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Which Finger would I lose? (Not Really, but the numbers are shocking)

Wednesday, November 14, 2018   /   by Geoffrey Zahler

Which Finger would I lose? (Not Really, but the numbers are shocking)

No one decides to sell a home, and then is excited when it doesn't sell.  I mean, that's not rocket science level thinking, right?  But the harsh reality, at least in the last 10.5 months, is that roughly 1 in 5 single family homes here in Las Vegas that was listed for sale, either expired, or was withdrawn.  That seems high, right?  I mean, 1 in 5?  We have 5 fingers on each hand.  That's like looking at your left hand and wondering which one of those fingers would be removed...

But, it doesn't have to be like this.  I promise.

In the first 318 days of this year (January 1 - November 14), there have been 29,074 Single Family Residences SOLD in our MLS system.  That's pacing more than 3,000 per month!  Our market is up over 10% for the year, across the board, in terms of values.  Yet, in the last 318 days we have had 3,369 home listings EXPIRE, and another 4,254 listings Withdrawn.  Now, before you dig into the numbers to try and prove me wrong, I get it.  Some sellers decide to simply take the home off the market (we've had that happen before).  Other sellers and agents do "strategic withdrawals", where they withdraw the listing for an hour/day/week, etc and then put the home BACK on the market to refresh it a little; we actually did this just yesterday for a home and for some of our sellers.  And some withdraw, hire another agent, and SELL, so that would be counted twice.  Same holds true with expired; they get re-listed (sometimes) and then sell.  But overall, you get the picture.  No one lists a home, and HOPES that this happens, and that's the bigger play here.

1 in 5.  

So, how do you avoid being that one?  What do you do to make sure you're part of the 80% that does actually sell.  And let me let you in on a little secret... this number, 1 in 5, is going to get worse.  As the market starts to change, we're going to see longer times on the market, and more homes either withdraw or expire.  Maybe it becomes 1 in 4, or 3 in 10?  What do you do NOW to make sure you're on the right side of this equation, and not wondering what happened... as you shop for a NEW agent.

Price it Right
I don't mean to beat a dead horse... I know you've heard me say this time and time and time again, but people, price is the MOST important aspect of a home selling, especially in the sub $350,000 market here in Las Vegas.  Why $350,000?  Because that's our Average price point for single family homes currently.  For homes that are UNDER $350,000 - there is simply a higher demand.  Someone that is qualified for a $500,000 mortgage is probably not looking at homes in the $300,000 - $350,000 range; they are looking higher.  So the people that are looking in this range, more often than not, are MAXING out their spend.  If they're qualified for a mortgage on a $300,000 home, that's where they're looking. 

Every $10,000 difference can mean the difference between a buyer being able to qualify or not.  If you miss the market by 5% or more, you are going to sit, and wonder why no one is looking at your home.  You're going to point fingers at your Agent (because that's what we get).  But ask yourself this... did your AGENT suggest this price point, or is this something you came up with?  Many agents (not us) are starving for listings, and will agree to take listings above where they KNOW a home will sell, hoping to talk some sense into you and get you to lower the price.  I hate that for a number of reasons.  A) It is dishonest.  B) It wastes valuable market time (the first 21 days is the best time to sell a home) and C) it's desperate.  

So if you're in this range, and a home is not selling, look at yourself in the mirror, and repeat this mantra... "we have overpriced our home, we need to adjust our expectations if we want to sell."  Point a finger at your agent too if you must, but try and remember WHO came up with the selling price.  I'll tell you this; we've missed on pricing before, it happens, but usually not by much, and we'll be quick to correct.  I've lost business to agents that have promised the world, only to see a home sit and sit and sit and sit... don't be a home sitter... be a home seller.

When it's not just the price
Sometimes it's NOT just the price, it's the EXPOSURE.  Is your Agent actively marketing your home, or passively selling it?  What's the difference?  If you don't know what your Agent's marketing plan for YOUR HOME is, well, guess what?  You hired a passive listing agent.  Someone that ACTIVELY sells a home has a multi-step marketing plan that is repeatable and scalable.  They can repeat what they do for you to get your home sold, quickly, without looking at a presentation.  An active marketer eats, breathes and markets.  They know what they are doing, and have done it, again and again.  So ask an agent you're interviewing what their marketing plan is.  If they hem and haw; they have none.  If they start with "we put a sign in the yard and put it on the MLS" that's about all you're going to get from them, so you may as well stop listening right then.  If an agent starts their presentation with "We need to price this correctly NOW, or everything else we do is going to be a waste of time..." you're actually talking to the right person.

Agents, for the last few years, haven't HAD TO market a home to sell it.  They were getting offers for you before the sign hit the property.  They were looking like knights in shining armor, delivering 14 offers to you just hours after putting it in the MLS.  Was that the AGENT, or was that the MARKET?  

It's also true, that a home, even perfectly priced, if not being exposed properly, will not see buyers.  Our job is a funnel.  Starting at the BOTTOM of the funnel, when you sell a home, you're not selling it to millions of people, you're selling it to ONE buyer.  So we start there.  We only need one buyer, but we need offers, and to get offers, we need showings, and to get showings, we need interested parties from multiple avenues.  Our job, as your Marketing Partner and Agent, is to maximize our interested party pipeline, work and sift through the buyers that aren't real and get you to that one buyer that loves your home, and will go to the ends of the earth to buy it.  There are about 99 steps in between this, and that's what we do for a living.

So, next time I'm sitting at your kitchen table, don't be surprised if I start the conversation with "Let's talk about price..."

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Zahler Properties
Geoffrey Zahler
9440 W. Sahara Ave, Suite 115
Las Vegas, NV 89117

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