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Easy As 1-2-3
There is a usually a very logical progression to selling an Oregon home and it can be as easy as ‘1-2-3.’ So since the process between buyers and sellers is routinely described as a kind of ‘dance,’ let the music begin.
To be fair, there are plenty of tasks associated with any real estate transaction, yet the key process that gets homesellers a workable offer can be simplified to three primary steps. Then, once a mutually accepted offer is in hand, the final march to closing the sale begins.
But the fundamentally crucial elements start very early. Curious? Here we go:
1. Online Activity-More than 90% of homebuyers first look online before they even call a Realtor. Just as important, once buyers select an agent, they will continue to view properties online as they ‘winnow the field’ and decide which homes to tour. Then, the power of the local multiple listing system provides a much larger selection of properties to view.
2. Showing Activity-By the time buyers take their first home tour, they’re typically pre-qualified. Few homebuyers ever make an offer without this crucial step. If they do, it’s not unusual for sellers to request they get pre-qualified before their offer is seriously considered.
3. Offer Activity-This is the final step in the 3 phase path to an offer. If homesellers make it to this point, their property has likely been priced close to the actual market value. This 3-step process looks simple and in a way, it is. What follows are a few fine points.
Oregon Home-Selling by the Numbers
First, it’s helpful to realize that buyers generally behave in somewhat predictable phases. This means they routinely go to Step 1 first, before Step 2, or Step 3. There is very little skipping around. For example, it’s uncommon for a buyer to start at Step 2, or leave out any steps.
Another important element to consider is when a homeseller’s efforts ‘stall’ at a certain step. Depending on a variety of factors, there is usually a good reason, which can be diagnosed by a Realtor experienced with intrinsic behaviors of buyer activity.
Even Batman Doesn’t Have This In His Utility Belt
Homesellers can have a very useful tool in their utility belt, since online buyer activity can be monitored to evaluate buyer response, or lack of it. That valuable tool is a report on buyer activity for your specific property. Some of these reports are released weekly (Realtor.com) and others (like regional multiple listing services) are compiled daily. Realtors who invest wisely in their business frequently subscribe to these proprietary services
Step 1. Online Activity
Online property reports are very valuable in analyzing market reaction to a seller’s property. And realize what market reaction is: The collective response of buyers in an area, or ‘market.’ As a result, your Realtor can provide you with regular updates on buyer Internet activity for your home and from a variety of sources. Some of these key sources will provide hyper-local data very specific to your area. For maximum accuracy, it’s important to compare buyer activity for a property in one location with others in that same area.
Online property activity data can help gauge if your property’s popularity is really ramping up, falling fast, or simply ‘so-so.’ Now let’s take a further look into these helpful tools.
A Medical Analogy
As with reading blood tests or an EKG, it’s especially helpful if the professional reading them has familiarity with specifics under a variety of situations. Some ‘bumps’ can mean much, others little.
Since you wouldn’t expect a brain surgeon to be a heart expert, agents who only work with city properties may not analyze market reaction to a rural property the same way and vice-versa. It’s important that market responses for a seller’s property be analyzed by taking both the property type and location into account. As a result, it’s not realistic to expect identical market readings for a swanky suburban Portland, Oregon home when compared to a ‘fixer’ home in tiny Paisley, Oregon. Tracking your home’s online popularity can determine not only buyer response, but provide key insights. For example such buyer activity information can help sellers make adjustments before activity gets lackluster and a property becomes ‘shopworn.’
Step 2. Showing Activity
The ‘jump’ from online home searching to touring inside homes is a significant one. Since agents commit considerable time and effort and are usually paid only after a buyer purchases a home, this typically means real estate agents are selective with those they spend time with, so touring buyers are usually pre-qualified by a lender. In other words, we’re now within the realm of a qualified home purchaser, who is ready, willing and able to buy. Studies show that the typical home buyer searches for 10 weeks and views 10 homes.
Step 3. Offer Activity
A final leg in this three step journey is when an offer is written and submitted for the seller’s consideration. By writing an offer, this step also helps to confirm that the property is likely priced within a reasonably market-friendly range. There is still plenty to do after Step 3, but an acceptable offer places the process into the remaining phases of a real estate transaction. This can include elements like escrow, home inspections, preliminary title report, appraisal, loan documents and closing.
A Real Estate/Fishing Analogy
For example, wildly over-priced homes don’t usually get much more than ‘low-ball’ offers, if any. Think of the actual top market value of any property as a ‘waterline.’ Fish usually don’t jump in the boat, so if a home seller’s property is priced significantly above that level, expect little, if any action. As the ‘bait’ or price is lowered to the waterline, expect ‘nibbles.’ If no serious offers arrive within a reasonable amount of time, further lowering the price will typically provoke a ‘feeding frenzy,’ also known as a ‘bidding war’ for the property.
The End of the Beginning
An accepted offer is not the final step of the home selling process. But with an accepted offer in hand, home sellers and their Realtor can focus attention on remaining stages.
Thinking about Selling?
Call (503) 682-1083, or contact Certified Realty using the form below for a free consultation on what your property could sell for in today’s market.