Increasing the net sales price of your home in 2008
It appears that we may have turned the corner at last, and the first few weeks
of January have seen a big jump in sales activity and even a spike in some prices. Of course, when that happens, it always seems to be met by a big increase in inventory as home sellers come rushing back into the market to capitalize on the opportunities that arise. As you contemplate entering, or perhaps re-entering the market, it will be vitally important to do whatever you can to maximize your net sales price.
One of the easiest and most obvious ways to increase your net profit is to sell your home for a higher price. While it's important to take into account the corrections we have obviously have seen in the market, it's still not the time to "under price" a property just to sell it, and wind up leaving money on the table. Doing a market analysis under the current conditions is very challenging and requires an extremely careful analysis of far more than just the recent sales figures. Don't over-react to the media reports and price too low at the outset. Remember, it's far easier to lower the price later than it is to raise it.
The second way to increase your net price on the home is to decrease the amount of extraneous expenditures involved in the sale. Brokerage commissions are probably the largest single expense involved in the selling of a home, so it's vitally important to make sure that you get the best possible value out of them. The old saying was always that you "get what you pay for" and it certainly couldn't be more accurate than in the case of selling your home in a challenging marketplace. Real estate remains one of the only industries I know in which you can hire the best possible person for the job for no more money than someone inexperienced.
What I constantly find interesting is that so many consumers who painstakingly research everything put no thought at all into researching agent selection. They still just assume that all agents are the same, and naturally nothing could be further from the truth. In our area, there are fewer than 10 agents out there (maybe fewer than five) who fall into the category of what I call the "uber-agents." These are people with 20+ years of experience and who routinely sell over 100 properties annually, compared to the statewide average of less than six transactions per agent per year.
These folks not only have thousands of transactions of problem solving and marketing savvy under their belt, but they've invested over and over again in means to truly perfect their art. For example, after being frustrated with the quality of the house photos I was seeing online all the time, I went out and invested thousands of dollars in a professional quality camera with wide-angle lens to make sure each listing had the best online presence we could come up with.
In any case, when dealing with such life changing things as selling your home, you need to take the proper precautions. That doesn't mean over paying and "giving your money away," but it also doesn't mean trying to remove your own spleen to try and save on surgical bills. The key here is to make sure you have the best agent for the job, but at a fair price that you both can live with. Remember, an agent working for too low of a fee has little incentive to sell the property, and could just as easily be using it to bounce buyers to other homes.
One obvious solution would be programs like the "Homeowners Blend," which can reduce the commission on the sale of someone's home by up to 50%, while still (and this is vital), providing the same full and complete service and advertising that you deserve. This truly works wonders, as so many will attest.
Since so many people always have questions about how that works, I took the time to actually prepare a video that covers it, along with many other creative marketing topics. We also went out and interviewed a bunch of clients who recently went through the process, and had them comment about
If you have 10 minutes to spare and want to watch the video online, go to www.stevelevine. com and clink on the link on the home page that will take you to the video section. It may
turn out to be the
most productive 10 minutes you've spent.
There are at least a half dozen other methods I've come up with to increase the net sales price of your home, even in a buyers' market. Unfortunately they only give me so much space. Drop me an e-mail at steve@stevelevine. com and I'll e-mail you over some ides.
Have a happy and healthy 2008.
Steve Levine, president of Steve Levine Inc., has been the #1 RE/MAX Agent in New England since 1999, and can be reached at (508) 735-HOME <4663> or online at www. stevelevine.com. You can also access the MLS data for all of Massachusetts at www.massachusettsmultiplelistings. com.
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