5 Steps Smart Sellers Take to Generate Multiple Offers
Home sales (and values) have been steady for the last few years in Sudbury; thanks to low-interest rates, freer lending standards and a positive overall economy. Sellers everywhere are breathing a giant, collective sigh of relief! But for all of the buyer activity, it seems like most houses sit on one end of two extremes: they either get snatched up the moment they hit the market (with multiple offers and an above-asking sale price) or seem to languish on the market without an offer in sight.
All sellers aspire to be on the multiple-offer end of the spectrum. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make that happen. Here are five tips to move your listing into the multiple offers zone.
1. Price it aggressively.
Homes that get multiple offers are often sold in an "auction" atmosphere. People looking at a listing will be comparing it to others on the market, and other homes they may have missed out on in the past. If you are listing the home competitive with what else is currently on the market, and better value than the competition, you are putting yourself in great shape to get some instant activity. Priced competitive doesn’t necessarily mean priced low as well, it may mean that you’ve taken all steps necessary to have your home show fantastic to potential buyers, so your perceived value compared to your competition will be much more.
In real estate, more showings are an inescapable prerequisite to more offers.
This doesn't mean you have to give away the farm, just that sellers who get multiple offers price their properties from a retailer's or auctioneer's perspective. Work with your agent through the comparable sales data – as recent and as comparable as possible – and then do your best to list your home as great value, not at a slight premium, compared to the recent neighbourhood sales. That will get buyers' attention.
2. Give buyers and brokers ample access.
Put yourself in your target buyer's shoes. Say there are 20 homes on the market which meet their specifications, in terms of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, price range and location. And 12 of those top the list. But they only have time to see 6 today. If the buyer's broker can't get into your house today, because you have so many restrictions around showing it, your home could very well miss out on a showing with this qualified, motivated buyer.
It might seem overly simple, but if you want multiple offers, it behooves you to make sure your home is available to be shown today. Every day that it is on the market. Inconvenient? Yes. Frustrating? Sometimes. A challenge to keep the place clean at all times? Assuredly. But consider your priorities and what is at stake. If getting top dollar for your home is at the top of your priority list, then you have to be ready and willing to deal with the inconvenience involved in churning up multiple offers and getting your home sold.
3. Make it beautiful.
Really, really beautiful. The homes that get multiple offers are those with look, feel and function that can be described in one word: covetable. You're not trying to create a situation in which your home barely edges out the listing down the street in the hearts and minds of your target buyer. If you want multiple offers, you need multiple buyers to fall deeply in love with your home – enough to bid above the listing price, and enough to compete with others for it.
To generate multiple offers, prepare your home by ensuring it is: immaculately cleaned from the inside out – closets, basements, garages and crawl spaces included, de-cluttered and staged to the nines (we love helping you with this) – this includes fresh paint, carpet and other things that need replacing in perfect working order – make sure things like doors, windows and systems buyers test (e.g., stoves, faucets, heating and air conditioning) are not creaky, wonky, leaky or otherwise dysfunctional.
If you've done any major home improvements or replaced any appliances or systems lately, market that! Show off how immaculate, adorable and move-in ready your home is now – and tout its great working condition for the long run.
4. Expose it to the market.
An offer the very first day your home goes on the market may sound like a dream come true. But it might also incur opportunity costs. See, many buyers can't get out to see homes that quickly – some are unable to house hunt except on the weekends. Listing agents who get multiple offers often plan from the start to expose the home to the market long enough for target buyers to see it and get their offers on the table.
Some agents expressly include an open house and offer review dates in the timeline of the listing. It's not uncommon to see a listing come on the market with a plan to expose it to the market for a full week before reviewing any offers. Our Realtors® with Lake City Realty are experts at negotiating and can provide you with great insight as to if your home should be holding off offers. Have this conversation with your Lake City Realtor® before your home hits the market.
Setting – and publishing – a timeline for market exposure and offers lets buyers know that they will be able to get to the property and get their offers considered, while still creating a sense of urgency.
5. Be ready to course correct.
Is your home one of the houses that have been sitting on the market for months without any action? Do not fret – there might still be hope. In real estate, there's something insiders call the Sweet Spot Phenomenon, where an overpriced home sits on the market for months with no bites, sometimes even through multiple price reductions. Finally, the seller lowers the price to the 'sweet spot,' and it generates multiple offers and sells for more than the final list price.
Yes – there are listings whose sellers net more than they expected because they were willing to revise the list price downward in response to market feedback (i.e., no showings, no offers or lowball offers).
If your home has been lagging on the market, talk with your Lake City listing Realtor® about what sort of price reduction strategy is likely to maximize your net sale price. Hint: many more buyers are attracted by chunky reductions or reductions below a common online search price point limit than by tiny, incremental reductions.
For example, you might draw more buyers, and ultimately more money, with a price reduction from $499,000 to $474,000 than with a series of small reductions from $499,000 to $479,000, because there is a set of buyers who may be cutting their search off at $475,000 – so a price cut below that point will expose your home to a whole new group of prospects.