Where have all the homes disappeared to?
Home sales have been strong on the Oregon Coast and nationwide thanks to low interest rates, freer lending standards & a drop in the foreclosure rate. But for all of the buyer activity, it seems like many properties sit on one end of two extremes: Either they get snatched up soon after they hit the market (sometimes with multiple offers) or they languish on the market without an offer in sight.
Most sellers would prefer to be on the fast sale/multiple-offer end of the spectrum. Fortunately, there are 5 steps you can take:
#1 Smart Pricing
A fair starting price gets people excited about the possibility of buying a beach home, whether they're bidding on a vintage vase on eBay or on your home. And when it comes to your house, it's that same, fair price-seeking excitement that causes more buyers to view your home. (More showings = More offers) Today's buyers are savvy shoppers and know when homes are priced right or over-priced.
Work closely with your realtor and paying attention to what homes like yours are actually selling for versus what they are listed at. (This doesn't mean you have to give away the farm...) Then do your best to list your home similarly and not at even a slight premium, compared to the recent neighborhood sales. That will get buyers' attention.
#2 Make it Easy to Show
Put yourself in your target buyer's shoes. Say there are 10 homes on the coast which meet their specs. Likely 1 to 3 of those are at the top of their wish list. But they only on the coast for a few days ( as many buyers are ) - If the broker can't get into your house today, because you have several 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 offers, it is worth your time to make sure your home is available to be shown at a moments notice. Every day that it is on the market. Inconvenient? Yes. Trying? At times. A challenge to keep the place show ready at all times? Assuredly. Then consider your priorities and what is at stake. If getting your home sold is at the top of your to do list, then you have to be willing to make some sacrifices in order to get sold.
#3. Make it Beautiful
Drop dead beautiful. The homes that get fast offers are those with look, feel and function that can be described in one word: Desirable You're not trying to create a situation in which your home barely edges out the listing down the street. You want buyers to fall deeply in love with your home – perhaps enough to bid over the listing price, and enough to compete with others for it.
Prepare your home by ensuring it is: immaculately cleaned from the inside out – this can include fresh paint, flooring and other things that need repair or replacing that are not in perfect working order. On the coast where dampness can lead to musty odors in vacation homes or moss can make walkways and decks slippery and appear old along with the siding - Leave heat on and power wash exterior surfaces.
If you've done any major home improvements or replaced any appliances or systems lately, let's market that! Show off how turn key your home is – and tout its great working condition for the long haul.
4. Expose it to Buyers
An offer the very first day your home goes on the MLS may sound like your dream come true and it does happen. However, with the Central Coast being largely a secondary home market with much appeal to out of area buyers - keep in mind they rarely can get here to see homes the same day they come on the market and have to plan somewhat in advance to shop for their new beach house. Work with a company like JKI Realty who offers expansive internet exposure and is competent and familiar with working with out of area buyers to get your home listed and sold.
5. Be Ready to Course Correct
Is your home one of the properties that has been sitting on the market for months with no or low offers? Don't get too disappointed – there is always hope in a secondary coastal market. 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 perhaps more than the final list price.
If your home has been chilling on the coastal market, chat with your broker 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.
You might find more buyers, and ultimately make more money, with a price reduction from $399,000 to $374,000 than with a series of small reductions from $399,000 to $389,000 to $379,000, because there is a set of buyers who may be cutting their search off at $375,000 – so a price cut below that point will expose your home to a whole new group of buyers who want to consider your home and make an offer!