Brokers set up searches in the Multiple Listing Service for their clients, so that when a home comes on the market that meets their buyer’s criteria, it gets sent to the buyer automatically. So when your home is activated in the MLS, it will be emailed to hundreds of potential buyers all at the same time. Some of these buyers just started looking, so even if they see and love your home, they are not ready to make a decision. They need to see more homes first, and might not have their financing figured out. The majority of the buyers, though, have been looking for a while and are ready to buy immediately, when they find the right home. These buyers are the key to success, and you have one chance at them. They will see the listing and look at the pictures and the price, and decide whether or not to schedule a showing to see your home. If they decide “no”, they will never see your home again. If they decide to come see your home, they will decide to either buy it, or not. If they decide “no”, they will never see your home again. If you do not sell your home to one of these ready-to-buy buyers, you may be in for a long wait, because every buyer who sees your home from then on will be a “new buyer” who is not ready to buy yet.
If your home is prepared right, priced right, and marketed right, you should be able to sell your home quickly, in any market, to one of these “ready-to-buy” buyers in less than 30 days. And the faster you sell your home the better price you will get. Here is why: if a buyer walks into your home and falls in love, and the home has been on the market only a few days, they will think, “If we love it, someone else will love it too. We can’t let someone else get it first. So let’s make an offer today, and let’s make it close to asking price. We are not going to let a few thousand dollars get between us and our new home.”
After your home has been on the market 30 days, this sense of urgency among buyers is gone. Buyers start saying “Hmm, if this home is so great, why hasn’t anyone else bought it yet? I wonder what’s wrong with it?” Or, “We like it, but it’s been here this long already. It’ll be here for a while longer. Let’s keep looking in case we find something better.” Not good for you.
If you over-price your home you will get less in the end, because buyers will ignore it until you fix the price, and by then you will have missed all the “ready-to-buy” buyers. Do not have the attitude of “I’ll wait for my price”. The longer your home sits, the lower it will go. After 90 days buyers will think you are desperate, and they will start to “low-ball” you.
Selling a home is a pain. But, you have the choice of: (1) experiencing that pain, at the beginning, for the short amount of time required to get your home ready the right way, or (2) trying to avoid pain at the beginning, and experiencing pain for six months (or more) of price reductions and showings. Constantly having your home ready for showings is stressful. Especially if you have kids or pets.
You have one chance to get the best price in the shortest amount of time. Do the work, be realistic, and get it over with.