Category Archives: market value

Crucial Questions for Seller’s Agents

Odds are the day will come when you need to speak to a real estate agent to help you sell your home. When that day comes, you want to be absolutely sure you have the knowledge you need to choose someone who has the background and skills to represent your interests.

First, you’ll want to work with an agent who represents sellers as the majority of their business. You’ll find that many agents have experience on both the buying and selling side of the situation, but it’s optimal to work with an agent who has dedicated the majority of their time working with sellers.

While rapport is important, it is far from the most important factor. Yes, it is ideal to work with someone you like and someone who will communicate well with you, but there is a much more effective way to sort the amateurs and the pros: The numbers.

But which numbers? Here are some direct questions which will help you compare agent experience and performance:

  1. How many continuous years have you been in real estate?
  1. How many homes did you sell last year working as the seller’s agent?
  1. Of the homes you’ve sold in the past year, what was the average number of days the home was on the market from initial listing date until the final, accepted offer?
  1. Looking at your past 12 months of closed sales, what percentage has the final selling price been compared to the initial listing price?
  1. How much will you charge me to sell my home? What sort of marketing efforts does this cover?
  1. Do you have an assistant to help you sell homes? Are you part of a team?
  1. Are you considered by your company’s owner to be one of the top producers in your office?

These questions may seem somewhat blunt, but full-time agents with a career built on selling homes shouldn’t have a problem answering you to the best of their ability. In fact, I’d be happy to answer them if you’re serious about listing. Contact me today: The Nicholas Team, Barbara P. Hughes and Gregg Nicholas  RE/MAX Village Square REALTORS  realestate@thenicholasteam.com 

Why Overpricing Hurts Sellers In The End

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All sellers want their home to sell for the highest possible price. This is one reason it’s why it’s so easy for agents to “buy” listings. If you’re not familiar with the concept, “buying” a listing is when an agent (unscrupulously) tells a client their home is worth far more than the market value in order to win the listing.  

Sellers are susceptible to this tactic because they want to believe, however irrationally, that their home is for some reason or another worth more than comparable homes on the market. Sometimes, though, sellers believe high home pricing is either an acceptable risk or even a benefit. Here’s what they say, and why it’s a problem:

  1. “I can always come down in price later if I have to.”   Yes, it’s possible that someone will find the house irresistible and pay the inflated price, but the odds are the house will languish on the market until the price comes down. Buyers, though, will see this from a different perspective. They’ll be thinking: What’s wrong with the property? Maybe I can get this house for significantly below market value. Holding out for a high could end up leading to a desperation low.
  1. “I have to keep the price high for negotiating purposes.”  A house isn’t a used car. Don’t start far above what’s acceptable in order to pad out the negotiations. Buyers will have access to the same market data, and their agent will have a pretty good idea what the home’s true market value should be. The ruse will quickly come to pieces, so why not price right for a quick, fair sale?
  1. “This is the price I need to get for my house.”  If that’s true, sellers should also prepared to stay put when the house doesn’t sell. Despite dire and important reasons why lower offers can’t be accepted, the market is indifferent to the seller’s situation. There are other homes and other sellers unencumbered by the same reasons.
  1. “A house just like mine sold for this price… so why not mine?”   Sellers will assume houses are i  dentical when the final price tells sweet story. Odds are there are other outstanding reasons the home sold above market value, especially when it comes to interior renovations.

We’re happy to give you an accurate valuation for your home. Let’s talk : The Nicholas Team, Barbara and Gregg 973-509-2222 or email us to set up a meeting: realestate@TheNicholasTeam.com

Be sure to visit our website for more information or to see what homes in your neighborhood are listing and selling for in today’s market

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Do Homes expire? Understanding Functional Obsolescence

Sometimes a perfectly nice home in fine shape simply won’t sell. Fresh paint, fine curb appeal, a solid neighborhood, priced right… and no offers. Sellers are baffled and irritated. “But I’ve been living in this home ten years! There’s nothing wrong with it!”

Often the culprit is “functional obsolescence.”

Never heard of it? You’re not alone. Investopedia defines it this way: “A reduction in the usefulness or desirability of an object because of an outdated design feature, usually one that cannot be easily changed. The term is commonly used in real estate, but has a wide application.”

Functional obsolescence can creep up on a home owner, as when a built-in technological feature is no longer useful. Some homes in the 1960s and 70s had old solid-state intercom systems for communicating between rooms. What was cutting edge then is a retro eyesore now. Built-in entertainment center kiosks or furniture are also a good example of this, maybe a mauve/pink kitchen was updated inthe 80s?

Home owners can unknowingly introduce functional obsolescence with poor renovation choices. Renovations should always be made with an eye on the possibility that a home will be sold down the line, but occasionally an owner will ignore this. Take, for example, the massive kitchen renovation which takes an unreasonable bite out of the dining or living room. Try to think like a buyer- will a young new family be OK with a smaller dining space for a family meal prepared in a gorgeous kitchen?

Inconveniences an owner has put up with over the years can be classified as functional obsolescence as well. If you have a second floor without bathrooms or a bedroom which must be accessed by walking through another bedroom? That’s a design flaw that can bite you when it’s time to sell. (Creative staging  will be needed when it comes time to sell).

Sometimes it is something out of our control; neighborhoods can introduce a degree of functional obsolescence as well. When an smaller, older home on a large lot is dwarfed by modern homes with more space, the home itself may lose appeal or value in buyers’ eyes.

If you’re thinking of selling or buying, you should be familiar with the idea of functional obsolescence. Either you’ll want to eliminate the problem or you’ll need to realize the problem will be an issue for you should you choose to sell one day.

We can help buyers and sellers see homes with an objective perspective. If you’re curious about where your home fits in this market, contact us today:  realestate@thenicholasteam.com