As the days become warmer, we are seeing more and more listings hitting the market! Nick gives tips for agents to help their listings stand out from the competition. He also shares a few things sellers can do to maximize their home’s presence and get it sold!
As we hit the height of the spring market in Boston, what are you seeing right now with listing activity in different neighborhoods?
We are certainly feeling an uptick in the number of available listings vs. this time last year. Our agents have been able to put a significant number of deals together for buyers who were having a tough time finding what they were looking for over the past 6 to 12 months. We still haven’t transitioned into a buyer’s market (6+ months of inventory) but we are heading towards a neutral market (3-6 months of inventory) in most neighborhoods around Boston. This shift was expected and will allow more transactions to happen.
What advice do you have for agents who have listings right now to help them really stand out from the competition?
Agents who have only been in the business for 5-7 years are going to be a bit surprised with what it really takes to sell real estate in a rising inventory environment. Many don’t know what it really takes to make a property stand out because they are used to listings selling during the first open house. Here are a few suggestions I have to help their chances of getting a great offer!
Price it Correctly - This one may seem obvious but, over the past few years, pricing a home accurately was less of a concern for some agents than it should have been because the market was so strong that they could afford to misprice it and still receive offers. Now, with rising competition, agents really need to do their research and explain to their sellers why a property should be priced a certain way. An aggressive listing price can lead to more days on market which often leads to a lower sales price.
Stage the Property - This is, in my opinion, one of the best ways of getting a property to sell. The benefits of staging a property are twofold; it helps attract people to the property by creating much more attractive marketing pieces (websites, brochures, etc.) as well as eliminates distractions during physical showings of the property. There is a reason why the “model” home in a new development always sells first. (Check out an article about one of our amazing staging success stories!)
- Get Other Agents Excited - While we all love to use listings to try to find direct buyers, the majority of transactions will involve another agent’s client as the buyer. I suggest focusing some effort on where you are most likely to find the buyer and engaging with the agent community to get them excited about your listing. One was to do this is through broker events such as broker open houses, broker lunches, etc. Another idea is to create unbranded versions of your marketing that agents would be comfortable sending directly to their clients. The easier you can make it for other agents to do business with you, the more likely they are to make sure their clients get into your properties.
For sellers, what are 3 tips that can help them maximize their home’s potential in the market?
While it is our job as an agent to sell the property, a seller can certainly do a few things in conjunction with our efforts to give themselves the best chance of selling. Here are my top 3 suggestions:
Declutter/De-Personalize - This can be one of the more difficult things to do when getting a home ready to sell and many agents are afraid to even bring it up to a seller because of the emotions attached to it. However, it is also one of the most important things to complete prior to listing a property for sale. The goal of doing this is to create a few distractions as possible for a buyer. If all they see when they walk in is your figurine collection or little Jimmy’s 25 tee ball trophies, they will never be able to visualize themselves living there. This is a great opportunity to go through your things, throw out what isn’t needed, and pre-pack a lot of personal or decorative items that you might love but could be a distraction to others.
Paint - Painting the exterior and/or interior of your home is one of the quickest and least expensive ways to position your home to sell. I recommend choosing a neutral palette and targeting any rooms which might have an “unusual” color choice that could be distracting to a buyer. It is also a good chance to eliminate the stains left by previously repaired leaks that could become a distraction or cause questions during home inspections.
- Be Flexible with Showings - One of the toughest things for real estate agents to coordinate is showing a property. They have to find a time that works for them, the other agent, the buyer, and the seller. If you have any times which are a “hard no” such as your children’s nap time, let your agent know ahead of time so they can put that in the listing. The easier a property is to show, the more showings you will get, and the more likely you will be to get an offer.