1. Typical Timing
As the timing rules go, March is typically the best time to list for a fast sale; winters are generally slow; and most buyers shop for a move that coincides with the start of summer.
- The (really) early listers are getting the traffic— “For the U.S. overall, January and February search activity is 2% above the annual average” according to Chief Economist Jed Kolko. The data also showed some local markets saw as much as a 22% increase in January search activity from 2011 to 2014.
- Price climbs didn’t take a dip this winter—Asking prices climbed 7.5 percent year-over-year according to the January Price Monitor.
- Interest rate speculation and price climbs are pushing up move dates—“As the Fed signals its intention to raise rates, borrowers are rushing to get deals done now,” according to CNN’s Patrick Gillespie.
The unique urgency of today’s market means that the old rules of timing should be thrown out the window—especially if you’re a deal-hunting buyer or seller who want to capitalize on the wave of motivation.
2. The School District Sell
When it comes to best locations, the rule has been “the best homes to own are near great schools.” In today’s market, this rule should be rethought as buyers, their preferences, and communities change quickly. While not saying leave schools out, consider community change initiatives, lifestyle-related points of interest, and other geographic assets may have a higher payoff when marketing listings.
3. Holding Listing Data Hostage
If a visitor can’t view listing data on your website, today, they are likely just to head somewhere else. The days of MLS-books and the rule of walled web-listings are over. It’s time to stop holding listing data hostage as a means of getting visitor contact information.
Instead, consider smarter inbound marketing strategies like:
- Making sure there are at least two “contact us” buttons on every page;
- Developing neighborhood guides, tip sheets, or other helpful resources that require registration to download; or
- Experimenting with Call Now or a similar plugin that lets visitors start a conversation instantly.
4. The Mortgage “Rule of a Third”
If a qualification script or client presentations include the mortgage “rule of a third,” then it needs a serious edit. In years past it was thought that an affordable mortgage payment was less than or equal to a third of your monthly income. The last few years of market change have shown this affordability rule isn’t true for everyone. Nothing beats pre-qualification, and even then the real mortgage conversation that matters is the one about where buyers are comfortable.
5. Selling by Square Foot
Bigger isn’t always better. While many buyers do want to move up, our Trulia Trends research showed that 67% of house shoppers weren’t motivated by a quest for more space. When homeowners are readying themselves for resale or buyers are thinking that investing in more room will pay off down the road, remind them that the rules have changed. While extraordinary homes do stand out in each market, too much room can make a home harder to sell for a competitive price.
Until next time….
Info from Truila.com