Winning Strategies for Today’s Market
By Jamie Thompson
The local housing market is stable right now and sellers continue to have an advantage. But in recent months, demand has fallen slightly in response to higher interest rates, and attracting the right buyers at the right price is a little tougher.
Prices in Chandler and Greater Phoenix have steadily increased in this first quarter of 2023 in all size categories (footprint and number of bedrooms & baths), although prices are lower year-over-year by over 4%. Listing activity has fallen along with demand. Currently, there is a three-month supply of inventory which bodes well for sellers.
With that said, there seems to be a divide in the market right now. Some homes are selling very quickly and at top-of-the-market prices, and others are taking months to enter contract. Overall, days-on-market has increased. This is because many sellers and agents are still approaching the market as if demand were surging, rather than adapting to the changes. As an agent, it’s frustrating to see, because it really doesn’t take much time or money to drastically improve a sale.
Below are six tactics I’m using right now with my own clients, to increase their sale price and decrease their time on the market.
1. Focus on Curb Appeal
“Curb appeal” is how a home looks on the outside, and its role in selling is often underestimated. The exterior of your home is a buyer’s first impression, and if that impression is “meh,” it can be nearly impossible overcome.
This didn’t matter as much last year, when buyers were more desperate. But these days, it’s critical to “wow” buyers right off the bat. Invest in professional landscaping, power washing, fresh paint on the door and mailbox, and tasteful décor on the porch. Add spotlights to highlight your façades best features, and capture that with a photo right around sunset.
2. Low Cost, “High impact” Updates
Buyers have always desired “modern and move-in ready” homes, and today they are a lot less compromising. Homes with eyesores, dated features, or inspection problems will suffer on the market this summer. And believe it or not, it’s the little things generating the best ROI in a sale right now.
Appliances, landscaping, painting, grout repair, hardwood refinishing, and cabinet refacing are common “high impact” updates for today’s market. An experienced agent will tell you which jobs make sense for your property and buyer profile.
3. Price it Right
In today’s market, the right asking price is everything. Since the pandemic, prices have been bouncing more widely from month to month than in the past, resulting in a lot more room for error than before. Comparing homes that are sold in different seasons or incomparable locations will result in inaccurate estimates. Worse yet, simply matching a home to active “list” prices will shoot a seller in the foot. If an asking price isn’t accurate, whether it’s too high or too low, the final price will end up below-market (although an underpriced home will sell a lot faster than an overpriced one).
Instead, have an experienced agent run a deep-dive market evaluation. Starting with the right data, they should make seasonal, regional, and property-related adjustments, then work out a “pin-point” asking price.
4. Be “Where the Buyers Are”
Until recently, many agents got away with doing very little to sell a home. Buyers were everywhere, and listings were scarce. Now, there are fewer buyers, and sellers have to do more to stand out.
Successfully marketing your home means doing more than slapping it online. Your listing needs to really pop, and it needs to show up everywhere your buyers might be. This includes, of course, all the major real estate sites, but also social media, email, print, and more. In addition, your agent should share your “coming soon” listing with their broker networks before it hits the market, to line up potential buyers ahead of time.
5. Craft a Competitive Contract
A “competitive contract” looks different in different market cycles. During the pandemic boom, for example, it didn’t take a lot for buyers to sign. Today, buyers are emboldened by news of cooler conditions, and are asking for concessions and contingencies more often. You don’t necessarily have to accept these, especially if you’ve got a hot property; however, you should proactively prepare for a little give-and-take.
Today, one of the most popular concessions for buyers is a “rate buydown” credit. This is money the seller offers to “buy down” the buyer’s mortgage rate. Usually, the seller agrees to pay a portion of the credit, and the buyer pays the rest. Because these credits can drastically reduce buyers’ payments, they can carry more weight dollar-for-dollar than a price reduction!
6. Work with a Good Agent
Most important of all, make sure you have a good agent representing you, one that can put these strategies successfully into practice. Don’t worry about hurting your brother-in-law’s feelings; your family’s wealth and future are at stake.
Here at the Thompson Group, Jamie and the Team have been helping sellers in Chandler and the Greater Phoenix area for over 21 years. We’ve always worked hard, even when the market was easy – it’s how we’ve consistently gotten the highest prices and fastest sales possible for our clients. If you have questions about your home or the market, give us a call today at 602-753-0177.