The Stockton Group: 4 tips for listing and selling your mountain home (column)
December 22, 2017
When it comes time to sell your mountain home, you want to sell in the fastest amount of time, for the most money, with the least hassle. To do so, you'll need to make sure you're correctly timing your sale and properly pricing and marketing the property.
1. Timing the sale — A good listing agent will help you understand the ins and outs of the marketplace and what they mean for you as a seller. If you're in a position where you don't have to sell right away, then your agent will be able to give you some guidance on the timing that might best benefit you.
Your agent needs to have in-depth knowledge of where the market has been and where it is headed, as well as absorption rates for different price ranges and regions. Each market is unique and each has its idiosyncratic seasonal fluctuations. Talk with your agent about how these fluctuations might help or hinder your sale and your selling price. These suggestions should be specific to the price range and the type of property you are selling.
2. Proper pricing — There is something known in real estate circles as "buying a listing," and it occurs when an agent inflates the price or essentially tells the sellers what they want to hear to secure the listing, only to make price adjustments later. Work with a Realtor who knows the market and provides you with statistics and information on comparable sales to back up pricing recommendations.
Homes will typically garner the most attention in the first few weeks. This is when buyers who've been watching the market for a home in a particular price range will call, as will agents who have been watching the market on behalf of their clients. If the property is overpriced, it may languish on the market and, when the eventual price drops occur, the home will likely not get the buzz it did when it was first introduced to the market.
Make sure your Realtor can give you sold data and analysis of how he or she arrived at the recommended price. In that analysis, be sure each amenity and feature that sets your mountain home apart has been taken into consideration. Your agent should also give you guidelines on how long the sales process might take and tell you ahead of time about key indicators that would signal a price drop may be in order.
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3. Marketing a home and a lifestyle — More than 90 percent of homebuyers start with an online search. Check to see if your Realtor maintains a solid website, as well as a regular presence on social media. Since much of online real estate browsing is done on tablets and smartphones, make sure your agent's site is designed to be mobile responsive. An agent's proposed marketing system also could include print advertising or direct mail.
Professional photographs should also be part of every home's marketing plan. All images should showcase your property in the best light, and a professional real estate photographer has the knowledge, the lenses and the lighting to ensure it's is being showcased properly. A video or virtual tour is another way to allow potential buyers to virtually walk through the home, which provides a better idea of the home than photos alone.
A good Realtor also will ask you for any supplementary information that can help in marketing efforts. If you have done recent upgrades, then provide a list. If you have a floor plan or blueprints or ideas for how the home might be improved, share them.
Finally, make sure your Realtor knows how to market the lifestyle your property represents. When purchasing a mountain home, you are buying into a particular lifestyle, and a good Realtor can capitalize on this through images and words.
4. Open houses — Open houses get potential buyers into the home and they generate buzz. In resort mountain towns, we have new people visiting our area each week. Many of these visitors are excited to see what kind of property they could buy here or what they might recommend to their friends and family.
One open house that is particularly effective at all price points is the Broker Open House, whereby agents tour the home so they can get a feel, firsthand, for what it offers and share this information with their buyers.
Tye Stockton is global real estate advisor for The Stockton Group and LIV Sotheby's International Realty.
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