As a real estate professional with 15 years of experience, the most common question I receive from both buyers and sellers is "What tips do you have for me?" Like most, when you’re deciding to make the largest purchase or one of the biggest life decisions that you can, clients and potential clients want to see the transaction from all angles. They want to know how to set their expectations and how to prepare, which is why I have carefully curated my top three tips for each side that can help to make the transaction process smooth and painless. Keep reading to find out more about the buying and selling processes.
/ My first tip for sellers is to lean into the Coming Soon period whether we’re utilizing Compass Coming Soon, which is a 24 hour period to generate buzz around the listing and/or BrightMLS Coming Soon, which can last up to 21 days on the open market. During both phases there are no showings allowed on the property, but the potential to entice buyers with great marketing pieces, gorgeous professional photos and virtual tours can elevate a listing’s potential to explode with showing requests and offers in anticipation of its first day on the market. Additionally, this time allows us as agents in conjunction with our buyers to gauge the interest in the listing, better understand how to market it when it is able to be shown publicly to potential buyers, and allows us to promote future open houses to already interested parties.
/ My second tip for sellers centers around staging and prepping the interior and exterior of your home in order to receive the most return on your sale. At Compass, we believe in the true power of simple staging to showcase the unique elements of your listing that may have been overlooked had there not been staging, updated lighting, or painting. When a buyer is walking through your home the hope is that they will envision their furniture, sentimental pieces and even friends and family in the space. However, if there is too much clutter or way too much open space, in the case of a completely vacant home, it can be harder for them to imagine the potential of this space if it was their own.
/ The last tip that I give to all of my sellers is to expect an influx of showings within the first 3-5 days after your home goes live on the open market. This can be true even if we choose to forgo the Coming Soon stage. Serious buyers are waiting for new listings to hit the market so that they can be the first to tour and potentially get their offer accepted, so the pent up demand surrounding the listing is sometimes very intense, especially in markets with low inventory.
/ The first, and one of the most important tips for buyers to consider when purchasing in the current market is that we are currently living through one of the most competitive markets that we have seen in years. So what does this mean for you? This means that as the buyer you must come out strong with your initial offer on a property that you like. Be prepared to compete with other potential buyers and craft an offer with as little contingencies as possible to put yourself in the best position in comparison to the other offers. This may seem scary, but that’s why you should work with a seasoned real estate agent like myself, who knows the rules and how to get the most out of your offer with as little stress on you as can be.
/ My next tip (and a caution to buyers) is that most houses in the current real estate climate, that are under contract within the first week, are selling substantially over the asking price. Buyers are hungry to get their offer accepted and close on their new property, so just as I’ve stated above, your offer needs to be the most competitive of the bunch. In most cases recently, this means submitting a solid offer above the asking price to show the seller that you are willing to go the extra step in order to make this purchase. If a high ticket price seems scary, that is completely understandable, this is why my second half of this tip is to have a concrete number and plan for how much you are comfortable spending.
/ Lastly, as the buyer you need to be reminded that this is a seller’s market. Any way that you slice the transaction, they have the upper hand at this point with such low inventory, but this does not mean that you can’t still come out on top with a great purchase and a solid foundation to start in a new home. While this market is all about the seller, it is also all about positioning you as the buyer in the most successful way possible. Working with your real estate agent, you can make a plan, tour as many homes as you can that fit within your budget and meet your needs, and set yourself up to make the most of every opportunity.
Though it may seem like a big undertaking to make a real estate transaction whether you are the one purchasing a new property or the one selling your current home, one common denominator throughout the process on either side is finding yourself in the hands of a skilled real estate agent. Myself and my colleagues have spent our career learning and continuing to hone our skills in favor of our clients so that you can place your stress and insecurities on us, knowing that our ultimate goal is to be your real estate advisor for life, not just one single transaction.