For many, the sale of a home is somewhat of a mystery. What exactly is it that Realtors do to sell properties, sometimes in the dark of night?
The answer is that Realtors do a lot of things, though some of them are not so well known. Today we’ll examine one of these ‘secrets’ to help non-Realtors understand the process of how properties sell. Enigmatically, the answer relates to how buyers respond. And while most Realtors have ready access to this ‘secret,’ not all of them use it.
This ‘secret’ is so powerful that it can allow an agent to confidently recommend that a client lower their property’s list price by thousands of dollars….or insist that the property will sell with nary a price reduction. Welcome to the inside world of ‘hit counts.’
The Hits Just Keep Coming
In real estate parlance, a ‘hit count’ frequently refers to online activity for a specific property and can include activity from buyers and/or Realtors. The ability to accurately monitor property activity is among the most useful items in a Realtor’s toolbox. Some of the more reliable websites for gauging property activity in Oregon are reports from the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS) and Realtor.com. They’re uniquely different, so for purposes of this article, we’ll specifically discuss RMLS ‘hit counts.’
The above graph shows activity on a property receiving significant initial market attention within a few days of being placed for sale. The red line depicts the number of times Realtors have viewed the property in the Regional Multiple Listing Service, known as RMLS. The blue line shows the number of times Realtors have emailed information about the property to their buyers. Because Realtors frequently work with more than one buyer, the blue line can be higher than the red one.
Under the Hood
There are several key elements to the first ‘hit count’ graph and one of the most important isn’t very obvious. Give up? It’s on the left side, which shows the actual order of activity, or specific number of ‘views.’ Remember that any graph can show a ‘big’ spike in activity, but if the ‘views’ portion only goes to a maximum of 5 or 10 ‘hits,’ that’s still a pretty paltry response.
The above graph holds more promise than that, simply because of the magnitude of activity, since a range of up to 350 daily inquiries is significant for our region. This mere fact alone provides a hint about the property. It is likely to be located near a sizeable population center.
Like many areas of life, real estate marketing frequently involves steps to success. In time, a property will either sell, or sit unsold. Predicting the correct price, then course correcting if necessary is part science and part art.
Gimme Three Steps…to a Successful Real Estate Sale
For illustration, there are typically three steps to a successful real estate sale. They are:
- Online activity
- Showing activity
- Offer activity
Most buyers do not buy a home without going through these three steps, and in this exact order. These days, most buyers first look at real estate websites (online activity), drive around or contact their Realtor to view a property (showing activity), before making an offer (offer activity). The ‘hit count’ chart for a given property is a vital part of the above three steps.
Peaks, Valleys & Plateaus
For example, if a property is getting reduced showings and no or few offers, it is frequently reflected in a dropping ‘hit count’ graph. If a property ‘hit count’ graph levels off and is at a plateau, the showing and offer activity can remain steady, but is usually little changed. And a consistently rising ‘hit count’ graph frequently suggests serious showing and offer activity. In addition, the sharper the graph climb, the more likely multiple buyers may make an offer.
Viewing a ‘hit count’ graph takes a little getting used to, but it’s well worth the effort. Here’s another sample:
This graph shows significant initial interest, with a declining trend over time, suggesting a continuation of similar results unless there is an intervening action, like a price change or a marked shift in competing supply, or buyer demand.
Graphs can do many things to help more accurately analyze property activity. They help to confirm that a property has sufficiently tested the market, is accurately priced, overpriced or underpriced and therefore provide a helpful way to determine if adjustments are worth considering in order to more accurately ‘meet the market’ and sell that property.
Thinking About Selling?
Work with Realtors who routinely provide seller clients with a detailed analysis on their property’s activity. For more information or a free consultation, contact Certified Realty using the below form.