As a real estate agent who works in St. Louis and the surrounding areas, I can tell you what will happen from experience.
- Your house will sit on the market. Some sellers give the impression that they don’t want to sell their house any time soon. They’ve decided that it’s better to start high than to price it too low. After all, their reasoning goes, they can always come down in price, but it’s impossible to go up. Maybe that’s true in other businesses, but in this market, a low price is likely to attract multiple bidders the first week, raising the net to the seller.
- Showings will drop off. It’s nearly impossible to sell a house when no one schedules an appointment to go see it. The first week or so, there will be showings, but after that first week, any buyer that is in the market and most likely to buy has looked at your home and decided there are better options out there. At that point, you have to wait for new buyers to enter the market, some will have to sell their homes first, others will just be starting the search, so they aren’t ready to make an offer.
- You will get an offer to purchase that eventually falls through. This is kind of a surprise, out of the blue, you receive an offer, close to ask. Unfortunately, the buyer making this offer is likely desperate. Their credit is bad or they haven’t researched the area…there is something wrong. Rest assured, before the date of closing, that contract will fall through. It won’t appraise, the inspection notice will request repairs you’ll never agree to, the financing will fall through, something will happen.
Some sellers are convinced that they know the market, and they are confident in their pricing. There is nothing wrong with that, and if you find comparable properties that are within range that have sold, go for your pricing. Be cautious with comparable sales though. A home that has sold a mile away 4 years ago isn’t the best comp, and I’m all too familiar with the idea of finding a comp that justifies some price versus determining a price through the comparable sales.
When choosing an agent to list your home, make sure you look at those comps with the agent. Maybe you’ve been to a few open houses on the sold list and your house compares favorably to those homes. Be aware of biases, however. We all want to believe that our house is special because we chose it. Sadly, there always seems to be someone who’s done just a little more to their home to warrant a higher sales price.
I’ve had sellers tell me that they have to clear “x” to sell the house, for any number of reasons. While that’s perfectly reasonable, the market you’re in determines the sale price. Unfortunately, sellers usually learn the hard way that the market doesn’t seem to care if you want to clear a certain number or anything about you.
If you are looking to list your home for sale, I highly recommend giving us a call for a customized sales plan for your home. There’s no obligation, and we aren’t a fan of high pressure sales techniques. One of our agents or myself will meet you at the property, go over comparable sales, learn your expectations and collaborate with you as you begin the process of selling your home. The process is pretty painless, at least until you have to move the furniture!