Over the past 3 decades, I’ve bought and sold a fair amount of real estate both as an investor for my own account and as an agent representing clients. Along the way I’ve learned the hard way – through experience – several simple truths about real estate. I wish I had learned these truisms earlier and accepted them sooner; doing so would have saved me a container ship full of frustration and disappointment. Allow me to share a few with you now in hopes you might put these ideas to good use.
#1: It Doesn’t Matter What Your Neighbor’s Home Sold For
It matters not one little bit what your neighbor’s home sold for or what your own home was appraised in the past. No, it doesn’t. Like it or not. Home values are in a dynamic constant state of change. They ebb and flow without warning; often without apparent reason. What your home was worth 1 month, 1 year or 5 years ago is irrelevant. No disrespect, but get over it.
#2: Your Home is Only Worth What a Buyer Will Pay For It
Your home is worth what a “ready, willing and able” will pay for it today. What that buyer would have paid 1 month, 1 year or 5 years ago is again irrelevant. In today’s market, “able” is the constraining factor. Ask a lender why. Your real estate agent can’t tell you what your home is worth either. Your agent can give you an approximation of what your home may sell for in this market at this time. Zillow and other automated valuation models (AVMs) certainly can’t tell you what a home is worth and they readily admit so. Go take a look at how Zillow itself defines its estimation.
The fact of the matter is that unless you find a buyer ready to act, willing to accept your home and able to buy – at the price they deem appropriate – it’s not going to sell. In simple terms, it doesn’t matter what you or your family or your friends think your home is worth; it certainly doesn’t matter what you wish your home was worth; and it doesn’t matter what you need to get out of your home to go to your next place. The only things that do matter are what a buyer thinks its worth and whether the lender will approve the buyer’s loan for the needed amount.
#3: You Won’t Get a Windfall If You Maintain Your Home
Your home repairs – the stuff you fixed – will not increase your home’s value. The money spent on maintaining your home adds about nothing to the home’s value, although maintenance will help your home’s value from decreasing further due to deferred maintenance.
#4: Want an Offer? Send Your Realtor on Vacation
The fastest way to find the home you have been looking for or getting an offer on your home is have your agent go on vacation…the further the better. Chances are the best opportunity will suddenly appear within hours of your agent leaving town. Agents will tell you that almost as soon as they go to a trade show, educational conference or on vacation, business invariably perks up. If you are anxious to buy or desperate to sell, send your agent out of town and watch how the activity increases and your chances for success improve dramatically.
#5: A Win-Win is About Getting What You Need
It’s all about motivation. Lawyers have an expression that goes something like this: “the best negotiation ends when both parties unhappily agree to settle.” Why you ask? Both parties end up with what they need not necessarily what they wanted or hoped for. That’s “win-win.” It’s not about winning the lottery or taking advantage of the other guy; it’s about accepting what you need so you can move your life to a better place.
This Doesn’t Mean Give Your House Away!
Being realistic does not mean give you house away for 50 cents on the dollar. It means evaluate your home like a buyer will. With our local market knowledge, we can help you realistically evaluate the market, strategically price your home and aggressively market your home to get you the most money in the shortest time.
Need to Sell Your Home for Top Dollar?
Selling your home does not have to be an arduous task and there is light at the end of the tunnel. We’ll professionally market your home to attract the most number of potential buyers possible. Check out our Austin Home Sellers section to learn more about the best home selling system in Austin. If you think it might be time to discuss selling your home, call us at (512) 827-8323 or email us at info@11OaksRealty.com to schedule a no obligation consultation.
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