by Greg Cooper
It’s nice, isn’t it? All those great headlines telling us the housing market is back and better than ever. I’ll admit to participating in those headlines as one of those who frequently comments in the media about housing. What I rarely have time or space to explain in full is yes, it’s better but there’s still an asterisk. Too many sellers are already giddy at the prospect of this spring being a ’seller’s market’ here in Carmel and in many other places with the shrinking of available inventory for sale. To that, I’d steal a line from a sports commentator. Not so fast, my friends.
It is true that our overall housing inventory is down – in places, WAY down from where it was two years ago. One would think that within the simple laws of supply and demand that most of us learned in the 10th grade that a lack of supply would push demand to absorb what homes were out there. This is where the asterisk comes in for today’s consumers. Your home may be for sale, but that alone will not get you a sold sign. That will get you a parade of buyers who may say a few good things about you but in the end just can’t pull the trigger. In the meantime, you clean and pick up and yell at a spouse or kids or pets or all of the above for not having your home ready for the next showing appointment.
To get to the closing table and see the maximum return on your home, you have to do more than simply be ‘for sale.’ To get done and move on in Today’s New World of Real Estate, your home must match the demands of the market. That may sound simple, but it’s not. I promise you, I’ve heard a thousand times, “Well, my home has this and the home that just sold down the street didn’t.” That’s fine. Are you putting up a sold sign today or are they? This is not rocket science, friends. Your ‘product’ either has it or it doesn’t.
So how do you know what path to take? Get good counsel. You will need the right person who understands the needs and demands of the market and can help you strike a balance in preparing your home for sale. I don’t care if it’s an outstanding real estate broker, home stager, or sherpa. Someone who knows must help you prepare your resources so that you can get across the finish line. Whomever that may be, get honest, no-nonsense direction before you take the plunge and put a home on the market. What’s at risk? Only months of your time and hours of effort that can determine whether you spend next Christmas in your new home or spend the holidays wondering why you couldn’t get your property sold.