While data clearly shows impressive market growth year over year with nearly 15% more single family home sales in July 2018 over the previous July (MA Assoc of Realtors), any active agent in the market trenches can tell you things have cooled off a bit from the feeding frenzy of earlier this year. Where new listings often received sight unseen offers shutting down initial open houses and bidding wars sent offers as much as 10% above asking in hot areas in the spring, now we’re seeing listings last long enough for modest price reductions and even some negotiation. My seller clients are eager to optimize their market activity so here are a few tips.
First, perception is important and affects buyer enthusiasm, which in turn affects their offers. In a market of fast offers, if a listing sits too long on market then buyers believe there’s something wrong with it. If you cross 7-10 days with no offers, reduce the price. Second, consider waiting until early September to list rather than go on market in August. New Englanders tend to run to the Cape, NH, ME and other vacation spots for the last get-aways of summer before school and business re-start in the fall. This means even if somebody is a good potential buyer for your listing they simply may not be local to see it until it’s been on market a couple weeks, in which case rewind to the beginning of this paragraph and review.
Lastly, don’t let the strength of the market these past few years cloud your vision with false dollar signs. Listing high is a bad strategy in any market. Get a reliable market value for your home from an experienced real estate agent and trust their experience. Often times a lower listing price brings a higher sale price by drawing more buyers who submit more offers creating competition as opposed to a higher list price bringing less buyers, less offers and more probable negotiation.