Tips for Selling in a Changing Market

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 17, 2006

No doubt the temperature of the housing market has cooled. Bidding wars, multiple offers over asking, forget about it. If you’re thinking it’s time to sell, Mark Nash, author of “1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home” and a working real estate broker in Chicago, has these words of advice.

-Make sure your properties are listed with a large national brokerage. You need all the Internet and print exposure you can get, locally, regionally, and nationally.

-Don’t list with a company that demands you pay a commission, even if you don’t sell. Apparently some listing agreements do require you to pay a commission either way. So read the contract carefully.

-Don’t list your property with a broker for longer than 120 days. Give them four months. “If they can’t do it in 120 days, chances are they can’t do it in 180 days,” Nash says.

-Demand that your broker does a virtual tour and a minimum of eight still photos on their Web site and on Realtor.com. “This is not negotiable,” Nash says. “The buyer of your property might be out-of-town, state or the country, think global.”

- When pricing your property, look at comparable sales from the last six months. “That’s exactly what the buyer’s mortgage lender will use,” Nash says.

-If you have multiple properties, sell those in the least desirable locations and models first.

-Pay attention to the absorption rate in your market. This is the number of homes for sale divided by the average number of sales in the most recent month. “Three months is fine, six months is okay, nine months is troublesome and twelve-plus, will not be pretty,” Nash says.

Reader Comments

Vijayanand

July 18, 2006 8:41 AM

How do you find the abosorption rate for your area. Where is the information on number of homes for sale and average sale per month available?

Douglas Aurand

July 18, 2006 9:49 AM

Thanx for suggesting a virtual tour but Realtor.com only accepts 6 still photos

Wes

July 18, 2006 11:55 AM

Funny they don't say anything about being downwardly aggressive on the asking price. Using comps from 6-months ago is not a viable option in today's market.

Jim Duncan

July 18, 2006 12:00 PM

Most are very good points, but with the rise in inventory and dramatic increase in DOM in my local market and nationwide, frequently 120 days is just not enough time to market a property effectively.

Regarding pricing, again, from a local perspective, pricing from even four months ago may not accurately reflect today's price points. Look at the past six months' comps, but do not depend on them.

Jim

Nick

July 18, 2006 12:00 PM

Hi Chris,

Most of the time I like your articles but I find this one all over the place. Who are you writing for? There are plenty of small places where this advice won't anything but add to more confusion. What about those small cities that don't attract much ational traffic? If they actually did everything you say it would serious slow down the market even more.

"Don't list with a company that demands you pay a commission, even if you don't sell". That's a double edge sword. Sure some agents really have exagerated but can you see the motivating factor decrease exponentially if no one sells exclusive rights to sell?

I am amazed you would come out with an article like that. It is narrow sighted at best and too broad to apply to most of the local markets in the country. Hope your next article take into consideration more market segments and not just the main generalities.

Thanks.

Cheri Ross

July 19, 2006 3:31 PM

I wish I had read some of this information before I signed with a realitor. I have had my home on the market for almost 6 months. When I signed I didn't realize that the contract was for 6 months. One thing that has really made me mad is that there has never once been an open house, which according to their marketing materials is something they are suppose to do. Is this a breach of contract? I will never sign with this company again and now that the home has been on the market for 6 months I can't really list it again for a while. I have also been given some bad advice from the realtor too in painting a couple of rooms and since I have done that I regret it because the room showed so much better with the way it was. I have had a lot of "showings" but I know of a few that no one shown up. So don't know how many actual showings there have been. Thanks for this input at least I can go forward and hopefully get better advice.

Larry Cragun

July 20, 2006 1:14 AM

Timely article. I referred to it on one I posted. You might want to elaborate on the absorption rate thing so the common seller understands your point.

nc realtor

July 22, 2006 10:07 PM

The suggestion about demanding the realtor post pictures on the Internet is right on target. The Internet is THE sales tool. I cannot imgine a realtor failing to put pictures of the property on the web.

Laura B.

July 24, 2006 2:25 AM

Great advice! Make sure your Real Estate Agent works his or her butt off for you. There are WAY too many lazy ones out there who will take your listing and run.
http://www.historiccentralphoenix.com

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About

BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.

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