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Ruthlessly Price Your Home

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Posted 01-12-2013 at 10:35 AM by Roy Sanborn

The number of residential homes for sale in the Lakes Region of NH definitely took a big drop on New Year’s Day as hundreds of properties listed in the MLS expired without finding a buyer. Memorial services will be held in multiple locations around the Lakes Region. Please check the obituaries as most of the families of the deceased would be appreciative of donations toward their mortgage payments in lieu of flowers. While this is a extremely sad time for the bereaved, those still clinging to life support know that fewer homes on the market means a healthier market overall. They also know that this is likely to be a short lived respite as those departed may soon return to haunt the marketplace. They do…every year.

Anyway, there were just 857 homes left on the market in the twelve communities covered in this report as of January 1, 2012. The average asking price stood at $508,683 with a median price point of $244,900. This inventory level represents an 11.3 month supply of homes on the market. I don’t think I can remember the last time I mentioned the number “Eleven” unless there was a “Seven” before it. Last January 1, we had a 14.5 month supply with the average asking price coming in at $512,325 and a median price point of $249,900. Back in June we had an 18 month supply of property to sell. So inventory levels are trending down and we hope they stay that way. It sure would help...

So, what’s it gonna take to sell your home in 2013? I think I already know the answer to that question, but I thought I’d investigate it a bit further as it is a new year and with the haze of the holidays I could have missed some grand revelation. I am always on the lookout for new and innovative marketing techniques, new technologies, or different avenues that will help sell the properties I have listed. I Googled “ How to Sell Your Home in 2013” just for the fun of it but I didn’t find anything new and earth shattering. I mostly got a lot of info about the new 3.8% tax for Obama Care (which is another story,) but there were articles like the “Ten Best Kept Secrets For Selling Your Home” and “Three Tips for Selling Your Home.” Alas, there is nothing new or secret about anything in these articles. You know, they had all the typical, often repeated tips like de-cluttering, de-personalizing, making sure your home is spotless, that you do necessary repairs, that a fresh coat of paint would be beneficial, that you keep the exterior of your home up to snuff as curb appeal is so important, that the home smells fresh and inviting, that you open up the curtains and let the sunshine in, and so on. The number one tip is always to price your home correctly and to make it the best value in the market place.

There was one article by a Canadian writer outlining five tips to achieve the impossible. Given the fact that they aren’t having the same problems in the Canadian housing market that we are, I figured this article would have some pretty good info. Alas, it was all the same stuff, too. But I did see one new term used relative to cleaning and de-cluttering that really stuck out and got me thinking. The writer said to get “ruthless” about de-cluttering. That’s a darn pretty good term to use especially if it is used with a positive connotation. Think about that for a second. Some people have accused real estate agents as being ruthless, but having a seller become ruthless would be wonderful as long as it was channeled in the right direction! I think what the writer really meant was to be “serious” about it. Perhaps selling a home in 2013 would be a lot easier if all homeowners were a little more “ruthless” or “serious” about doing all the things they could do that are necessary to attract a buyer and get an offer. Sometimes homeowners contact a REALTOR® and think we can work our magic and make their house disappear with little or no help. It doesn’t really work that way.

I know for a fact that if a buyer is truly serious about buying, he will find something to buy. A seriously ruthless seller should likewise have the same success. So for 2013 there is no new magic bullet to help you sell your home. It really comes down to patience, persistence, being ruthless about cleaning, de-cluttering and repairing, and more importantly it comes down to getting "ruthless" about the price that the home is offered at. Maybe we could put out a new sign rider that says “Ruthlessly Priced.” I bet that would attract some attention at least...

Data was compiled as of 1/1/13 using the Northern New England Real Estate MLS System.

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