Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cleveland's Fall market update

Recently I read an article in the Plain Dealer encouraging people to sell their homes themselves. Save on the Real Estate commission. Now I can't blame anyone for trying to save money. But I've been a top producer in the Cleveland Real Estate market for over 26 years and I have to say this is one of the hardest markets I have endured.
The bottom line is that you have to be the prettiest face on the market at the best price to sell.
I sold my dream home in Bay Village last month and purchased a brand new home in Avon Lake with my Financee (which is turning out to be a better dream!). I have to say it was more painful selling in this market then in the past. In order to be the prettiest home in the price range I spent about $10,000 to spiff it up. I put new granite, sinks and faucets in the kitchen updated the appliances. I changed all the exterior light fixtures. Once all this was done the house sold and of course for far less than I wanted it to. All in all I took a big beating and loss on the house. I feel like I made up for that loss on the purchase so I'm not going sit around and cry about it.
The problem in this market is most people can't afford to do what I had to do to get my house sold. Most of the people on the market are in some sort of financial hardship that prevents them from doing the spiff up that they need to do. The buyer, if they consider the house will of course take tens of thousands off for these repairs if they consider them at all! If your home needs work you are competing with bank owned properties.
There is movement and things are selling, they just have to be priced right and appealing enough to make someone else want to live there. I have a few saying I find myself repeating over and over.
"If you can smell it you can't sell it"
"Nobody wants to buy someone elses dirt"
"You can't sell it if you don't show it"
My personal favorite when the seller doesn't want a sign out front.
":Okay you want me to sell it but not let anyone know you are on the market?"
The other important thing to remember is just because you need a certain amount of money out of the sale doesn't mean the buyer is going to give it to you. Get realistic.
As far as using a professional to sell your home, well all I can say is, not all professionals are alike there are some really good agents and there are some really bad agents. If you feel that you know enough to take the biggest asset you have and handle it fine, good luck, there are alot of shucksters out there. Most buyers don't really want to deal direct with the owner so you narrow your playing field in that respect. You also have limited marketing compared to the huge network our real estate industry has built. I know that my listings are on so many sites I can't keep track. I pay out money monthly to be everywhere so that your listing gets noticed. It is a team effort between you cleaning decluttering and showing off your home and me following up on leads and agents to get a dialog going.
I read an article that said it will take 89 years to get through all the bank owned properties that are in the pipeline. I believe that article might just be right. The banks are very difficult to deal with. They aren't cutting anyone a break and I am seeing them force people into hardships over small amounts of money that should be worked out instead. All I can say is, If you are going to sell in this market get ready to take a beating and if you want to do that alone (without an agent), uninformed, have at it. It is a frustrating process no matter what, having someone who knows the language of real estate in your corner seems like a smart move to me.