We are now almost one and a half months into the new year. Despite the relentlessly cold weather we have been having, spring will indeed come and with it, an upturn in the real estate market as traditionally happens once the better weather arrives.
As previously reported, 2013 was the best year in six years in terms of the number of properties sold through our local MLS® system. Further, it was also a “record” year in terms of dollars sold with almost $625 million in properties changing hands via MLS® sales in our market area. With all this positive news, some sellers are probably asking themselves; “Why is my house (or condo) not selling?”
Earlier this week I completed an update course in order to renew my MVA (Market Value Appraiser) designation. This designation must be renewed every two years and it requires taking some additional courses relative to appraisal in order to do so. The course I completed was titled “Pricing to Sell” and it reinforced some of the various appraisal methods and steps taken in order to accurately value a property. As I worked my way through the materials it really struck me that a large percentage of REALTORS® are not aware of and or do not follow the necessary steps to establish accurate property valuations.
The #1 reason that properties do not sell is PRICE. I know this may seem like I am over simplifying things but let’s look at the follow scenarios:
1 - The home make simply be just over priced.
2 - The home may be priced too high for the neighbourhood. Having the most
expensive home in the area is not a good thing.
3 - The house may be dated and in need of renovation and upgrades.
4 - The house may be situated in an area that for some reason has become
undesirable ie: increased traffic or it has been re-zoned so as to allow
commercial uses etc.
5 - Market conditions have changed, perhaps interest rates have gone up or the
economy has slowed down.
Every one of these five reasons is in some way tied to price. The first two are obvious, but what about the other? If a home is dated and in need of some renovations, the price needs to reflect that. It needs to be priced in such a way that if the buyer is in fact interested in the property, they will want to purchase it at a price that will allow them to undertake and finance the required. Some buyers may just simply not want to get into a "project" and there is little you can do about that.
As for items #4 and #5, if a home is situated in an area where the land use and zoning have changed or say a new highway went in, you may need to price it lower in order to attract a buyer. If the economy has slowed or interest rates have increased etc. then again the price may have to be adjusted to account for those factors again in order to attract a buyer. One way or another all of these reasons tie back to the issue of price.
At the end of the day, maybe you made a bad choice in the REALTOR® you selected to list and market your property. That too may relate back to price. Did they prepare a comprehensive evaluation which they reviewed with you to arrive at the current market value of your home? Many times they don't instead just throwing out a price at which to list the property without doing any research or worse, they listed it at a price dictated by the seller.
As we approach spring and head into the prime selling season, I am going to spend some time talking about price as it is the most crucial component in getting your home or other property SOLD! In my next post I will review several ways in which a property evaluation can be prepared in order to arrive at a realistic market price. There is a difference between having your property "on the market" versus "in the market" and my desire is to show you how you arrive at the latter. Stay tuned.....