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Because of the change in real estate market conditions, more sellers are competing for fewer buyers. So once again, it seemed important to challenge a long-standing “myth” of real estate.

“The initial listing price isn’t that important because the price can always be adjusted down later.”

Many homeowners believe this.
It is a myth.
Not true.

If most buyers first viewed your house because of a newspaper ad, a magazine, the internet, brochures, or the sign in your front yard, the initial listing price probably would not make a difference. The house would always be “new” to those seeing it.

But most buyers do NOT come to your house because of various types of advertising. That is the another myth.

Sure, buyers call on an ad, they often LOOK at that house, but not always. Once they talk to an agent, they may discover it isn’t what they need (or want) at all.

However, they ARE talking to an agent. That agent knows the current inventory and will know of other property that DOES fit their needs.

Those are the properties that buyers look at, and THIS is how most buyers end up looking at your house, too. Because of other agents, not because of your ad.

Hardly anyone buys the house in the ad.

As a result, you need to get other agents interested in your property, and this is where your listing agent comes in…and why a good listing agent is extremely important. The listing agent gets buyer’s agents looking at your home.

Those agents have clients who called in on other properties.

Buyer’s agents are not swayed by advertising. They look at the needs of the client, where the client wants to live, location, condition, and other details of the property…
And most importantly….
…price.

If your house is overpriced, agents are going to show similar homes that are priced more attractively. Your listing will get passed over.
Agents pay MOST attention to homes newly on the market. There are fewer NEW listings than current listings. It is easier to keep an eye out for what is NEW, compared to the vast number of current listings.

New listings are on the “hot” sheet circulated in real estate offices. The MLS computer identifies new listings. Your listing agent may hire a service to distribute fliers to all the buyer’s agents. There are office previews and MLS tours to showcase new listings. A lot of attention is focused on what is NEW.

With agent’s looking at newly listed homes so aggressively, a properly priced home gets attention.

An overpriced home gets passed over.

You may be thinking, “But I’m willing to negotiate!”

Buyers aren’t thinking in advance about how much you are willing to negotiate. They are comparing your asking price to other asking prices.

Plus, when your house is new on the market, you may not be willing to negotiate as much as you will later, once you’ve realized your error. Keep in mind that statistics show, quite often, the first offer is the best offer.

So what happens if you overprice in the beginning and get more realistic later?

You don’t have all those important Buyer’s Agents looking at your listing because it is NEW. A price reduction later in the listing cycle often gets overlooked. It is just one of many listings, not one of a few new listings.

As time passes, you could actually become desperate to sell because you’ve accepted a new job or because you have already bought a new home.

That is a recipe for receiving lowball offers, so you could end up selling for less than if you had priced the home correctly in the first place.

Agents know this stuff, but many sellers still mistakenly believe they should “price it high” because they can lower the price later, if necessary.

That is not the best strategy.


Alabama Real Estate in Recovery

(Birmingham, AL) The Alabama real estate market is already recovering from recent lows. Evidence is everywhere.

Inventories of property on the market hit an all time high at the end of november 2007 into the first of December 2007. Since then, the inventory of property for sale has been shrinking. This is always the first sign. As property inventories decrease, the demand for property rises. This causes price support and shores up values.

Mortgage applications, or new people applying for a home loan, increased 12% just last week. This is yet another sign that more buyers are entering the market to buy a home. If you combine this with the fact that inventories are shrinking, it doesn’t take a genius to see that values will stop declining soon and prices will again start to rise.


Which Agent will YOU choose?

Almost any source you looki at will tel you that between 80% and 90% of For Sale By Owners will eventually list their home with a real estate agent. There are a myriad of reasons why this happens but it all boils down to this: agents have the inside track on attracting buyer traffic to the home. They also do it full time so that even when the seller is gone to work, the house is still “for sale” and can be shown.

So, if you find yourself thinking of hiring an agent, which one should you hire?

First of all, consider paying the highest price for a good agent. Interview several of them and then ask them to cut their fee. The one that refuses to is probably your best bet. Why? When it comes to selling your home and getting your proce, you want an agent who is NOT a noodle…someone with a little back bone. If they won’t cut their fee and they promise a higher level of service and service quality, then they will also negotiate the hardest in the trenches when people are trying to cut your price on your home.

Second: if the agent you call doesn’t answer their phone or call back within a half hour – stop trying to get them. If they don’t answer or call back when you try to call them for an interview, what makes you think they will answer calls from buyers for your home?

Lastly, when you are doing the interview and listening to the agent’s marketing plan, look for the things that are different. If you talk to 2 agents and they pretty much do the same things… a sign, MLS, and a few ads… keep talking to more agents. What you are looking for is the agent who has a unique approach or ads value by adding unique tools. Agents that use the talking house transmitter or a 24 hour hotline system are some examples. If the agent you hire isn’t doing extra things to make your home stand out in the marketplace, you are just going to get the same ole, same ole. Look for something different.

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