Back in the days before the internet in real estate, if you wanted to sell your home fast, you likely were going to leave money on the table.
Marketing methods in the past took many months to engage (from planning to production to publication) that a home seller seeking a speedy sale needed to cut her price so severely that price alone would attract a buyer from the local community. "Hey, did you hear Mary is only asking $165,000 for her great mid-town home?" Word of mouth would find the ears of somebody looking for a deal.
But times change.
Today, we know that the buyer most likely to pay top dollar for a home is already educated on home values in the neighborhood, and that means we can sell a house fast and fetch top dollar for it all at the same time.
Marketing A Home To Sell It Fast
When we look back at the work required to bring a home to market before the digital age, it is amazing we ever got it all done.
Younger real estate agents probably have no respect for having to wait for things like photos to develop, or the publication schedule for the monthly real estate magazines. Do you remember when they came out with one-hour developing so that we could have our pictures the same day that we shot them? More than one of us could hustle a new listing to a magazine by taking pictures on the date of the deadline.
But this has all changed.
The internet has made publication easy and we can go live world-wide in less than a day. So our real estate marketing plan, which used to be heavily influenced by timelines and schedules that were created by our external environment, is now focused on the best strategy and tactics to deliver optimal results for the home seller.
How Long Does It Take To Sell A Home?
We tell the majority of our home sellers that it only takes 4 to 14 days to sell a home in Tallahassee. With the rare exception for homes that must be marketed in a low-liquidity environment, homes that take longer than 4 to 14 days will likely yield less money for the home seller than a home sold within the proper time frame.
Before we get into the "why" of this, take a look at the current inventory of homes listed for sale in Tallahassee. The following graph shows all active listings arranged by the date that their current agent placed the home for sale in the Tallahassee MLS.
There is a home on the market that was listed with the current agent in October 2009 (that's the "1" on the far left of the graph). There are 14 homes on the market that were listed with their current agents in July of 2013. There are even 32 homes on the market today that were listed in July of last year. So you might wonder why there are so many homes listed for sale for more than 4 to 14 days (if that is really how long it takes to sell a home).
I can explain this with a two-step process. First, we will address why homes in a market with ample liquidity should sell within the first two weeks, and then we will review reasons why this does not occur for most home sellers.
Why Homes Should Sell Within Two Weeks
I have produced numerous articles on how to sell a home fast, and I encourage you to read them if you would like plenty of evidence and experiences to support a home sale within 4 to 14 days. The following list of articles is an excellent resource list for people who want to sell a home fast:
- How To Sell Your Home In 4 To 14 Days
- Is There A Stalker Looking At Homes In Your Neighborhood?
- How To Sell Your Home Even If Your Neighbors Are Giving Theirs Away
- Why Real Estate Is Always A Sellers' Market
- Selling A Home On The Internet
- How To Sell A Luxury Home Fast (Without Giving It Away)
- How To Sell A Home Today (Video)
- This Listing Agent Oversight Is Costing Home Sellers A Lot Of Money
- Does It Take A Realtor To Sell A House?
- The Definitive Resource On How To Sell A House
The key you will discover is that the best buyer for your home is already waiting for it to hit the market. She has been driving your neighborhood every day, looking at homes that have hit the market. It is likely that she low-balled a home and lost it to another buyer in the past, thus she won't allow that to happen again. It is CRITICAL that you position your home so that this buyer is willing to do whatever it takes to get your home.
If you price your home too high, she will know that you are not motivated and will not sell your home at a reasonable price. If you price it too low, you stand a chance of having it sold below it's highest market value. But if you price it exactly right, you will lure this buyer into your trap.
She will bid full price or higher in the fear of losing your home, and she will likely have competition from other buyers. Successful negotiation is all about positioning, and a home seller starts the positioning game with the initial asking price.
Reasons Why Homes Do Not Sell Right Away
The graph above shows that many (many) homes do not sell right away. Some fail to sell completely.
When the market was on fire, some homes did not sell right away, some failed to sell at all.
When the market tanked, some homes did not sell right away, some failed to sell at all.
You can sell your home in 4 to 14 days, and current market conditions only matter when the liquidity for your home moves to an extreme low. If there are simply no buyers for your home (for example, $5M homes in Tallahassee have zero liquidity, $2M homes have near zero liquidity, $1M homes will sell a handful or so each year).
So assuming you own a home worth less than $2M in Tallahassee, you can sell your home within a predictable time frame. If your home is worth less than $500K, there is no reason why you shouldn't choose to sell it fast and get the most money possible for it.
Homes with ample liquidity that fail to sell occur because the home seller has hired the wrong real estate company and/or is not following their advice on positioning. The wrong real estate company will not have the proper marketing reach on the internet to achieve a 95% market saturation within 4 days, but the wrong initial asking price will make the marketing efforts futile.
If you would like to know more about selling a home fast, for the highest money possible in today's real estate market, simply drop me a note and my office will be in touch to schedule a meeting right away.
Joe Manausa, MBA is a 27 year veteran of real estate brokerage in Tallahassee, Florida and has owned and managed his own company since 1992. He is a daily blogger with content that focuses on real estate analytics and providing his clients with a tactical advantage in today's challenging market.