Real Estate Real Fast Episode 8 Cover

How to make your listing more competitive & maximize success as a seller (with Julie Daniels, scaled ListingSpark’s customer success team to handle over 1400 transactions annually) – Real Estate Real Fast EP8

Episode overview

If you want to sell your home during a down market, you’re going to need to be strategic about how you list your home.

There are lots of things you can do to get to a successful close but is everything that you spend money on worth it?

What can you focus on to maximize your success as a seller at the lowest price? What do you need to prepare before listing your home to be successful?

We’ll dive into how to make your listing more competitive and maximize your success as a seller with Julie Daniels, Director of Operations at ListingSpark.

Episode highlights

  • What are the things you must do to successfully market your home when selling
  • What data points are key to look at when listing a home in the current market
  • How you should approach buying property during a down real estate market
  • Why perspective is important in the current housing market when buying
  • How sellers can maximize their chances of success in the current market
  • What you should consider listing out when you sell your home
  • Why showings can make a big impact on the ability to sell your home
  • Why you need to be more accommodating as a seller in down real estate markets
  • Here’s how to avoid sabotaging a deal as a home seller
  • Why you should take offers more seriously in this market as a seller
  • When can you expect the housing market to bounce back
  • What credits or concessions should sellers consider offering to buyers
  • What kind of inspections should you consider getting before listing your home on the market
  • What is the number one thing you can do to make your home more competitive

Episode links:

Key takeaways

[00:04:26] What are the things you must do to successfully market your home when selling

Three of the biggest factors that can impact the ability to sell a property are visibility, appearance, and price. You need to make sure you’re on the MLS, use professional photos to attract buyers for showings, and price competitively to your neighborhood.

“It’s really important that you have exposure, right? We want you on the MLS. We wanna be able to market your property out to hundreds of sites.

I mean, the world we live in now, everybody is going to decide if they’re gonna go look at your house and actually take the time outta their day to do that by looking at the pictures, right? Looking at what it says online. The facts, the data, is also what’s important.

And it’s so important to know, like what is the average? What is the price point in my area? What is going on?”

[00:06:32] What data points are key to look at when listing a home in the current market

To list and sell successfully, you need to know what’s going on in the neighborhood you are selling in. Look at home sizes and home prices that are listed in your neighborhood before you list. Also, with the changing market, check out more recent comps so that you’re listing at a competitive price.

“Every neighborhood is actually gonna have different days on market. They’re gonna have a different price per square foot. They’re gonna have a different sales price range. They’re gonna have a different type of construction level of upgrades. What’s normal and what’s not normal when it comes to finishes in the house.

So you’ve gotta get away from these generalizations and you’ve gotta dig deeply into the granular details of the market data. 

Six months ago was a lifetime ago, so we can’t really use the same time horizon now that we were back then. For me, I’m looking for more kind of post June, like June and beyond listings.”

[00:10:44] How you should approach buying property during a down real estate market

Even with rising interest rates, there are still deals available on the market. More sellers are willing to negotiate or offer concessions to get their home sold. As a buyer right now, you also have more time to decide on whether to put in an offer which can be helpful for your buying process.

“If we cut back to a year ago—25 offers lines out the door, especially in the Austin area, trying to see the property, let alone put an offer in, right? It got to a point where buyers were just desperate to get the property, right?

We’re not seeing that anymore. Buyers are taking their time looking. They are not over asking price like what we were seeing. We’re not seeing multiple offers. 

So buyers definitely are taking their time and looking at their options a lot more now.”

[00:15:25] Why perspective is important in the current housing market when buying

While the housing market is cooling off, it’s important to remember that if you owned property during the market boom you’re still in the plus. Prices may have come down a bit but the growth in property value during the boom will still make your home worth more than it was pre-boom.

“I think there’s a chance that Austin and other markets in Texas could fall somewhere between 10 and 15%. But that’s all relative. Those same neighborhoods that have fallen 10% grew by 35% last year, or 25% or 30%. So, I mean, again, it’s all relative.

We have to understand, I think, that the last couple of guests that we’ve had have done a good job of highlighting that we can’t use 2021 as the baseline or the benchmark.”

[00:18:20] How sellers can maximize their chances of success in the current market

If you are motivated to sell your home right now, you need to be open to negotiating. Take the emotions out of the equation and understand that selling a home is a business decision. Additionally, make sure you’re active in the process. That means be ready to do showings on your property.

“Sellers have to be open. They have to be open to negotiating. They have to not be so emotional and know it’s very challenging. 

Whether you’re an investor and put a lot of money and time into the property and now you’re thinking, oh, I thought I was gonna get this and I’m not. Or if you’ve been in the house 20 years and you have a lot of memories and kids grown up and just having those emotional ties or financial ties, I understand that. But we have to be able to, with how the market is now, kind of separate ourselves from that and be open to negotiating.”

[00:22:54] What you should consider listing out when you sell your home

If you’ve made major changes to a home, consider putting together a document that highlights all of the upgrades. That can help buyers understand why a home is listed at a certain price or even help them understand upgrades that aren’t as easy to see.

“I know that if it’s an investor, they put a lot of work into it and they did all these things. List that stuff out, make a pdf, like write out. If you’re a retail seller and you’ve been living there, but you know, you did different upgrades, different things that maybe don’t stand out or don’t pop right away. 

The major big things like list those things out, give it to us. We put that stuff in the MLS, we leave that stuff out on the counter for when someone comes in.”

[00:23:28] Why showings can make a big impact on the ability to sell your home

In the current real estate market, you need to be able to make your home available for showings. If there are other homes available in your neighborhood that are available to show and yours is not, it’s unlikely buyers will make time to come back to view a single home.

“Many times I see seller push back because the showing doesn’t fit with their schedule. So I think this just goes back to planning. If you really need to or want to sell your house, you have to think about all these things before it goes live because you are really gonna lose opportunities if you don’t take advantage of all of those times that people wanna come and see it.

Surprisingly, it’s like the one showing they don’t wanna take, but then they wanna reschedule it. Then that agent tells us, oh, they already went and saw something else and put an offer in. And I’m like, see, that could have been your house.”

[00:25:05] Why you need to be more accommodating as a seller in down real estate markets

Buyers no longer have to cater to sellers to purchase a home. As a seller, that means if you want to make a deal work you have to be accommodating. Be willing to negotiate and be welcoming to help push deals forward.

“When buyers have options, they are looking for really nice sellers that are looking to be accommodating and are looking to negotiate and are looking to make a win-win situation with a buyer that’s looking to buy their house.

And what they’re not looking for is a seller that is coming off as a pain in the butt, obtuse, unwilling to negotiate, unwilling to be flexible, and is gonna be very challenging. A buyer’s gonna tell that seller right now to go kick rocks because they can go find any other house in the neighborhood and there’s gonna be a seller that’s dying to have them as a buyer.”

[00:27:35] Here’s how to avoid sabotaging a deal as a home seller

The best thing you can do to avoid sabotaging a deal in the current real estate market is being open to negotiating. That can mean either negotiating on price, negotiating on things to fix, or even potentially paying some of the closing costs. The more open you are, the more likely you’ll be able to get a deal closed.

“It’s okay if somebody gives you a bad offer. It’s okay if they have an issue with your roof. It’s okay if they say this, that, whatever.

That’s all part of negotiations. Before they even have an offer over to you that’s, you know, signed by buyers and that you actually can physically go through and really look at I would say I’m open to everything.

At the end of the day, especially on the seller’s side, you were gonna look at that contract.

You’re gonna go through everything and just look at your bottom line. So if the bottom line, it comes out the same and they got a home warranty. I mean, for you as a seller, does that really make a difference? But in the buyer’s mind, it does make a difference because it makes them feel like you’re working with them.”

[00:35:28] Why you should take offers more seriously in this market as a seller

Offers in a down real estate market are more valuable because buyers who can qualify to offer typically have more set aside if something unexpected happens. If you are receiving offers in this market, consider working with the buyer because these deals have a higher chance of closing.

“You have to understand, you may not be getting multiple offers. But you’re getting more qualified people, right? 

People that are getting approved right now in this market and that are putting offers in at the way the interest rates are. I just feel like those deals have a higher probability of going through and closing and people are more prepared.”

[00:36:52] When can you expect the housing market to bounce back

There’s no crystal ball to know when the housing market will bounce back. Still, the ListingSpark team expects the market to start recovering around the end of Q1, beginning of Q2 with a full recovery in 2024. There’s no guarantee but based on rates and home prices, that’s when we may see things start to shift.

“The real estate market has not ended. You know, it’s not, it’s not toppled over like a building. It’s slowed down, it’s correcting, and it’s important to understand that while that happens, things still still go on and they still happen. And so I think hopefully we’ll see signs of life starting to happen maybe towards the end of Q1 and into Q2 next year.

And then I think everybody in the real estate world from what I’ve read is feeling like, we’ll have the potential for a full blown recovery kind of in 2024. So that’s what I would hope for.”

[00:39:10] What credits or concessions should sellers consider offering to buyers

Be prepared to offer 2 to 3% towards closing if you are a seller. Most sellers are offering concessions or credits at closing. With rates high, many buyers want credits to close so that they can use it for a rate buy down while rates stay high.

“I would be prepared to offer 2 to 3% of the purchase price as a credit. I know that feels like a large amount of money, but you know right now what’s really popular is the two one buy downs.

And what that means is if the rates are at 6.5% and you do the two one buy down for your first year, the rate is not at six and a half percent. It’s four and a half percent. That’s very expensive for the buyer upfront, and they don’t want to pay for that because the rate is gonna slide back up to par in the third year, and their hope is they’re gonna be able to refi out of it.”

[00:40:40] What kind of inspections should you consider getting before listing your home on the market

Instead of going for a full home inspection as a seller, you should consider getting parts of your home looked at by specialists. The most common items on a home inspection are looking at the roof, looking at the HVAC, looking at plumbing. If you do an inspection, you will probably end up paying more out of pocket because the inspector will recommend you get specialists to look at your home.

“I think getting a pre-inspection is something that is not the end of the world if you go do it. It’s gonna cost you 500 or 600 bucks. And if you want the peace of mind of knowing exactly what’s gonna pop up on an inspection, it’s not the worst idea in the world.

But what you’re gonna notice on a lot of inspections is that the inspector is gonna make an observation and then he is gonna recommend you go get a roofer. He’s gonna recommend you get a qualified HVAC professional or a plumber. And so getting a roofer out to certify your roof, getting your AC serviced, those are the things that an inspector is gonna likely recommend anyway.”

[00:44:41] What is the number one thing you can do to make your home more competitive

The most important piece of your listing is your list price. If it’s not competitive to your area, you probably won’t receive any showings. Listing at a competitive price is the best thing you can do for your home listing.

“It’s price. I mean, let’s be real. It is your price. There is no other factor that is going to be as important to a buyer or an agent that’s giving advice to a buyer than your price. There’s a lot of things you can try to do to fix up your house and make it fancier and make it nicer.

There’s no guarantee that the buyer that buys your house will agree, or like those things that you did to update your house. So going that route could be throwing good money after bad. The reality of it is do the best job you can to be the most competitive you can on your price.”

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