Austin’s inventory of active homes for sale is at historically low levels. Surprisingly, given the scarce supply and high demand, I’m seeing sellers missing opportunities to capitalize on the state of the market. There are bidding wars going on well-priced, well located homes. Thoughtless mistakes are costing sellers a lot of money preventing them from netting the highest and best price they can net!
Real Estate Marketing Has Become Sloppy
At the risk of sounding critical of some of my professional colleagues, some have become used to being sloppy with pricing, listing, marketing and selling homes since the market bust. Why? Because most of the homes involve banks (e.g. short sales, REOs) and banks tend to look the other way with pricing, listing and selling practices. The proficiency bar has been unintentionally lowered. Many might argue about my observation. I won’t say “all” but I can definitely say “many” have fallen in the sloppy category.
Seller’s With Equity Expect More
For example, the short sale seller really doesn’t care if their home is in the MLS for 1 day with 1 photo and they may have left $10,000 “on the table”. They are not going to get any money anyway. The seller with equity – their home is worth more than they owe – expects to walk away with money in their pocket, so they do care.
Expose Your Home to the Entire Market
This is what I’ve been hearing from equity sellers on my listing appointments. Agents are telling sellers they have a buyer for their home. Of course they do if the seller offers the home at a low ball price. Every real estate agent in Austin worthy of the label has a buyer looking for a “steal of a deal.” In fact, the “Big Brand” brokerage companies even have closed-door, in-house promotions of homes not even in the MLS yet. That’s great for them, but maybe not for the seller to whom they have an obligation to promote and protect the sellers’ best interests – or simply work to get the best business deal. They get all their buyers into contract before a property even hits the market, then said property goes into MLS and is immediately designated as a contingent sale or pending sale with absolutely no market exposure.
We Make Sure the Entire Market Sees Your Home
In my opinion, that kind of service is not worthy of an agent and it is neither fair nor honest to the seller. It is my position that when I take a listing, I need to use my very best efforts to help price, list, photograph, market, negotiate a contract and get that property closed in a timely fashion. I know that it is not in my client’s best interest for me to rush one of “my buyers” in for a quick close.
Tips for Selling Your Home in an Inventory Starved Real Estate Market
If you are considering selling your Austin home, here are 7 tips for selling in an inventory starved market to increase your net and keep more money in your hands.
- Make sure your home is show ready and has curb appeal
- Make sure your home is easy to show – limit restrictions to only those necessary
- Make sure your home is priced right for today’s Austin real estate market
- Make sure you get a net sheet so you know ALL the costs – avoid closing surprises
- Interview more than one agent to compare home marketing plans
- Request a minimum mandatory marketing time. In my opinion, a 5-7 day minimum marketing is mandatory to properly expose a home to the marketplace
- If you are being promised a buyer from the agent or their brokerage firm without even putting it in the MLS – DON’T WALK – RUN! You are leaving money on the table! Anyone can do that right now! Keep looking for that special agent who will do their very best to get your home on the open market and exposed to thousands – not a few hand-picked – potential buyers
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