Patience and Great Marketing in the “slow” Times

First off – please note the “” around the word “slow.” This is important. When dealing with…well…anything, it is crucial to know that all viewpoints are relative. If we are comparing the current market to the last 5 years, sure, it’s “slow.” But compare it to the Depression (extreme, I know), we are still in really good shape. Don’t believe me? Check out Jay’s chart on 30 year mortgage rates – pay particular attention to the late 70’s & earlier 80’s.

However, there is no denying that homes for sale in the Richmond Hill area are numerous. Clearly we have more sellers than buyers. There are nearly 500 homes on the market in Bryan County. This is a substantial amount when coupled with some other facts

  • Our population is right around 25,000
  • There have been 329 single family homes sold in the last 6 months
  • The average time from list to close for these homes is almost 5 months

Should sellers be concerned? Sure.  Sellers should always be concerned – as should buyers. As I have said many times before, buying and selling a home is no small thing. But, it should also be noted that real estate is also an industry. And, as all industries do, it goes through cycles. This means that professionals must adjust their thinking, planning, and marketing to adjust to these changes.

Kris Berg did a fantastic job is summing up what it takes to perform in the current “slow” market.

What does it take for an agent to successfully represent a seller today? Hard work, time (a lot), money (a boatload), and patience. 

What do this mean for you, the seller?

  • Grabbing the closest agent out of the phone book may not be your best bet. Interview your prospective agents. Talk to more than one. Make an informed decision.
  • Not all marketing plans are the same. Investigate different offerings. Which ones address the largest markets and offer the best chance for success? Does it seem special? Does it have strategies in place to combat high competition?
  • Understand the market from the buyers perspective, but don’t give away the farm. It is true that mortgage rates are on the rise and the criteria to qualify for a home loan is getting tighter. The surplus of inventory should make for a “buyers market.” However, the current adjustments in the mortgage industry is cancelling a bit of that out. This means that an overpriced home for sale is going to remain for sale. Fairly priced homes are going to fare better.
  • Realize that your neighbor’s friend’s brother who sold his property last week for a huge profit may not be the whole story. Lots of things can happen to lots of different people.  This doesn’t make it likely, and it doesn’t provide any good indicator as to whether or not it will happen to you – especially if you factor in exaggerations, misunderstandings, and special circumstances.
  • If you are not comfortable with the way things are going, pick up the phone. Your agent should be eager to discuss your concerns and brainstorm ways to work them out. You are not “being a bother.” This is my job. It is my purpose in the transaction to ensure that you are taken care of – this does not include you being uncomfortable. You have entrusted me to do a job and are paying my wage – put me to work.

A skilled professional will change and adjust with the market – not bail out and run for the hills. And, since I can’t put it any better – here’s Kris again.

Stop seeing yourself as a salesperson, know your market, check your self-doubt at the door, and do what you were hired to do – Advise and represent your client and assist them in achieving the best price the market, not you, will allow.

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