[As a clarification, the stimulus package the president will sign may have an impact but not in the short term. At best I believe it will be mid 2010 before we see any potential affect on the housing market]

So What Will It Take To Sell Your Home

The holidays have passed, the weather has broken slightly in some places and your For Sale sign is starting to look like a permanent fixture in your yard. Your impatience is growing and there seems to be no answer. But there is. Before I share the solution, you must as a home seller ask yourself the most obvious but pertinent question.

Do you really want to sell?

Not you would like to sell, maybe you want to sell, you hope to sell, you have a home you've seen that you would kinda sorta like to move up or down to.


If you are not 150% committed to the selling process than you are hurting yourself and wasting money. First of all, bar none, every day of unsuccessful history that your home has on the market costs you money. The initial question every buyer asks is 'how long has it been on the market?' Right there they have another tool to beat you up with in the negotiating process if the answer isn't just a short time. Do NOT forget this: If you are on the market and not selling you are hurting your own position! Get it sold or get it on the sidelines until things improve. Don't stick your big toe in the water...dive in or get out!

Still think you want to sell? Then consider the following solution. If your home has been on the market since before the holidays there is one thing you MUST do immediately.

Reduce the price today by 10%.

Not tomorrow, not next week, TODAY. The market is STILL DECLINING. If you have been on the market longer than 90 days you are less competitive today than you were in November. This is not rocket science. It's 10th grade economics. Sales occur when supply and demand meet. When someone's motivation becomes so great that they can't live without your home, they make an offer. In this market, PRICE DRIVES EVERYTHING.

"Well if they like it, they'll just make an offer." Wrong. That's what 100 other home sellers are thinking too. The problem is that the truly motivated sellers with homes equally competitive to yours have already lowered their prices twice while you've done nothing. Buyers don't have to waste time and emotional energy chasing your home when they have all of those choices from motivated sellers.

"Well those things don't apply to our home" or "our home will overcome those objections." If Ricardo Montleban was still alive he'd be saying "welcome to Fantasy Island!"

"Well it's our Realtors fault." Wrong again. By some estimates over 90% of buyers look online first and if your home is in the MLS you are probably everywhere. Buyers are seeing your home. They just don't like what they see at your price. While we can debate how your home is being marketed in it's presentation, if it's out there, people know about it.

Look, this isn't pleasant but do you want to know and act on the truth or live in the pain of make believe? This is not a market for pretenders. If you aren't adjusting your price to meet the demand of the market you are in fact pretending. That's fine....it is your money. It would just be our opinion not to waste any more of it than necessary.

Oh and by the way 10% may not work. It's possible you are farther off in your value than that and it could mean you need further reductions, especially if the market doesn't bottom out soon. Remember true value is what someone is willing to pay, NO MORE. Painful? You bet. I don't enjoy telling you this any more than you want to hear it but if you want to be lied to, this is the wrong place to come. I'd rather shoot straight with you now so you'll still respect me in the morning rather than be one of the Realtors who deceive just to get you into bed with them. They're the ones who will ultimately cost you a LOT of money.

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