Selling a house or condo? Here is what you can learn from the second home market!

Perhaps there is no more challenging market for selling a property, than a market that is primarily second homes. Of course, one of the biggest factors in selling a home depends on the other inventory available for buyers to consider.

While away for a weekend, I met a couple that has a house for sale in a part of Maine, made up of mostly second homes – I will refer to them as the Smiths. The house is now listed for the third time, and they are now using a second real estate company. Not surprisingly, there is serious glut of properties for sale, very similar to the Smith’s house.

After speaking with them, and finding them to be quite frustrated with the slow moving sales in the area, I asked whether they had revisited pricing their house. As often is the case with my own clients, pricing is a touchy subject. And they were all too eager to explain to me why their house is so much nicer than many of the others for sale.

For the sake of this article, lets assume that the Smith’s house was in the better half of the similarly priced inventory. This, in my opinion, gives them a great opportunity! With the large inventory that has been sitting for years in this particular market, if priced lower than comparable houses (even if just marginally), they could really stand out as sellers. With buyers having so many options to choose from (as is the case around the country, not just in the second home market), a seller can really take advantage of the stale, over priced inventory that is their “competition” as sellers.

Whether selling a property in Wellesley , Newton , Brookline – Maine or Vermont, pricing to attract buyers is EVERYTHING. Buyers see a sale happening, with no pressure to buy because if a house they are interested in happens to sell – they know there will be others… many others. However, if a seller is realistic, takes the buyer’s perspective and beats the competition with an attractive price, an educated buyer will not wait to pursue it.

Sellers like the Smiths are often too eager to simply blame the market for their house not selling for the price they “want”. A slow market, with buyers taking their time, can work to a seller’s advantage if they realize what an opportunity they have when pricing their property.

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About Brad Hartz
I am the owner of Hartz Real Estate, a Massachusetts residential real estate sales company specializing in houses and condominiums.

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