Pricing & Perception is everything!
Sellers: Asking Prices! Pricing is always important in any market, but in this difficult climate, the most important rule is to price your property accurately. This can often be a challenge because what happens locally may not compare what is being presented within the national media. Careful consideration must be given to market trends, late statistics on recent sales (within 60-90 days), available credit and the local employment picture.
Agents: It is absolutely essential, and I believe our duty, to accurately price properties for sale from the get-go. With the bulging inventory there is no time to lose. Care must be taken to properly analyze all data. A thorough market analysis should take hours, not minutes. The agent must know all competing properties and assure the seller that theirs is the competition, not the other way around. Market updates should be done on a WEEKLY, not monthly basis. Lately, I look virtually every day, and at the very least every 3 days to be certain my listing is properly positioned. If it is not, we will lose.
I have written at length about difficult sellers. Sometimes it is the seller being difficult, and often it is an agent who has not yet developed the skill set to effectively market in a down economy. In either case, buyers are out there, and they want to deal. If a property sits for more than 3 weeks in any market, everyone begins to stress it is almost always an indicator that it is overpriced and/or the seller is difficult to deal with. Either of these scenarios are the kiss of death in a market such as this. Pricing and Perception is everything.
Buyers: Today's buyers have a wealth of inventory to choose from. Therefore, we are seeing most offers come 5, 10 and sometimes 15% below asking. We are seeing a "reverse" from the seller's market a few years ago where a buyer didn't even dare ask the seller to fix one little thing. Today, sellers are now being forced to spend thousands on items that in the past would have been forgiven.
As I've often said, one can readily see that YES properties are still selling. This little activity chart reflects the last 30 days. Go here for further info. The absolute most important thing is to send a message to all buyers that you are competitive, that you are in the game and that your seller is "ready to deal!"