailed sales & marketing program. I have a staff of assistants that religously executes this program to sell our client properties quickly.

I wish you the best of luck,

Chris Cooke
RE/MAX Sails Canton
1 vote
Robert McArt…, Agent, Fallston, MD
Wed Jun 11, 2008
AUCTION! It May Simply be Your Best Method! "Moving a House Quickly in this Market for Top Dollar"? Now THAT will be the title of my next Blog. Define Top Dollar? If you are looking for fair market value and NEED to sell it quickly. Why not auction? I would be more than happy to take a look at the property and see if it qualifies. It is the only method of selling a home that gathers a pool of qualified bidders in one location and have them bid competively reach its fair market value.
1 vote
Beth Moran, Agent, Folsom, CA
Tue Nov 20, 2007
It's a numbers game. How many other homes like yours are currently available and where do you stack up against them? If I were lisitng your property I'd show you a market analysis for the last two months so you get a straight answer as to what the market is doing in your area (not the fluff agents will tell you to get the listing.) The next step is to make sure you get the local agents in your door and you do that by checking what they get paid to bring a buyer to you. If there are 10 homes that match your description and 7 offer 2.5% commission and 2 offer 3% commission and 1 offers 4% which one do you think will get shown for sure? Of course if you price it out of range and an appraiser cannot come up with the comps then you risk the buyer walking but if it is priced right, staged and incentivizes the agent you should be able to move it quickly.
1 vote
J R, , New York, NY
Fri Oct 19, 2007
You've been given good advice, it's about price and preparation. After arriving at a good price do whatever the agent tells you to do to prepare the house, even if it means ripping up carpeting to expose wood floors or removing wallpaper. Small investment, big return.
1 vote
Darrell Hess, Agent, Asheville, NC
Wed Oct 17, 2012
Quickly means different things to different people.

If you want top dollar and it makes sense to keep the quiet costs of holding the property longer go that route. If it is a nice home that is in demand in the area it is located in simply price it right and aggressive market it and you will sell it quickly. I find that simply pricing the home right from the get go nets a better result than all that fluff like home warranty, flat screen, etc.
0 votes
Theo Harris, Agent, Baltimore, MD
Wed Oct 17, 2012
Price it right!
Work with an Excelent marketing strategy, great working relationship with other top producers selling in 21224. Good working relationship with a top loan officer in the area to pre aprove all potential Buyers before making an offer. Top notch brokers open event to introduce your high end house to the local market. High end national and international luxury exposure, many of our luxury buyers are relocations from all around the USA and international buyers. Market to JHU and hospital (largest private employer in the state of MD, just steps away from your home)

Visit my site for more good information http://www.TheoHarris.com


Theo Harris
0 votes
George Belle…, Agent, Ellicott City, MD
Sat Dec 1, 2007
Unfortunately, you are competing with a lot of rehabs in the entire Baltimore inner harbor area. In the current market, before I list a home, I do three things (in addition to the usual).

1. Take the seller on a tour of the competition. There's nothing like seeing inside another home, looking at the price and days on market to help understand where you should price yours.
2. Have AHS do a preinspection of your home. It's a few hundred dollars, but it allows you to find problems before the buyer does. A repair that would cost you $200 to fix will cause the buyer to ask for $500 or more. It is very frustrating for the seller when they thing they have a good deal and then the receive an inspection report that crushes them.
3. Get an appraisal. The market is tough, and many agents are struggling. Some will tell you the price you want to hear, just to get the listing. It is called "buying" the listing.

If you can afford it, why not consider renting it for a while? With the impending BRAC influx to the Ft. Meade area, and the increasing number of people commuting from Baltimore to Washington, the long-term projection for prices in your area is good.
0 votes
Jose E. Perez, Agent, BRAINTREE, MA
Tue Nov 20, 2007
Pricing, you price it right and it would sell. You have a nice location, pricing it slightly below market value will move the property. Let me know if i can be of help to you.
0 votes
Charles K Ni…, , 21204
Tue Nov 20, 2007
I would also consider a below market price to be of the UTMOST importance...

I was just talking to an associate the other day who was waiting to receive a signed listing agreement from a seller with a "super" rehab in Patterson park ...Could that be you? Lol
0 votes
Bill Wootan's…, , Waldorf, MD
Fri Oct 19, 2007
There used to be only three things that made a property move, location, etc, but today it is more price, condition, and location. Hire a realtor that really knows the market the property is in - check sold listings and hire the agent that has listed most in the price range you want, and the location the property is in!

Bill Wootan - Leader of Team One
Century 21 H T Brown, Waldorf, Md.
Web Reference:  http://www.billwootan.com
0 votes
David & Lisa…, Agent, Millersville, MD
Thu Oct 18, 2007
I agree that right now it's all about price. We had a 2 bedroom townhouse on the market since May for $279K. They dropped to $269, then $259, then $249K. At $249K we got 7 showings in one week and 2 offers and they accepted one of the offers. Pricing can be a bit tricky as the market changes, more homes come on the market, some sell, then you have less buyers, then more come around. Top dollar and moving a house quickly in this market don't really go together. Pretty much everyone out now is looking for a bargain because the media is scaring buyers into thinking that prices are going to plumett so they want to get a deal. Helping with closing, the warranty and a flat screen are all good bonuses though. Good thing for you is you are in a trendy area. Make sure your Realtor is marketting aggressively as well. Not just on the multiple list but also on backpage, craigslist, etc., where potential buyers are likely to be looking. Good luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.webberteam.com
0 votes
Cindy Maves, Agent, Fort Myers, FL
Thu Oct 18, 2007
You've got a a high end rehab in a great neighborhood that shows well! The key is price. All buyers buying right now are looking for a deal. It needs to be priced to sell. Home warranties, flat screens are nice perks, but that's all they are,added incentives. Your house needs to priced right, and then marketed and advertised for maximum exposure to as many buyers as possible. Have you met with a realtor yet?
0 votes
Jose E. Perez, Agent, BRAINTREE, MA
Thu Oct 18, 2007
It seems like you have a great home in a great location. In todays market its all about pricing, price it right from day one and get max exposure, the chances of selling it quickly greatly improves. Perks are good but buyers are looking at their bottom line.
0 votes
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