Anyone who was in the real estate market in 2015 knows this already. 2015 was an incredible year to sell real estate! Not only did homeowners in West Michigan recover pretty much all the losses of the economic crisis, home prices and home equity enjoyed substantial gains!
From a low of $99,000 in the dark days where foreclosures and short sales climbed to almost two thirds of the listings advertised on the local MLS, today’s average home price of $162,000 plus is almost double the selling averages of the worst of the recession. (Data from the Grand Rapids Association of REALTORS)
Smart would be home sellers would do well to jump onto this fast moving band wagon in the early days of 2016. Traditionally, winter is a period of time when home sales dip. It’s also a period when your home will be in less competition. Why is this especially pertinent today? Read on…
1. Less Competition in the Most Competitive Market
2015 was a banner year for competition. Especially if you were trying to buy a home. Multiple Offer situations became so common place, that some REALTORS were taking classes to learn how to manage scenarios where up to ten potential buyers were vying for one home! Today, there are still more potential home buyers than homes to be sold. Inventory in the Multiple Listing Service for the Grand Rapids Association of REALTORS has hovered below 3.5 months for most of the past 18 months. This type of sustained low inventory is very unusual. Putting your home on the market early this spring puts you ahead of the spring rush.
2. Price to Compete
This may initially seem counter-intuitive. Why price low when so many people want to buy? Well, for a couple of good reasons. Number one is that people want to buy, BUT they’re not stupid! Today, there are many ways to research what your home should sell for online. While, they are not always accurate, potential buyers can use these online portals and get a professional Market Analysis from a local REALTOR to substantiate their instincts. Second, pricing high helps you to sell the other guys house. Buyers rarely look at just one home before they purchase. As they compare what you’re offering to what’s available elsewhere, if you’re over-priced, they’re not likely to purposely over-pay when better deals are around the corner. So, it’s best to be competitive in your pricing so you don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of the bidding process.
3. Consider an Auction
Auctions are emerging as a viable type of sale in the West Michigan marketplace. While in the past, they have mostly be constrained to the arena of short sale bids and HUD foreclosures, more home sellers are willing to explore this type of sale as an option. For one thing, it’s nice to know when your home will be sold – the auction date. You can also create a reserve bid which will ensure that your home will not be sold below a certain price. Also, auctions tend to generate purchasing activity.
4. Hold an Open House Sale
Instead of cleaning your home multiple times a week for assorted showings, you might want to consider a technique which combines the efficiency of an Open House and provide home buyers and your nosy neighbors one stop shopping to preview a home with a wider range of showing hours and the benefits of refreshments. There are many creative ways to put this type of an Open House together. It also provides an excellent way to drum up excitement for a potential bidding war when you will be available to consider all potential offers. Kind of like creating your own mini auction.
5. Get Rid of Half Your Stuff!
Hold a garage sale BEFORE you put your home on the market. While many people wait until they’ve sold their home to do this, it really is an intelligent option to consider prior to putting a home on the market. For starters, we Americans tend to have too much stuff! It’s harder for potential home buyers to figure out where there stuff may find a new home when so much of yours is still in the way. Clutter tends to make homes feel and look smaller which translates into lower offers. Getting rid of clutter and things that you don’t want to keep will make packing easier and give you an incentive to do some much needed cleaning.
We hope you’ve found lots of value in these tips. If you’d like to talk with one of our client specialists further about selling your home in January 2016, please contact us.