Suggestions for Promoting Your Residence In the course of the Sellers Market

The First Coast real estate market is currently heavily favoring sellers, but people listing homes should be careful and strategic.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – First Coast News published several articles in the past few weeks about the plight of those hoping to buy a home and struggling to compete in a property market that is currently inundated with cash offers from outsiders.

“Homes will be off the market in ten days, 21 days faster than a year ago,” said Amanda Pendleton, home trends expert at Zillow. “And that is actually four days faster than the national median. And roughly every sixth house sells above list price. “

That seems to confirm what a bonanza the local market is for people selling, but that doesn’t mean they can’t or shouldn’t be careful. Pendleton was among several experts who provided insights that may benefit those listing their homes.

First, she said, start preparing early.

“Even in a really hot market, we know that the greatest regret is that sellers have not given themselves enough time to prepare their homes for sale,” said Pendleton. “We know that most sellers make two improvements before listing their home. Painting and landscaping are the two most common. “

After all, sellers may find it easy to get multiple quotes quickly, but they are also competing with one another. Pendleton’s second piece of advice was do not ignore the “online appeal”.

“The vast majority of buyers are starting their home searches online right now. So make sure you or your agent invest in high resolution photography, maybe even videography and drone photography, “Pendleton said.” And Make Sure You Have a 3-D Virtual Home Tour. 3-D Virtual Home Tours offer about 30% more views and savings than homes without. “

Her third suggestion was to consider a high-tech alternative to the traditional brokerage route, using her own firm as an example.

“You don’t have to do open houses, no demonstrations, you don’t have to make repairs,” Pendleton said. “You set the deadline and sell directly to a company like Zillow. This is very helpful because you can have a cash offer in hand from a buyer like Zillow and then take it to the home you want to buy and forego your sales quotas. This gives you, the buyer, a head start in this type of market and you know you are getting a fair price. “

For those who prefer a more conventional approach, NuVenture Financial Group’s financial planner Bob Horne urged sellers not to do this on their own.

“One of my big suggestions is to really consider speaking to a real estate agent,” said Horne, “not just for marketing reasons to get the word out … but also from a legal standpoint with the required documentation. ”

Another advantage is the setting of a realistic price.

“[A realtor will] know how to value a home specifically in the neighborhood you are in […] sell in. “Horne explained.

With that in mind, realtor Berta Odom of Re / Max 100 Realty in St. Augustine warned sellers to rate their homes accordingly.

Even in current market conditions, Odom, President of St. Augustine and St. Johns County Realtors Board, cautioned that a house at an unreasonable price can move relatively slowly.

“If [sellers] expect it to go through the market, then they don’t have to rate it through the market, ”she said.

Horne reflected on the subject of improvements prior to listing and pointed out another benefit that brokers can offer.

“They can answer these questions and tell yourself, ‘Yes, you should’ or ‘No, you shouldn’t’ to help you put the minimal effort or money into your home to do that Get maximum value out of it, ”said Horne.

Horne reiterated Pendleton’s advice to use high quality images in online listings.

“Because some of these money buyers come from overseas and literally buy these houses unseen,” Horne explained.

Industry professionals say they are seeing cases of homeowners who had no plans to suddenly move who were influenced by the potential for hefty profits. However, they point out a common danger that can cause any daydream to fail.

“I’m not sure if they think about where to stay after that,” said board-certified real estate attorney Zach Roth of Ansbacher Law in Jacksonville. “So if you don’t have to go somewhere, you’re not really making money by selling high but buying high.”

“You must have a plan B,” Pendleton agreed. “You have to say, ‘Okay, if I can sell my house but can’t buy my next house, where do I go? Can I rent a place? Do I want to move twice? ‘”

One final piece of advice Horne gave is that sellers ensure that their bidders, whether funded or cash, really have the funds to make a purchase.

“You need to make sure you get a pre-approval letter,” he said in cases where buyers are mortgaging the purchase. “Or if it’s a cash buyer who isn’t concerned about interest rates, then he’ll buy your house for cash … I would definitely encourage you to make sure you do [the buyer] has proof of money and makes sure you don’t waste your time. “

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