This week our listings saw an average of 1.4 showings each. Activity continues at a slow pace likely due to summer vacations. Earlier in the week, I attended a two day meeting with the local Realtor association’s leadership to plan for the coming year. This particular group is made up of real estate professionals in a multitude of roles including top producing agents and managing brokers from both large and small firms. The consensus is clear across the board with regard to the state of our local market. The Charlotte market is fundamentally stable and not expected to decline as other markets across the nation. However, property has been very slow to sell due to buyer fears over the national economy. Everyone agrees that we are experiencing a perfect buying opportunity with bountiful deals available and low interest rates.
The slowdown in both the national and local markets is not news to anyone. That includes the real estate buying public. These buyers are fully aware that we are experiencing a strong buyers market and they expect to get a “deal” on the home they choose to buy. Sellers must seek to understand their prospective buyers mindset and price accordingly.
In my experience as a Realtor, I’ve been fortunate to represent all types of sellers from the owner-occupied home seller to corporate sellers. The major difference between an individual homeowner and a corporate seller is the emotion involved in the selling process. I like to use corporate sellers as a model for pricing homes to sell because they have completely removed all emotion from the selling process. Corporate sellers such as relocation and asset management (foreclosure) companies handle hundreds of listings in a specific market at any given time. Their approach to selling homes is completely systematic and the individual seller can learn alot from them.
Typically a corporate seller is looking to get the most money possible (fair market value) within 60-90 days. They will start out on day one with a price that reflects what appears to be fair market value based on comparable sales and the state of the market. Every 30-60 days, the asset managers will review market data, traffic and offers to date, and then make incremental price adjustments as needed (usually about 2-3%). Sometimes it can take 5 or more price reductions before the property actually sells, but the system works. I’ve been involved in selling over 100 corporate homes for a variety of clients and can attest that these homes ALWAYS sell.
To be clear, corporate sellers have no other options but to sell and there are times when they even take a loss. An individual home seller may have other options when the price gets to a point that just won’t work for their finances. In this case, a homeowner can choose to rent the home or simply pull it from the market until conditions improve. Corporate sellers do not have that luxury; they must sell.
Individuals can learn a lot from the strictly business-like approach of these corporate clients. If you find yourself in a situation where you must sell, there is a lot to learn from them. Review the facts, be objective, and act accordingly. Follow their lead and your home WILL sell in any market.