Our house is just about ready to list. Should we be concerned about heading into the holiday season? – ALL FOR FALL
DEAR FALL: Opinions might differ on this, but I’ve always found that buyers like to spend the holidays with their families. As Realtors, we are well advised to do the same.
Whether it’s a long weekend, Thanksgiving or Mother’s Day, holidays of any kind tend to produce a noticeable dip in real estate traffic. People are occupied with other things. I find the same goes for the start of the weekend, which is why I strategically avoid placing homes on the market on a Friday night. I even book my holidays around long weekends, as these times are typically pretty quiet.
That said, “holiday” moments in general are not without opportunity. This year I had two clients who got exceptional deals on Father’s Day, when there were no other buyers around!
We’ve been watching a property that’s gone through three listing agents over last year. What’s up with that? – SUSPICIOUS
DEAR SUSPICIOUS: I should mention right off the bat that there probably isn’t anything wrong with the house, except the price.
Sometimes a seller’s expectations aren’t in tune with the market. When I meet a seller for the first time, I typically ask them what they think their house is worth. Sometimes I their answers are prefaced with things like “my co-workers think…” or “my cousin in Toronto says it should be worth a million dollars”.
Choosing an arbitrary price out of the sky can create a situation where the house sits on the market. As one agent fails to bring the desired results, sellers may move on to another and will typically drop the listing price with each new agent. When the price approaches market value, the house ultimately sells.
As agents, it’s our role to provide an educated assessment of value that can be backed up with statistics. We hope that clients will take our advice, but at the end of the day, the decisions are theirs to make. It’s like a doctor who tells us to avoid certain foods. The advice may be sound, but ultimately, we make our own choices when we hit the buffet table.
I find that clients who follow professional guidance tend to get the best results. While the market isn’t one hundred percent predictable, it can get pretty darn close with the right experience and research.