Couldn’t Sell Your Home Last Season? Here’s How to Relist It So It’ll Move

sell home this season

By: Michele Lerner

If a home lingers on the market too long, it begins to acquire, well, a reputation. Deserved or not, the home may be perceived by buyers as flawed or overpriced. So in the interest of avoiding a bad rep—or becoming the real estate equivalent of the last kid picked for kickball at recess—some sellers pull their listing from the market and take some time to reassess and, eventually, relist.

Of course, it’s not as easy as pulling the home one day and relisting the next. Even if you take a home off the market and start over with a new agent, it won’t necessarily appear as a new listing. Your local multiple listing service has rules that determine what qualifies as new.

In Chicago, for example, you’ll need to have your home off the market for as long as six months before it can count as new. In Jacksonville, FL, you only have to wait 45 days. Since the rules vary from city to city, make sure to check with a local broker about how long your home must be off the market before it can be “new” again.

In the Washington, DC, metro area, your home has to be off the market for at least 90 days to reset the “days on market” ticker to zero, says Sue Goodhart with McEnearney Associates in Alexandria, VA. She added that it’s not a total reset, because the property record will still indicate the home’s previous exposure to the market.

Property sales and listing history are easy for any prospective buyer to find, says Rhonda Duffy, broker/owner of Duffy Realty of Atlanta. While a lingering listing might be giving your home a bad rep, she thinks marketing plays an important role in getting your home sold.

“Getting a new MLS number is much less important than what I call ‘juicing’ a listing with something new that will grab the attention of buyers,” Duffy said.

The first thing an agent can do is analyze why your home didn’t sell and then address that issue, Goodhart says.

“Sometimes it’s the price, but often it’s the way the home shows in person or online, or a lack of targeted marketing,” she said. “Sometimes it’s as simple as realizing that the photos were taken on a cloudy day and it makes the rooms look too dark.”

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Should You Price a Home High or Low? A New Study Makes a Surprising Recommendation

Pricing a home

By: Anne Miller

Home prices are up. Mortgage rates are low. Housing supply is stretched thin. Suffice it to say—it’s a tight market.

And in a tight market, the conventional wisdom is to price your house a little lower than its actual value, in the hopes of sparking a bidding war that will result in an above-market sale price.

Not so fast! Homes priced higher might end up selling even higher, according to a study published in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

The authors surveyed more than 200,000 homes listed in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania from 2005 to 2009 and found that homes priced 10% to 20% higher than similar homes saw a bump.

It’s tied to a psychological tendency called “anchoring”—using the first price we see as the anchor around which we base our judgment. It’s why sales make shoppers salivate—if jeans have an $80 price tag, then we think 20% off is a steal, even if another store sells jeans at $60.

We may also accentuate the positive in order to fit our anchored model—”a buyer exposed to a high-priced property might attend more to the attractive landscaping, than to the outdated plumbing,” the study notes.

But there are a few caveats—the numbers came before and during the market crash of 2007–2008. And the returns, while statistically relevant, may not mean much for the bottom line. A Wall Street Journal article on the study notes that brokers may also have to spend more time marketing the house to justify the price tag and the difference in fees wouldn’t be worth it.

In the current market, brokers suggest the opposite. All around the country, they research comparable sales. Could they price a home a little higher? Perhaps. But is it worth the risk?

John Windle, a Coldwell Banker Apex Realtor® in McKinney, TX, says the market in his area is tight enough—lots of buyers, not enough inventory—that homeowners can price to sell at the top end of the suggested range. But prices still hew closely to what similar homes recently sold for.

Homes that sold last year for $200,000 easily sell for $205,000 or more this year, he says. So while comparable sales and research might suggest lower pricing, based on last year’s data, he might suggest a slightly higher price based on the current market.

I always encourage them to price it for where the market settled,” he says.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, Darcy Barrow and her husband have a high-end real estate business, Foundation Homes International. They sell homes in a price range that’s about 10 times what Windle handles in Texas, but they approach home sales similarly. If anything, they suggest underpricing the homes they represent.

If you price it just a hair under market, you get a buzz going,” she says. “Smart buyers who are advised well are usually coming in just a little over market.”

So the home still sells, money changes hands quickly, and everyone walks away with a deal.


Why Use a Realtor When Selling Your Home

real estate agent
Article by: Team
Selling a house can be a complex process. A Realtor can help you at every stage, from setting a price to marketing the property to closing the sale.

Setting the Price The selling process generally begins with a determination of a reasonable asking price. Your real estate agent or Realtor can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in your local marketplace, as well as the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in marketing your home and selling it at the best price. Often, your agent can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of the property.

Marketing The next step is a marketing plan. Marketing exposes your property to the public as well as to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service, other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, and so on. In many markets, a substantial portion of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. The Realtor Code of Ethics requires Realtors to use these cooperative relationships when they benefit clients.

An agent will also know when, where and how to advertise — which medium, format and frequency will work best for your home and your market. Though advertising can be valuable, the notion that advertising sells real estate is a misconception. National Association of Realtors studies show that 82 percent of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts from previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts. (Read More Here)