Model of a home with a set of keys

by Jamie Thompson

Summer is almost here, and in my line of work that means one thing: home selling!

Many families list and sell in the summer for practical reasons; the kids are home, the weather is mild, and schedules are more forgiving. But this year, sellers wonder if it will be a smart time to move.

Here in Chandler, the answer is a resounding yes, if sellers employ the right strategies. Inventory is rising and buyers’ budgets are tight, but sellers who position their listings intelligently should enjoy a fast sale and excellent price this season.

A different kind of seller’s market

Locally and throughout Arizona, compared to last year home sales are down, buyer affordability is lower, and inventory is up. However, our median sale price is up nearly 15% and homes are selling a full 15 days faster on average. It’s a seller’s market for sure, but there’s more to the story.

Demand is divided. Most Chandler buyers want single-family homes under $500,000, but not enough sellers are selling them. Well-prepared and positioned homes in this price range are selling in a matter of days, often over asking. Homes priced over $500,000 are less in demand, but more and more are being listed. At the time of this writing, $500,000+ homes accounted for 80% of for-sale listings, but only about half of last month’s sales. Inventory is up overall for this reason, even though prices and selling speeds are improving on average.

Buyers are adapting to high rates. High rates are here to stay, at least for a while, and buyers seem to know it. Many first-timers are still priced out of the market, but those who are not are done waiting. They are finding ways to save money in the short term (buying points, injecting more cash, etc.), knowing they can refinance down the road. Cash purchases have increased substantially as well, and we expect this trend to continue into the summer.

Bottom line, Chandler is a seller’s market, but a unique one. In order to get a top-of-the-market price and a fast sale, sellers need to understand how buying patterns are changing.

Buying patterns are shifting

A few years ago, rates were rock-bottom and pandemic-wary families were seeking spacious, amenity-rich homes. These dynamics are no longer in play. This summer, buyers will be:

More discerning. Buyers know they need to pay more for a home, but they aren’t willing to pay more for less home. They are more discerning than ever, whether they are looking for a million-dollar home or one in the $400,000 range. Even if unattractive homes are priced to sell, buyers are so averse to them that they end up selling well below what the market “should,” on paper, pay.

More experienced. With many first-timers still sidelined, most house-hunters this summer will be serious, with pre-approvals ready or funds verified. Negotiations will move quickly. Sellers will want to proactively mitigate issues and anticipate buyers’ needs ahead of time.

More cost-conscious. With home prices and rates up, even the wealthiest buyers are ultra-cost-aware right now. And they may become more so this summer if a big commission settlement is finalized. The settlement will effectively result in buyers paying their agents’ fees if sellers do not. Buyer-agent commission offers may help buyers of larger properties compete, and rate buy down concessions will appeal to buyers reliant on financing.

Strategies for sellers

Many sellers will take our “seller’s market” for granted this summer, without considering the constraints and preferences of today’s buyers. Strategic sellers will therefore gain a competitive edge. Here are the tactics I’m using with my own clients to maximize their success this summer:

1. Make it “modern and move-in ready”

This summer, listings that don’t appeal to buyers as “modern and move-in ready” will take longer to sell and sell for less – in all price ranges, but particularly $500,000+. And it’s surprisingly easy to bring most homes up to this standard; simple things like curb appeal, refinished floors, new appliances, and staging can radically improve buyer perception.

Your agent should make a list of any problems that could hurt your sale and any upgrades that could yield a worthwhile ROI. Once you have a list, ask your agent for referrals. If you start right now, your home could easily be ready by June.

2. Price to win

Your agent should conduct a thorough market analysis before suggesting a price. Basics like location, square footage, and features should be factored in, but so should your listing date and planned prep.

Chandler prices are historically high right now, but they haven’t yet returned to the peaks we saw in 2022. Many sellers, however, will be shooting for the moon. This summer, don’t mistake asking prices for sale prices. If you do, your home may languish and end up selling below-market.

3. Market big

This summer, Chandler sellers will be competing for a small pool of buyers, and sellers of higher-end properties will be competing for an even smaller pool. Listings that are marketed aggressively and intelligently will do the best.

Many of our buyers come from outside Arizona; they know they want to live in a nice Phoenix suburb, but may be unfamiliar with Chandler specifically. This summer, agents will need to thoughtfully keyword, market across multiple channels, and network with other agents.

For our clients, we give “pre-listings” sneak peaks to brokers so they can line up buyers ahead of time, then we create comprehensive listing packages targeted to each property’s buyer type. When our listings go live, we push them to every applicable site and market them through social media, email, direct mail, and more. In today’s market, you want a campaign that builds excitement pre-listing and generates massive engagement on Day One.

Get in touch

If you have questions about the market or would like to discuss strategies for your own home, give me a call at 602-753-0177. You can expect to do well this summer, but I’m eager to help you do even better!