Sunday, May 27, 2007

Home Sellers! You’ve Got to Know When to Hold ‘Em and Know When to Fold ‘Em!

Sellers have been playing a great game out there; poker faced and toe-to-toe with potential buyers. Sellers have been the great masters of the bluff for well over a year now in some cases. But buyers aren’t taking the bait. They have called your bluff and your house is just sitting there with no activity.

Kenny Roger’s well known country song, The Gambler, may be an unusual basis for a real estate analogy, but it’s time for sellers to stop singing the blues and get back in the game!

If a homeowner really wants to get their home sold, it is time to lay down last year’s hand, reshuffle the deck and deal new cards. The reshuffle could mean revising the marketing plan, changing agents, repainting and/or remodeling. The new hand is looking at the pricing with a more realistic eye!

As a Minnesota Realtor working in the Anoka and Chisago Counties just north of the Twin Cities, I have kept an eye on several homes that have been on the market since last summer. Not one or two homes, I have been keeping an eye on a couple of dozen homes in Ham Lake, Forest Lake, Lino Lakes, Wyoming and Columbus. There are homes that listed last summer that have not dropped their price by one penny since they listed last year! This does not make any sense—or cents for that matter!

Sellers need to know when to walk away from incorrect pricing. If you have held firm on your price for over a year, it is not time to walk away from that incorrect price; It’s time to run.

Was the original list price based on a refinancing appraisal from a year or two ago? If it was, it just is not accurate.

Did your listing agent do a market analysis? The comparisons from that analysis are over a year old now…possibly going on two years old. In this changed market, ideal comps are no more than 3-4 months old. Have your agent do a new market analysis for the home. Homes do sell in a buyers’ market but pricing must be accurate and the home in optimal condition.

If you have sat counting your money at your kitchen table based on an out-of-date appraisal or market analysis, you need to immediately rethink your situation. The time for counting is when the dealing is done. There is no deal without a purchase agreement. To get to the paperwork, you need a buyer. Buyers in today’s buyers market are not going to overpay for a home.

The biggest mistake I see sellers make in this market is to get offended when an offer comes in. In their minds they have been counting their money with what they believe their home is worth. However, “Your home is only worth what someone will pay for it today”. That means if a buyer presents an offer backed up with a current market analysis from their buyer’s representative, make certain to take a good look at the offer. To not counter and wait for the next buyer to write up a purchase agreement is not a good idea in this market. Buyers have hundreds of homes to choose from. If a qualified, non-contingent buyer writes an offer and submits information to justify the rationale for the offered price, it shouldn’t be dismissed as a lowball offer. It may be the best offer the seller will receive.

If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage properties! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2007