Think you can skip vacuuming and a fresh coat of paint when putting your house up for sale in these times of $300,000 home prices in Pierce County?
Nope. Remember, even Ted Bundy’s childhood home had a makeover.
A quick survey of real estate agents in the county shows that the same presentation rules apply, and be careful not to overprice your property.
The chance at a quick minimal-effort flip for fast cash is attracting some greedy sellers to our market. Some aren’t getting very far with that formula.
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In Pierce County during the past six months, “we have had 395 properties come up for sale and go off the market ‘expired,’ ” said Dick Beeson, principal managing broker with Re/Max, via email.
“This means that the property was put on the market and didn’t sell during their time on the market,” he said. “And the main reason was because they were listed for sale at too high a price.
“Many of these properties were subsequently relisted at a lower price and then sold.”
Keep the appraisal in mind, too.
“Appraisers are struggling with this market because prices are increasing so quickly,” Beeson wrote. “Their appraising standards require them to use recent sales data, not anecdotal data from what’s currently ‘under contract’ in the neighborhood.”
At the very least, overly ambitious pricing leads to time-wasting frustration as you keep your sinks and toilets polished to a shine every day but fewer people show interest with each passing day.
During the past six months in the county, another 606 houses came up for sale and were canceled out of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, Beeson noted.
“Many of these homeowners simply got frustrated ... they couldn’t find a buyer at the price they were asking and decided to take their property off the market and not endure the pain and suffering associated with having your home in ‘show condition,’ always ready for a buyer to come on any day,” he said.
“The days of, ‘Let’s put it on the market and see if someone bites’ still does not work,” Beeson said. “Only serious sellers should venture into this market. They will be rewarded if priced at market or below market but not above market.”
So that house you spotted yesterday for sale priced right and in great condition probably has a sale pending on it by the time you read this.
“If you see it on Monday, it will sell on Friday,” Jim Morrison, manager of the John L. Scott Puyallup South Hill office told The News Tribune on Tuesday after the latest NMLS numbers were released.
As a seller, you still need to compete, Morrison noted: “List on Friday and do open houses on the weekend to be seen by the most people possible.”
Anything outside that typical formula might mean missing the chance for instant multiple offers.
No matter how hot this market is, curb appeal still matters.
“Have your yard in the best possible condition, lawn mowed, garden beds weeded and looking fresh,” wrote Amy Lowry of Windermere Professional Partners via email. “The first photo buyers see when searching on the internet is the front picture of your home.”
And as you’re vacuuming your way out the door, remember to sweep those cobwebs off the porch.
“Keep in mind that buyers will be standing on the front porch, looking around, as they wait for their Realtor to open the door, so have that area ready to go,” Lowry added.
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