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What to track after listing your home for sale

June 16, 2017
By BOB and GERI QUINN - Homing In , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Last week we discussed what to know before listing your home for sale, and this week our focus will be on how you can analyze and monitor some of the telltale market signs to determine if your home is priced properly to attract a competitive offer from a buyer after your home "goes live" on the Multiple Listing Service and across the world on the Internet.

If you are like some of the sellers we come across, you will list your home for sale with one of the Realtors who came in with the highest price estimate for your home, because that agent seemed confident about being able to get top dollar for your home and they seemed to know what they were talking about. From that high price, there is a good chance you will want to raise the initial listing price above the maximum price you really think your home is worth, to leave yourself enough room for negotiating when a buyer makes an offer on your home.

With your pricing strategy in place, your home goes live on the Multiple Listing Service and on the Internet, along with whatever other marketing plan your agent implements for you, and within days other agents with interested buyers are scheduling showing appointments and touring your home with their buyers. On most days, you have multiple showings booked and the feedback you are receiving from the potential buyers who have seen your home in person is all positive. You start receiving multiple, full-price, cash offers, so your agent sets a deadline and tells all of the interested buyers to submit their highest and best offers. If only you had trusted your gut instincts, and set your listing price even higher from the beginning!

Suddenly, you wake up from a deep sleep in your recliner chair, and your perfect dream turns into a cold reality, as you realize your home has been on the market for over 60 days with only a handful of showings to some disinterested buyers. So what could be wrong?

As we mentioned last week, virtually everybody looking to buy a home in Cape Coral will probably get their first exposure to your home over the Internet. The buyers are out there looking, watching and waiting to make a move and put an offer on a home, but we are in a very price conscious, rational market right now. Buyers are comparing homes and only seem willing to make offers on those that are reasonably priced. When you list your home for sale, you need to be aware of the telltale signs "the market" can reveal about your asking price, and the likelihood of whether or not your home is properly priced to attract a buyer. Here is some of what you need to know.

Since about 79 percent of all single-family homes sold in Cape Coral sell at price from around $320,000 or below, give or take a bit, the numbers we are going to be talking about apply most accurately to this price range. With higher priced homes, the numbers will be different, but the concept is the same, in that overpriced homes don't sell.

When a home in Cape Coral is initially listed for sale, if it is in its reasonable price range, it will typically generate "a lot" of showing activity and interest from potential buyers within the first 30 days on the market. By "a lot," we mean a steady flow of showing appointments, often with multiple showings per day, beginning within days of being listed on the Multiple Listing Service and the Internet. This type of activity is often a market signal that your home will be attracting a competitive offer from a buyer within the first 30 days, and that it will likely go under contract somewhere within 5 percent of your list price, and possibly at full list price.

If, however, after generating "a lot" of showing activity within the first 30 days on the market, you have not received any offers, or if the offers received are not reasonably competitive, it is a market indication that you are overpriced. In this scenario, where you have higher showing activity with no offers, it is often a sign of a "marketability" issue that is turning off potential buyers. In this situation, it is important for your agent to help you analyze the feedback being received from the buyers and agents who have been through your home.

What do we mean by a marketability issue?

When there is a high level of activity and interest in your home at the current list price, it is an indication that buyers think your home looks like it is priced reasonably "on paper," so there is a rush to come out and see your home. But when they arrive for their in-person look, something is turning them off and preventing them from making an offer. As the buyers have uncovered these flaws, your home now appears to be overpriced compared to other similar homes without the flaws. Some of these issues may be fixable, such as really bad pet odors in the carpeting, while others, such as a bad location, are permanent issues.

In reality, we can pretty much tell if a home is overpriced without even looking at it, just by using market statistics. For instance, the longer beyond 30 days your home is on the market, the more likely that it is overpriced. So when we see a home listed for 60 to 100 days, or more, without being sold, and if there have been no price reductions made, there is a fairly high probability that it is at least 10 to 15 percent overpriced. Otherwise, in our current market, it would have already been sold.

As a seller, the biggest telltale sign for you to monitor is the showing activity on your home. This will provide you with the biggest clue about whether you are priced reasonably, or overpriced. Quite simply, if you are not getting any showings, or if the showing appointments are just barely trickling in, it is a market indication that you are most likely overpriced. As the time that your home is listed for sale on the market increases beyond 30 days, and if this growing time on the market is combined with sluggish showing activity, it is a market confirmation that you are overpriced.

At the point when a seller makes a legitimate price reduction, if that brings the asking price close enough to a reasonable price range, you should see an almost immediate increase in showing appointments. This should be followed by your home going under contract with a buyer within about 30 days of the price reduction. If these things do not happen after you make a price reduction, then "the market" is indicating your home is still overpriced.

(The sales and market data for this article was obtained from the Florida Realtors Multiple Listing Service Matrix for Lee County, as of May 21, 2017, and it was compiled by Bob and Geri Quinn. It includes information specifically for Cape Coral single-family homes, and it does not include condominiums, foreclosures or short sales. The information is believed to be reliable, however, it could be updated and revised periodically, and it is subject to change without notice. The Quinns are a husband and wife real estate team with Century 21 Birchwood Realty Inc., in Cape Coral. They have lived in Cape Coral for over 37 years. Geri has been a full-time Rrealtor since 2005, and Bob, who also holds a Certified Financial Planner designation, joined with Geri as a full-time Realtor in 2014. Their real estate practice is mainly focused on Cape Coral residential property and vacant lots.)



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