Getting Real when Selling your Home.

Sold SignHome Sellers in the current Austin real estate market are having to face the reality of a market that’s great for buyers, but difficult for sellers.  Homes are selling, but the sales prices are lower than in previous years.  I’m in the unique position of being a Realtor® and selling my own home so I can relate to the challenges my clients are facing.

The things I recently accepted about my own selling situation were:  improvements I put in weren’t valued as much as I thought they were going to be; I was not going to realize the profit anticipated when I bought the home; and recent sales in the neighborhood indicated a down-shifting market so my sales price had to be in line with comparable properties.

For me, and any home seller right now, ignoring the following facts will only add to your stress of selling and will probably delay getting it sold.

  • First, I had to wrap my mind around the fact that it’s a buyer’s market which means, quite simply, there’s a surplus of homes on the market and the best-priced home is going to get sold.
  • Second, the improvements and features that I put into the home don’t necessarily bring any increase in sales price in this market.  Unfortunately, potential buyers may not value custom tile or landscaping as much as you do; however, the good news is that more amenities and features in a home can lead to a quicker sale and help your home stand out from the competition. 
  • Third, no amount of Staging will guarantee you the sales price you want.  I’m an ardent practitioner of Staging and Feng Shui Real Estate. Using these techniques will help you sell your home and distance it from the competition, but they won’t help much if your home is over-priced. 
  • Fourth, if you decide to accept an offer lower than what you had hoped for, don’t think of the buyer as the enemy.  Try to work all issues out amicably and don’t make it a war.  Be grateful for the offer and that you are selling your home in this market and create a transaction grounded on goodwill.
  • If you hire a Realtor® to sell your home,  follow the advice given.  Don’t confer with neighbor’s, coworkers, relatives, or anyone else that isn’t an active Realtor® in the current market in Austin, Texas.  The fewer opinions you have flowing into your stream of thought the better. 

A previous client hired my company to sell her home.  I meticulously staged it, marketed it, and gave her my recommendations for the listing price.  She didn’t follow my price recommendation, her mother rearranged all my staging, and she conferred with everyone she knew about what to do to sell her house – which ultimately made her fearful to take any action.  After 100 days (the longest time it’s ever taken for me to sell a house), we received a workable offer and the house sold.  But what could have been a relatively easy process turned into daily stress for over three months with the end result no better than if all that second-guessing had not been done.

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