Monday, August 9, 2010

Can market statistics help you sell?

You are bombarded with real estate market stats every month, but how can they help you sell a home in your local market?  Here is our 3 minute guide.

This week two important market reports came out from our friends at Zillow.  First prices were down in most markets year over year ( Zillow Reports Continued Drop In Home Values ) and second, Fewer Mortgages were underwater.

These two seemingly contrary statistics can make it hard to know if you should lower your price quickly or hold steady, and wait for a turn around.  While every market is different, there is a simple strategy for understanding housing statistics and using them to help you sell your home.

Knowing where to look is the start, in addition to Zillow, NAR has up to date stats you can find here.  Take a little time to look over the latest reports from NAR and Zillow to get familiar with what the current reports are saying.  As the articles above indicate for every negative piece of data there are positive ones.

The most important step is to look at the data and ask yourself how this impacts your bottom line.  If houses are on the market an average of 7 months in your region, are you prepared to wait that long, even if prices are falling?   Think if you were a buyer and read these reports, what would you remember?

The next step is to think of the positive statistics that counter each of the reports buyers may bring up, for example:   Buyer: Prices are falling year over year and we could get a better deal in 3 months.  Your response:  True, but the underling stats show that there are fewer mortgages underwater and this is leading to firmer prices in most markets.  With the markets at bottom, things can turn around quickly.

In short the key to selling with statistics is to be confident in responding with the reports that work for your interest.  Then you can bring the focus of negotiations with buyers back to what is important:  what is unique about your home and how it can meet their needs.