Competing with New Construction

By Beacon Staff

As you place your home on the market, don’t forget to look at the competition in your marketplace to help determine a price for your house. Some home sellers have found that while they have a “newer” home, the even newer homes (i.e., just built) have created havoc on the sale of their “previously owned” model.

First of all, home sellers need to analyze what’s going on in both the resale and new-home market as they place their house up for sale. Whether it’s a hot or cold market, the properties in pristine condition will always sell quicker and for the highest dollar.

It’s just commonsense and human nature. If offered a $5 bill fresh off the press or one that is mutilated, muddy and ink-stained, most people will go for the new dollar bill instead.

If you find yourself up against new properties, look at following these steps to maximize your selling possibilities:

  1. Check out the condition of the new house. What you find may either depress you or stimulate you to action. New carpet, freshly painted interiors and impeccable decorating is what you’ll find and have to take into account when preparing your home for sale. Come back to your house and walk through it as you just did at the new-home development. Where should you start? Get to painting, replacing old flooring and decorating down (meaning make it more vanilla) so that buyers can visualize how they would decorate the home if they owned it.
  2. What terms are you up against? Is the builder offering decoration choices? Free finished basement or deck? How can you compete with that? Can you offer up front a decoration allowance of $5,000? This might be more advantageous than dropping the price outright. Hang on to your price, but give the buyer an incentive to work with you in decorating the house the way they want it.
  3. Get serious about the trends in your market place. Your local real estate market is exactly that – a market. The Realtors don’t control the prices — the buyers and sellers do. If home prices are falling it means buyers are holding off on the higher prices they face. If prices are escalating there’s not enough inventory to meet the demand and buyers are willing to move on up on the offer. While you may have done a lot to your house, those hours of labor and tender care rarely mean more money. It’s primarily what the buyer is willing to pay for it, regardless of the amenities.
  4. Check out the curb appeal. What can you do to seriously spruce up your exterior? A lot of buyers simply drive by and get the brochure out of the sign box if the house doesn’t wow them right from the start. Builders know this and have the model with all the upgrades outside — flowering plants, fresh mulch, great facades, good looking grass. What can you do to make your exterior look fantastic. One way to get ready to sell your house is to plan out a few months in advance. A drab yard can be replaced within one growing season if appropriately cared for.

Always remember – the way you sell a house is not the way you live in it. Buyers want new, clean, fresh and unstained. For the highest price and terms possible, give them what they want.

Submitted by the NMAR PR Committe.

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