Tune in to your market before setting price

You may know your own mind when you decide to sell your home, but do you know your own market?

“One thing that is absolutely certain in real estate is that nothing stays the same,” says Tjaart van der Walt, CEO of the RealNet estate agency group. “When one part of the country booms, another could quite well be losing population and real estate demand. And even very popular suburbs can suddenly be perceived as too pricey, causing buyers to focus their attention on more affordable areas that then become revitalized and rejuvenated in their turn.

“So what is up may go down and what is down may go up and no matter what the market conditions were when you bought your property, they are very unlikely to be the same when you sell.”

However, he says, even if your local market is currently depressed, there will be a buyer for your home – provided that it is presented and priced right. “Now everyone knows that your best move in any market is to keep your home good condition, but getting the asking price just right for current conditions is much more difficult, and this is where your estate agent comes in.

“A good agent will quickly be able to give you all the comparative information you need - specific to your area - as regards which homes have recently been sold, how much they sold for, how quickly they sold and most important, what the difference was between the original asking price and the eventual selling price.

“The chances are very good that the ones with the biggest price drops also took the longest to sell, and that you will be able to avoid such delays if you immediately pitch your asking price at the average selling price of the homes which sold fastest.”

The latest statistics from First National Bank, says Van der Walt, show that most sellers are still seriously out of touch with their local real estate markets, with 80% having to drop their asking price by an average of 12% in order to achieve a sale.

“It also takes much more time to negotiate back and forth and achieve sales in such circumstances, and sellers who want fast results are really well advised to study their own markets carefully and set asking prices at the outset that are in tune with current local conditions.”

Article by: www.realnet.co.za