Over the last couple of years, homes for sale flew off the proverbial shelves. However, the market has shifted, and sellers are finding that’s no longer the case. As Redfin recently reported, “new listings are down by double-digits,” One big reason is that homes are taking longer to sell.
In December, the average home was on the market for 40 days — more than double the record low of 18 days last May and only about one-in-four homes went under contract within two weeks.
Listings are tough to win, perhaps today more than in a long time. Inventory is restricted because so many homeowners’ mortgage interest rates are incredibly low. They aren’t interested in moving because today’s mortgage rates are typically more than double their current rate.
Agents have more competition than ever. For example, today, there are more Realtors in the US — nearly 1.6 million — than ever, yet we have an estimated 1.2 million homes listed for sale. Talk about competition!
Making every listing count
Real estate sales pros need to optimize every listing they can secure. That means getting their sellers the maximum sales price. When the seller wins by getting more for their home, the listing agent wins, too.
Here are three ways you can make every listing count:
1. Presale renovation conversation: One crucial strategy that you can use to help your listings secure the highest price — and sell faster once listed — is making sure every home is market-ready. Selling a home in today’s market “as-is” is rarely the best strategy.
Most homes can use at least a little bit of love. And many can benefit even more from significant improvements.
This is where agents can help their sellers tap into a company like Revive.
Revive offers a property advisor to help your seller determine their best path forward.
Does your seller just need minor renovations, bringing a fully functional, spotless, and well-presented home to the market for a fast sale? Or would your seller benefit more from major renovations (perhaps a new kitchen and fresh upgrades throughout)? Revive fronts the cost, so sellers can make the smartest decision for their situation without the stress of finding the cash.
Major renovations can be expensive, but with a presale renovation firm at the helm, the expense and the risk are no longer insurmountable hurdles.
The presale renovation conversation is something every agent needs to have with every seller. Because making every listing count means ensuring your seller is not leaving money on the table. Revive’s research has found sellers often leave as much as 20 percent of their potential profit on the table simply because they do not know about this new option.
Agents can learn more about how presale renovations work at Revive's website (revive.realestate), which shows dozens of examples — and all the details — of presale renovations that put tens of thousands of more dollars into sellers' bank accounts.
No other presale renovation firm has helped homeowners generate more significant wealth when selling a home than Revive. Make sure you build your presale renovation conversation into every listing presentation.
2. Understanding buyers to help your sellers: Forty-three percent of all home buyers today are millennials. That’s the highest share of any generation, and it is growing, according to research by the National Association of Realtors. Boomers comprise 29 percent of buyers, and Gen Xers comprise 22 percent.
Conversely, boomers are the biggest group of home sellers: 43 percent of all sellers are Boomers, far greater than any other generation. Millennials sell the second greatest number of homes (26 percent), closely followed by Gen Xers (24 percent).
You can help your sellers by making sure they understand what today’s buyers want. Millennials and Gen Xers have different wants, needs, interests, and priorities than Boomers. NAR's Research Group recently published an excellent study, "2022 Home Buyer and Sellers Generational Trends Report," worth carefully reviewing.
Other research also is available to help you understand the buying habits of a different generation. For example, a study by TD Bank reveals that nearly 80 percent of millennials want move-in ready homes. NAR research also discovered that 70 percent of millennial home buyers would instead buy a smaller home that was ready to move in – giving up more space – than a larger home being sold “as is.”
By understanding these differences, agents can help their sellers ensure their listings match what buyers in today’s market want.
3. The value of staging: Properly staging a home can be a highly effective way to make every listing count. This should include securing the talents of a professional stager (unless you have this certification or proven experience). Professionally arranging and decorating a property to make it more appealing to potential buyers has numerous benefits.
Well-staged homes make a great first impression, and you only get one chance to do that. Staging also can help put a spotlight on the home’s best features. In addition, when professionally staged, a property can make it easier for buyers to envision themselves living there.
More importantly, research supports the value of home staging. For example, studies from NAR and the Real Estate Staging Association found that staged homes sell between 5 percent and 23 percent over their listing price. In addition, home staging provides between an 8 percent and 10 percent return on investment. And staged homes spend 73 percent less time on the market than non-staged homes.
Your competitors also believe in staging, as 96 percent of Realtors believe home staging influences a buyer's decision.
Change with the market
The real estate market has changed, which means how to win a listing should also change. Adding a presale renovation discussion to your listing presentation, understanding better what today's buyers want and educating your sellers about those differences, and taking advantage of the benefits of professional staging can help you make every listing count.
Use these tactics to win more listings and increase your GCI.