As a full-time professional real estate agent, I send time every day reviewing the latest real estate information from many different sources. Today I’d like to share an interesting article that was posted on a web site called Redfin on February 12th. Redfin is a Seattle-based real estate brokerage that doesn’t have any offices or agents in New Jersey. Here’s their article, “5 Home Selling Tips for the New Market Reality”, plus a few comments or observations from me in italics
“Price Your Home Right the First Time
Pricing your home right from the day it hits the market will ensure that you grab the attention of all the potential buyers of your home, all at the same time. The week that a listing goes on the market, it receives nearly four times more visits on real estate websites than it does a month later.
A common mistake many sellers make is attempting to employ a “test-the-waters” strategy with an unrealistic price, thinking that they can always lower the list price later to attract more attention. This does not work. Even when a listing agent lowers the price or removes the listing from the market and re-lists it, the listing gets less than half the attention that it did on its debut.”
Len’s comments: I agree. This is why you should use a REALTOR® who does a thorough job in selecting homes that are most comparable to your own. Rather than letting a computer pick the “comps”, I use an extensive Excel database that I’ve manually compiled with details about the number of bedrooms, baths, sizes of the home and lot, assessed value vs. selling price, etc.
“Use Professional Photos on Your Listing
We analyzed over 100,000 listings, comparing the final sale price to the original list price for homes with photos shot with a point-and-shoot camera vs. those with photos shot with the digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera favored by professionals. The results were dramatic. Across every price tier, homes with DSLR photos sold for considerably closer to their list price than those with point-and-shoot photos. In the end, sellers made $5,700 more for a home priced between $400,000 and $500,000 when they used DSLR photos.”
Len’s comments: Based on the information they presented, this tip should have said, “Use DSLR Photos on Your Listing”. To quote Ken Rockwell, who has an excellent website http://www.kenrockwell.com devoted to camera reviews and education, “The pictures you take depend on you, not on your camera. If you want to take better pictures, your efforts are better spent learning how to take better pictures, not in buying new cameras.” Your real estate agent may use a professional photographer who uses a DSLR camera, but he/she also may be a photo enthusiast who uses his/her own DSLR and takes exceptional photos. One of the agents in our office is such a person, and he just spent over $1,000 to buy a special lens for his DSLR camera so he can take better listing photos of very small rooms. Don’t be afraid to ask your REALTOR the camera he/she will use if he/she will be taking the listing photos.
“List Your Home on Thursday or Friday
Most homebuyers look at homes online throughout the week and go out to see homes in person on the weekend. Average daily website traffic on Redfin is 20% higher on weekdays than over the weekend, and traffic on Fridays is 29% higher than Sundays. If your home hits the market on the weekend or early in the week, there’s a good chance potential buyers might see something they like more before they get around to seeing homes on the weekend. If you list on Thursday or Friday, you are fresh in their mind when they’re making plans with their agent to go see homes, giving you the best chance of finding a buyer quickly who will fall in love with your home and give you the best price.
An analysis of over half a million listings that came on the market throughout 2012 across the country bears this out, with homes listed on Thursday and Friday selling closest to their original price and having the best chance of selling.
For a home listed for $400,000, the difference between listing on a Sunday and listing on a Friday could be a sale price $2,800 higher. That’s a pretty good payday.”
Len’s comments: Good advice, but if you take a close look at the data, the difference between the best day (99.1%) and the worst day (98.4%) is significant, but not overwhelming.
“List Your Home Before June
Similarly, there are some months that are better than others for sellers. Homes listed in April sell for 99.2% of their original price, versus just 97.3% for homes listed in December—a $7,600 difference on a $400,000 home. As you might expect, sale performance improves dramatically through the first half of the year, then drops off after June:
If you can, it’s definitely best to list your home before summer. March through June also had the largest percentage of homes that were successfully sold within 90 days—homes listed in March were over 70% more likely to sell than those listed in November.”
Len’s comments: to me their data suggest listing in any month between March and September to get the best results, and to avoid only January and December.
“List Your Home with a Redfin Agent”
Len’s comments: lol. I think this should have said, “List Your Home with a Diane Turton Agent”, or better yet, “List Your Home with Len Dunikoski”.
So that was the article I wanted to share with you. Of the 5 “tips”, I feel the first two were the most important. In fact, the author of the article, Tim Ellis, seemed to say that in the last paragraph of the article, when he stated, “Whatever you do, and whichever agent you choose to represent you, if you’re thinking of selling your home, don’t just snap a few quick pics and slap it up on the MLS at an unrealistic price. Put some thought into the process, follow these tips, and you’re certain to be much happier with the result.”
Leonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760
(732) 239-0739 (cell) (732) 530-6686 (office)