The dominant discussion theme in the local real estate market news is that all homes are selling with multiple offers during their first weekend on the market. And to be sure, this is happening quite often – but not always.
What even we, the professionals, are amazed at is the number of homes that are actually NOT selling for more than the asking price, and often selling for less – and taking a long time to do it.
In a market where we would think that anything and everything sells, it isn’t necessarily so.
The accompanying chart (“Comparison of Sold Homes”) is most revealing. In general, only about 40% of the homes listed for sale here in our recent Eastside market sold for more than list price. About 15%-20% sold for exactly the asking price, and another 35%-40% sold for less than the asking price. Our data is for six of the predominate neighborhoods on the Eastside, but we find these trends to be typical throughout the greater Seattle area.
Except for two neighborhoods (Mercer Island and Kirkland) in our study for this article, the time it took to sell was not greatly different between homes that sold for the asking price, and for the homes that sold for less than the asking price. The obvious trend (with the exception of East Bellevue) is that if the home doesn’t sell quickly and for more than the asking price, it may take substantially longer to sell.
IS HOUSE PREPARATION STILL NECESSARY?
Very much so. There can be a fine line between whether a home sells quickly (for more than the asking price) and whether it languishes on the market and sells for less – even in this multiple-offer market.
We find that house preparation always makes a big difference. We are amazed at how quickly buyers can sum up what the sellers put into getting their home ready for sale. There are homes where the seller obviously has no intention of doing anything beyond the minimum to get it sold, and there are homes that have been so well prepared it is equally obvious that the sellers truly want the buyers to be happy with their purchase.
PRICING FOR SUCCESS
Buyers are savvy in today’s market – they have to be. They have their price-to-value equation in mind with every step through their tour of the homes for sale. It’s likely that they will have toured every home available over the past several weeks. They will know what each home offered, what it sold for, and if any of those were missed opportunities for them. They also know that other homes will be coming on the market in the near future if this one is overpriced for what it offers.
If the price to value relationship doesn’t hold up in the buyer’s eyes, the home will become one of those that languishes and eventually joins those that sell for less and take a long time to get there. Intelligent pricing is more important in this market than it has ever been.
MULTIPLE OFFERS ON YOUR HOME?
With careful planning and good, solid, real estate professional representation, you can achieve the success that the current market offers.