Home sales (and values) have been on a strong uptick in Austin thanks to low interest rates, looser lending standards, and Austin’s cachet as a city. But even with all of that activity, most houses tend to end up in one two extremes: (1) they either get snatched up the moment they hit the market, often with multiple offers and an above-asking sale price, or (2) they languish on the market without an offer in sight.
As a seller you want to fall into the first category. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make that happen. Here are our five tips to move your listing into the multiple offer zone.
1. Price your home right. Getting the price right creates a sense of urgency that buyers must act now or risk losing the home to someone else. The equation is simple. A lower starting price = more excitement about your home. And more excitement often translates into more and better offers.
Here’s why. Homes that get multiple offers are often sold in an auction-like atmosphere. If you think back to the last auction you saw or participated in, you'll remember that the starting price is lower – sometimes quite a bit lower – than the final sale price.
In fact, it's the low list or starting price that gets people excited about the possibility of scoring a great value. It's that low-price-seeking excitement that will cause more buyers to show up and view your home than if you had started at a higher price point. And in real estate, more showings are an inescapable prerequisite to more offers.
Sellers who get multiple offers often price their properties from a retailer's or auctioneer's perspective, pricing their home at a slight discount, not at a slight premium, compared to the recent neighborhood sales in order to get buyers’ attention. But that doesn't mean you have to give away the farm. As experienced agents we will walk you through the recent comparable sales data and give you a recommendation on the best pricing strategy to maximize your profit. For more insider tips on pricing, check out our secrets to pricing Central Austin homes.
2. Give buyers easy access to your home. Put yourself in your target buyer's shoes. Say there are 40 homes on the market which meet their specifications, and 25 of those top the list. But they only have time to see 8 today. If the buyer's Realtor can't get into your house today because you have so many restrictions around showing it, your home could very well miss out on a showing with a qualified, motivated buyer.
It might seem overly simple, but if you want multiple offers, make sure your home is available to be shown today -- and every day it is on the market.
Inconvenient? Yes. Frustrating? Sometimes. A challenge to keep the place clean at all times? Assuredly. But consider your priorities and what is at stake. If getting top dollar for your home is at the top of your priority list, then you have to be ready and willing to deal with the inconvenience involved in generating multiple offers and getting your home sold.
3. Make it beautiful. Really, really beautiful. The homes that get multiple offers are those whose look, feel and function can be described in one word: covetable.
It’s not enough if your home barely edges out the listing down the street in the hearts and minds of your target buyer. If you want multiple offers, you need multiple buyers to fall deeply in love with your home – enough to bid above the listing price, and enough to compete with others for it.
To generate multiple offers, prepare your home. Start with cleaning it from the inside out – closets and garages included. De-clutter the space and stage it. Then make it look fresh with new paint and carpet. Make sure things like doors, windows and systems are all functional -- not creaky, wonky, leaky or otherwise in disrepair.
If you've done any major home improvements or replaced any appliances or systems lately, market that! Show off how immaculate, adorable and move-in ready your home is now – and tout its great working condition for the long run.
4. Expose it to the market. Remember how more showings lead to more offers? When your home hits the market, you want to aim for massive exposure. While getting an offer the very first day may sound like a dream come true, you may be leaving money on the table if you accept an offer too soon. See, many buyers can't get out to see homes that quickly – some are unable to house hunt except on the weekends. If you accept the very first offer you get, you run the risk of missing out on the ‘auction-like’ competition that can drive the sales price up.
Because of that we plan from the start to expose your home to the market long enough for target buyers to see it and get their offers on the table. Setting – and publishing – a timeline for market exposure lets buyers know that they will be able to get to the property and get their offers considered, while still creating a sense of urgency.
5. Be ready to course correct. Is your home one of the houses that has been sitting on the market for months without any action? Do not fret – there's still hope.
In real estate, there's something insiders call the sweet spot phenomenon where an overpriced home sits on the market for months with no bites, sometimes even through multiple price reductions. Finally, the seller lowers the price to the 'sweet spot,' and it generates multiple offers and sells for more than the final list price.
You read that right. There are listings whose sellers net more than they expected because they were willing to revise the list price downward in response to market feedback (i.e., no showings, no offers or lowball offers). If your home has been lagging on the market, talk with your listing agent about what sort of price reduction strategy is likely to maximize your net sale price.
As you consider your price reduction, keep in mind that you’ll get further with a large reduction than you will with tiny, incremental reductions. You might also attract more buyers -- and ultimately more money -- by taking your price reduction slightly below a common price point limit. For example, you may draw more buyers with a price reduction from $499,000 to $474,000 than you would changing the price from $499,000 to $479,000 because some buyers may be cutting their search off at $475,000. A price cut below that point will expose your home to a whole new group of prospects.
With over 23 years of experience, we know what it takes to generate interest and multiple offers in your listing. Contact us to schedule your no obligation, no BS consultation today.
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