Monty says...
You can sell it now for a vastly reduced price OR accept whatever's behind the 2009 curtain of uncertainty!

[Note...this piece is a compilation of thoughts from a number of different Real Estate Brokers across the country and their experieinces from Chatham, Mass. to Southern California. If you would like every individual credit email me for the list]

Every so often the truth alarm goes off out there in the big wide world of real estate and won't stop sounding until we share the hard edged realities of where the market stands. This is one of those times. Before reading on, clear your head.

Home sellers, what you want, think, hope for, believe or get told by your neighbor's landscaper's cousin's best friend Trudy is no longer relevant.

Whether we like it or not, THE MARKET IS THE MARKET and the market is more challenging than it was even a few short months ago.

First, the data. Two years ago over 40% of homes that were listed for sale, sold in the first 180 days on the market. Today that number is 9%. Less than one of ten homes listed gets sold. If you want to sell, that's your benchmark.

Second, here's what the buyers are thinking and by that we mean here's what ALL buyers are thinking:

Everyone wants everything and they want everything for a “deal.”

That deal is defined as whatever the seller is asking less some other large number. For one of our clients, the magic number is $75,000. If the home is priced at $500,000, they want to offer $425,000. If the price is $199,999 they want to offer their Federal tax rebate and receive a credit of $50,000 towards closing costs. If the price is over $500,000 you are less than 4% of ALL 2008 home sales so you can just take the previous reductions by purchasers and multiply them. Above $900K is nearly impossible with less than 1% of all home sales occurring there.

Sellers take note:
Too many buyers don’t want to see the “comps” anymore. They don’t care. They are looking at real estate as much more of a commodity. They are looking over a more broad area which means sellers are competing against a larger supply of inventory. Then, many of these buyers are firing blanks, writing offer after failed offer, or worse. Many others are relegating themselves to the sidelines, while a great home goes by. I cannot tell you how many times I've walked out of properties that buyers have decided against knowing they had just made a huge mistake and it was probably going to end up costing ME a sale. This is what happens when fear takes over in a market.

To get to the closing table you must be a fire sale or you must be so unique that the one buyer out there cannot go elsewhere to find what you have.

That doesn't mean just because your 3rd shower has pink tile you're going to get your price. Eventually buyers will begin to make decisions with some certainty. I firmly believe when they do, they'll be pleased with the outcome. But that's next year.

This year, if you are not motivated by price and flexibility, please reconsider having your home on the market. If you don't have those two items correct for the full market you are wasting your time. Brutal honesty is not always pleasant but anything other than the truth would be a tremendous disservice to our clients. Those that tell you otherwise are either just trying to buy your listing or don't know any better. Do you really want them in charge of your investment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars?

Comments? Questions? Donations?
Greg@GregCooper.com or 317.848.GREG (4734)