Here along the Southeast Florida Beach Area there are not only full-time residents but also a significant number part-time residents, locally referred to as “Snow Birds”. This part-time resident population varies somewhat from community to community but they are the majority most of the time. In fact, in a large number of Oceanfront communities full-time residents only make up around 35% of the ownership. This explains why our beach area sales market has significant seasonal influences and most of our properties go “Pending” during our seasonal months. I am not saying that we do not sell properties during the off-season, just that more than twice as many sell during the season. That information is truly significant to a Seller.
Do not let Closed Sales data distort your timing perception. “Pending” is the statistic that shows when the actual selling event took place in the market and therefore is the best statistic to look to see a timely representation of market momentum. Closed Sales show the same data in general, however, those events are stretched out over the 30 to 120 days that it might have taken to actually close the sale, transfer ownership and record the sale, not when the property actually went "under contract". That is significant. Properly time your listing, if you can. If not, then just adjust your expectations.
|Determining List Price|
When going through the process of determining the listing price for your property be sure to include properties in all of your Competitive Circle. That includes your building or complex competition and your area competition. You should view past sales, pending sales and actively listed properties in both market segments. After all, that is what a prospective buyer is going to do before making an offer. The average Buyer will see 15 to 20 properties before making a purchase. Your listing will have to show very well in its price range or not be considered.
Better to price it close to what you will take and stand firm than price it higher. In that way, you will show well compared to the competition and not miss out on any Buyers within your price range. That is the way professional Lenders and Banks price their foreclosed properties (REO’s). They already know the "let them make me an offer" pricing strategy does not work.
|Availability to Show|
Selling an “Owner Occupied” property is a team effort. If the property has been priced competitively and it has been entered in the MLS correctly. The only thing left to do is actually show the property to the Buyer's when the Buyer’s are ready! I know that sounds logical but too many Sellers and Real Estate Professionals don't keep their eye on the ball. I know it is the most convenient scenario to have 24-Hour notice but try to remove as many obstacles possible from the Buyer when trying to sell your property.
Time for an example... A Real Estate Broker is out showing property to an out-of-town Buyer and at the end of the showing string the Buyer, who is only in town for the weekend, realizes that they are not seeing anything they like in the given price range. At that point it is only 1pm and they tell the Real Estate Broker to raise the price range by a given amount. Then, out of some miracle the Real Estate Broker and the Buyer sitting at the computer bring up your well-appointed and entered listing and it clearly stands out as one of the best values at the new price point. The Real Estate Broker looks at the showing instructions for your property and Listing Broker Remarks Area and hopes it does not say "24-Hour Notice Required". As luck would have it, the showing instructions say, "Best Effort Will Be Given to Last Minute Showings, Just Call". The Buyer sees the property, loves it, and there is another happy ending being told. The truth is, sometimes showings just won't work out because of birthday parties or whatever. The point is though, make best effort to show your property and you will most likely wind up with your own happy ending. How do I know? I have played out that scenario and have been the selling Real Estate Broker and/or listing agent more times than I can remember!
If you are selling a "Vacant Unit" in a secure building. Think about allowing the unit to be placed on Electronic Lockbox (SUPRA). The SUPRA permits the unit to be shown by Real Estate Professional that have an Electronic Key Device managed through the local Board of Realtors. It keeps track of the who shows the unit and when it was shown. The advantage is convenience. An agent does not have to make specific appointment times to gain access to the unit and show it. I show my listings that are on SUPRA up to three times more than when they are not....and they sell quicker! By the way, the Supra can be restricted to only allow showings between certain times of the day. I generally have my vacant listings set from 8am to 8pm. Some Buyers can only view before and after work.
|Responding to the Offer|
Well, there have been quite a few showings and finally an offer has arrived. The one thing you must keep in mind is that this is a prospective Buyer attempting to communicate with you for the very first time. The prospective Buyer is merely stating initial interest in your property, nothing personal. At this point you should look very carefully at all the rest of the terms in the contract. Terms like Closing Date, who pays for the Title Insurance, Inspection Periods (is this an AS-IS with Right to Inspect Contract?) and any Financing Contingencies all come into play and should be negotiated at the same time as price since they are all important and could make or break the deal.
However, for now let’s stay focused on price. If the offer is lower than you would have hoped for or expected, so what, let's not get emotional. You have a very good idea what your property is worth, you have done your homework in advance, that's why it is priced where it is, right!
The prospective Buyer is just trying to measure your motivation and figure out what the REAL SALES PRICE is so that they can make a decision, based on their other choices in the market.
All you should have to do now is negotiate the price delta (which should not be a very large percentage) from where it is listed to what you know the property is worth, your bottom line. There is no reason to not answer an offer at all. Go down $500 and see what they say back. Don’t shame a Buyer into going away; just let them know you will need a realistic offer, based on past sales, to begin real negotiations. I have seen many of these “Low-Ball” offers turn into closed sales. Not every Buyer is experienced at buying real estate.
This should not be a very stressful scenario, after all, you know where your competition is and you are priced to sell based on the current market conditions. If the prospective Buyer walks away from the deal then they either could not afford the property in the first place or there really was something else out there that was a better value to them.
|The Most Frequently Asked Seller Questions?|
My property is competitively priced, was shown several times, but still no offers? Why?
Bill Cott | Seawatch Realty, Inc | Licensed Real Estate Broker: (954) 494-5812
Listing your Southeast Florida Property for Sale
Selling your Condo, Co-op, Townhome or Villa
We are local real estate professionals with a special focus on beach area Condos, Co-ops, Townhomes and Villas. If you are giving serious consideration to listing your beach area property for sale, we invite you to contact us. We will assist you in strategizing the best approach for you to place your property on the market and meet your sales goals in an opportune manner.
At Seawatch Realty, our consultative approach provides our customers with the information they need to make confident decisions throughout the sales process. Experience has taught us that every Seller is a little different in their approach, which is why we take the time to listen to what our customers have to say. Executing a planned strategy, by working as a team, has always been the best foundation for success. Our online marketing reaches out to 100+ websites in over 40 different countries, including well known domestic sites such as Realtor.com, Zillow.com, Homes.com and more.
As an initial step, click on the Request Link below and we will send you a "Competitive Sales Analysis". This will provide you with an accurate and detailed snapshot of not only the current sales activity within your community, but also the present, active competition in the surrounding area. Upon your review of this information, we look forward to having a productive discussion and the opportunity to assist you further. We thank you for your consideration.
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