Sellers grab the wheel! No need to put off selling your home any longer, the housing market race in Charlotte has you in the driver’s seat again.
Because the Charlotte area continues to have a shortage of homes available for sale, median sales prices of homes are up 8.7% from a year ago. Multiple offers are becoming common again at all price points, especially in the $200,000 to $300,00 price range.
At Modern Charlotte multiple offers are nothing new, we’ve been experiencing them for most of our listings for the past year now. Mid Century Modern homes have become extremely popular again, but this style is less common in the Charlotte area than other styles. The normal shortage of the style combined with the overall inventory shortage has caused the supply of Modern homes on the market to almost completely dry up. So now when one hits the market, particularly one in an affordable price range, there are a slew of buyers ready to pounce on it.
But this doesn’t mean “anything goes” for sellers. While some homes are being snapped up immediately, others are not. Smart marketing is what determine the difference between a “hot” property with multiple offers and a property that sits for months with nary a nibble. Following the tips listed below will greatly increase the likelihood of your home going under contract in 30 days or less (sometimes within the week), for full asking or very close to asking price.
- Resist the urge to overprice. Can’t emphasize this enough! The asking price for your home is determined by comparing it to comps, i.e. recently sold properties of similar size and features in your area. The asking price is NOT determined by how much you need to net from your home or by the total cost of improvements you have made to your home. No matter how much you personally think your home is worth, sales price is determined by the market, period.
- Have great photos. Today’s market is all about how well a home shows online, because that’s where today’s buyers start shopping. Excellent online photos that showcase your home to its best advantage will greatly increase the number of showings it receives.
- Stage your home for the market according to the advice of your real estate professional. It’s their business to know what appeals most to buyers. Today’s buyers have expectations and requirements on a whole different level than buyers of just 10 years ago and a good broker knows how to market your home for these 2014 expectations.
- One your home is listed make sure it’s accessible and easy to show. Keep it ready to show at a moment’s notice and don’t decline showings. It’s a proven formula in real estate: the more showings a property receives, the higher the likelihood of an offer.
If you’re shopping for a Mid Century Modern home, the current low inventory can make the hunt competitive and frustrating. But don’t despair, using the tips listed below is the best way to gain an edge over competing buyers.
When house hunting:
- Make sure all your financing is firmly in place and that you have a pre-approval letter for financing in hand.
- Work with a good broker who knows the market, understands where to find the kind of home you’re looking for and can caution you against overpriced homes.
- Keep an open mind and consider a home that needs renovating or a style makeover because it will be automatically overlooked by a a good chunk of the competing buyers.
- Be ahead of trend and look at 70’s and 80’s California Contemporaries. Now is the perfect time because these homes are on the verge of being rediscovered and experiencing the appreciation of the earlier Moderns. Best of all, California contemporaries are more common in Charlotte than earlier Moderns but are not yet priced as high.
- If you’ve seen a home you think might be perfect but it’s not on the market, have your agent write the homeowner and express your interest in buying it. It’s always possible the right offer could sway them to sell.
- Look beyond your target neighborhood to an off-the-radar one. If a neighborhood is currently hot or trendy you can be sure it will be swarming with other buyers, and property values there have already made a huge jump and may very well level off soon. Paying top dollar for such a home could easily put you in deep red equity-wise if there’s any sort of downturn in the market.
When you find the right home:
- Once you find a home you love, don’t dilly dally. Be prepared to submit a serious offer along with your pre-approval letter immediately. You can’t even afford to sleep on it; with low inventory there are probably 10 other buyers in love with it as well.
- To avoid getting into a bidding war it’s best to get in the FIRST OFFER with an EXPIRATION OF OFFER (24hours or less), so the broker doesn’t have the chance to SHOP YOUR OFFER!!
- Absolutely, positively, do not lowball. Go in with your strongest offer, but this doesn’t mean you should overpay. This is when working with a good broker is most important, because they can pull comps and advise you on a fair price.
- A downpayment of 20% or more will give your offer much more weight with the seller.
- Don’t even think of bidding with a contingency, such as keeping the home under contract while you wait for your current home to sell. These sort of contingencies are a thing of the past; you have no chance of having your offer accepted with one.
- Strengthen your offer in non-monetary ways, too because sellers of unique homes often consider more than dollars when choosing which offer to accept, especially if they’re the original owner. Write a letter with an emotional appeal emphasizing how much you love their home, its current design and how you plan to be a great steward and preserve it by taking good care of it.
- Don’t count on being able to use the inspection report as a negotiating tool to take a big bite out of the sales price. Multiple back-up offers for a great Modern home are now common. Submitting an expensive repair list may very well cause the seller to move on to the next offer in the queue. Ask yourself if a few repairs is worth losing the home over.