What Sells a Home?

Do you read the Real Estate Plus section of the Sunday Contra Costa Times? I do, cover to cover, every week.

It’s all the same data as the MLS but presented as advertising and not just data, so it brings a different light to the market for me.
Did you see this ad?

“Help Me! Help Me! Near suicidal sellers scream.”
“Get us outa here!”

Desperate Realtor offers heaven, earth &
Iceland Volcano to find qualified buyer! Seller
throws arms & money in the air, will slash price,
pay buyer’s closing costs or buy down loan. Name
your price and call Bekins!

It goes on like this for several more lines (let me know if you want the whole thing – it’s pretty entertaining – I laughed out loud).

Do you think this type of ad will help sell the house? Maybe. I think what will more likely sell that house is a very serious price reduction.

Because the reality is, it’s (always) all about price. If a home is priced right – it will sell. If it’s overpriced for the market, it will sit.

Every other Monday as I prepare to write this newsletter, the first thing I do is sit at my computer and pull the market stats from the last two weeks: Active, Pending and Sold for Alamo, Diablo and Danville (should I add Lamorinda and Walnut Creek? Or San Ramon? Do you, my readers, want to see that? (Please let me know!), and the foreclosure data for those same markets. I take this opportunity to look at each property, check the sale or pending price and get my head around what’s selling and speculate on why.

Sometimes I’m off – like I can’t figure out why 150 Via Lucia hasn’t sold. But most of the time I’m not surprised to see the homes that have sold. Cole Court, one of my Top 10 picks last week, went pending this week with three offers – it was priced at $2,595,000 – high end for sure! But it sold, quickly, and for asking price.

So what’s the secret? There is no secret! You’ve all heard me say “if it’s a good house, priced right, it will sell”. That’s my line and I’m sticking to it.

Homes sell on price for sure, but it can be more than that. Some things you can do something about like, curb appeal, energy efficient upgrades and staging. Other things you don’t have any control over, like location, views and the mood of the prospective buyers.

Why hasn’t my home sold?
Sellers often don’t want to hear that their home is over priced – it’s a bitter pill to swallow. And it’s
possible, if the seller is patient enough, the right buyer will come along who is willing to pay that price. But more often than not, the seller ends up “chasing the market down” and had they priced it right from the beginning, it would have sold quickly, for the same price they ended up with.

If you are thinking about buying or selling, I’d love to help the effort. It’s my job, and I’ve been told I do it pretty well. The best approach is to get a candid evaluation of the home compared to the current market. I’ll be honest with you with respect to what your home is likely worth.

Now is the time! Currently in Danville and most of our core market areas (with the exception of Alamo, Blackhawk and Orinda) there is less than a three month supply of inventory. (Click here to download the current inventory stats spreadsheet.) What that means is that homes are selling fast, and if you have been on the fence, this may be a good time to jump off. Give me a call and I can help you decide if selling now is the right move for you.

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