Why do people call a Realtor? To buy and sell houses, right? Not really. They generally call a Realtor because they have experienced some sort of life change and they need help. Home sales are often quite emotionally charged. Marriage. Divorce. Death. Loss of Job. Growing family. Promotion. Relocation. Each of these are emotional situations that buyers and sellers find themselves in. How I market and price a home depends a LOT on what type of life change a client is going through. Sometimes the most important goal is to make the most money possible on the sale. But, sometimes the goal is simply “get me out of here fast!” Sometimes the most important thing is to dovetail the timing of the sale of one property with the purchase of another without an interim move to an apartment.
Two case studies:
In the summer of 2013, I was called by a couple who had listed their gorgeous luxury home in Steiner with another agent for 4 months. The price was high, marketing was minimal, showings were almost non-existent, and no offers had been presented, despite the fact that it was a “hot seller’s market”. They told me “My agent priced the house to get as much money as possible. Now here we are, four months on the market, and still no offers. I never said getting the most money was the most important thing. Yes, money is nice, but I just really need to get to my new job and my new home in Michigan!” I offered them two pricing scenarios. One at a higher price (which was still very reasonable and obtainable) but would likely take another couple of months to sell, and a second scenario at a lower price that I was fairly confident would get them an offer in less than a month. My clients chose the lower price, because the move date was much more important to them than the proceeds. I staged the empty rooms of the home to give them a purpose, created a strong initial marketing blitz, and put up signs to make sure showing agents didn’t miss the hidden features of the home. The house was under contract 3 days later, and their sale was complete and they were off to their new home 34 days after I took the listing. They were ecstatic!
Would this be right for every seller? NO! Here’s a very different scenario:
I had helped a single dad buy a home in the Four Points area just 2 years ago. It was a perfect home for him. But when he decided to remarry, the house wasn’t big enough to accommodate their new blended family. He had high aspirations for their new home, so he needed every penny possible out of his current house. To maximize the value of the home, he worked extremely hard to get the house “show ready”, including painting, landscaping, and replacing some badly stained carpet, and I came armed with pictures and plants and decorations to make it look its absolute best. He had flexibility in his timing, so he was able to price high and was willing to wait if necessary for the right buyer. The house was posted in MLS and in 3 days we had a full price cash offer. The hard work paid off! The kicker was that the buyers needed to be in the house in 2 weeks, which meant the seller had to really hustle to get the move complete. Not all sellers are willing to be inconvenienced to pack up and get out in such a short amount of time. But this one was because the financial gain was more important to him than the inconvenience.
There are so many interesting stories I could tell. If your life has changed, I would love to meet you and hear your story!