Remember the good old days? List your home on Monday. Hold an open house the following weekend and wait for the multiple offers (all above list price) to come in by Sunday night. Those days are now just a distant memory. While the overall state of our market is improving, the reality is still PRICE IS KING.
More than anything, today’s buyers are looking for a “deal” (or should I say “steal”). While the market for homes under $300,000 has been less adversely impacted in the Richmond area, most homes have to be priced aggressively now in order to sell. One does not have to be a PhD in Economics to understand that if there are 10 similar homes for sale in a subdivision, the lowest priced 2 or 3 is where a seller needs to be positioned in order so sell in a reasonable time period. It is crucial to that your home is viewed as a “value” in this market. Just put your buyer’s hat on for one moment. If your realtor is informing you that there is over 9 months of inventory currently on the market, why would you not feel compelled to only look at the homes with the best price?
Condition is another key ingredient for success. With fewer showings in a slower market, you must make each one count. Curb appeal is a great place to start. Buyers are starting to formulate their opinion about a house during the walk from the car to the front door. Make sure that the grass is cut, hedges are trimmed, and beds are freshly mulched. You only get one chance at a first impression! On the interior, update the kitchen with new appliances and countertops if necessary. Paint neutral colors and replace carpet if it is worn and dirty. Taking the time to do the necessary updates is much more effective than offering an allowance to cure these items. Buyers have so much to choose from these days, they simply will pass on homes needing a little TLC and move on to another home that does not require the effort.