One of the biggest home selling myths is if a seller asks a little more for a home than it is worth they will get more for it. If the home is worth 250K we will ask 285K and just let the buyers negotiate it down to 285K. They have it all planned out in their minds how much the buyer will offer and how they will counter and how they will meet halfway which is at the seller’s true bottom line of $250k. It could probably work that way but it never does.
It doesn’t work that way. Sure it is possible that someone will eventually make an offer but the home will have to be on the market for awhile before that happens. The longer a home is on the market the less it will sell for even in a sellers market. Pricing a home correctly can result in a full priced offer the week the home is on the market or even multiple offers that at or over the asking price.
Home sellers will get the most for their home if they price it correctly and it really is true that pricing a home properly is more of an art than a science. It is also true that buyers who are interested in buying or home will almost never behave in a predictable way so that you can counter their counter offer and meet them halfway to get the sale price you were hoping for.
Local Market Conditions & home prices
As someone who survived the crash of the housing market and the great recession as a Realtor®, I have to say that the housing market has come a long way since 2009-2011. There are far fewer foreclosures and home prices have rebounded a bit, however the road to housing recovery has been bumpy. The number of home sales has been remaining fairly low. I have home buyers who are either struggling to find affordable homes or struggling to find the right home in a housing market where there are far too few choices.
St. Paul home sales
The data used to make the chart comes from the NorthstarMLS. The data is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. At the same time that the number of home sales remains somewhat stagnant the number of real estate agents continues to grow.
I have to smile when I read about new and innovative real estate companies. Part of what makes them innovative is their office space. My office is at CoCo in downtown St. Paul. CoCo is a co-working or collaborative work space and it is definitely loft style. I guess that makes my company more innovative than most.
Actually I rarely meet with clients in my office and I rarely work there. There are many disadvantages to working in an office. The real estate that I sell is scattered all over town. The part of my job that most resembles “office work” can be done anywhere that there is WiFi or is in range of the two G4 LTE data plans that I have.
Office have been around for centuries. There isn’t anything new or innovative about having an office or even an office with an open floor plan. Most real estate clients never get to even see the fancy office spaces and helping someone buy or sell a home today does not require office space.
Mortgage & Finance
The first step in the home buying process isn’t looking for homes that are for sale. Getting pre-approved by a lender is the first step in the process. Offers on homes for sale need to include some kind of a letter indicating that the potential buyer might qualify for financing.
Like most real estate agents I can not afford to spend a lot of time helping people find a home if they can not buy one. I only get paid after a successful closing of a home sale.
Getting pre-approved also helps buyers determine which price range they want to be in. Sometimes people come to me and tell me they can spend X amount a month on house payments. I am usually able to do the backwards math that I need to do to figure out what price range we need to look in. I have not seen any houses with a listing price of X amount a month.
There is more than just a house payment that needs to be factored in. There are property taxes and homeowner’s insurance and additional costs like heating, cooling, electric, garbage pick-up, and water.
Before meeting with a lender I always suggest coming up with a monthly payment amount that seems comfortable and reasonable. In most cases people are pre-approved for more than they want to spend.
Making payments on anything can be a stressor. Lower monthly expenses can feel liberating and free up more money for opportunities and experiences.
First Time Home Buyers
The older a home is the more likely it is that someone died in the home. I know my mother in law died at home as did my next door neighbor. I would never ask one of my clients if someone died in the home.
Here is what it says on the Minnesota sellers disclosure:
No Duty to Disclose:
390. A. There is no duty to disclose the fact that the property 391. (1) is or was occupied by an owner or occupant who is or was suspected to be infected with Human 392. Immunodeficiency Virus or diagnosed with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; 393. (2) was the site of a suicide, accidental death, natural death or perceived paranormal activity; or 394. (3) is located in a neighborhood containing any adult family home, community-based residential facility or 395. nursing home.
Sellers do have to disclose the presence of human remains on the property.
It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I usually get to the Minnesota State Fair on opening day but that was yesterday and I did not get a chance to go. There are a lot of people who tell me that they don’t go to the fair. I don’t get it.
Have a great weekend!