07When the amount of available housing inventory for sale is lower, real estate analysts and experts generally say that this creates a market that is favorable to sellers — leading to higher sales prices, less time spent on market, and more competition among buyers for available homes.
This situation is largely reflective of the market conditions that we are experiencing right now. According to data from the National Association of REALTORS® March 2021 Existing-Home Sales Report, nationwide inventory levels continue to sit near record lows, with roughly a 2.1-month supply of unsold inventory at the current sales pace — down from 3.3 months at the same period a year earlier, and far below the 6-7 month benchmark that has historically signified a balanced or neutral market. As a result, homes are spending less time on the market on the average, generating more multiple-offer scenarios, and fetching higher sales prices — with the nationwide median sales price up by 17.2 percent year over year, as of March 2021.
This snapshot suggests that now is an attractive time for sellers who have been considering making their move to act. With that said, even in a favorable market, sellers should still do everything in their power to make the selling process easier, faster, and more lucrative — particularly bringing on the services of a local real estate expert.
The Importance of a Seller’s Agent in a Seller’s Market
While it may be tempting to consider going it alone given our current market conditions, the reality is that attempting to “For Sale By Owner,” or FSBO can make completing your sale more difficult — and actually end up losing you money. Data suggests that you still put yourself in the best position as a seller when you work with an experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent, rather than attempting a FSBO sale.
Here are some of the ways that a real estate agent can help sellers secure the best deal and make the process smarter and more seamless in a lower-inventory market:
Higher Sale Prices
When the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) first began publishing buyer and seller data in 1981, FSBO home sales accounted for roughly 15 percent of all total home sales; as of 2020, this share is down to 8 percent. There are multiple reasons why the number of individuals attempting FSBO has declined over time — and one of the biggest is the simple reality that agent-assisted home sales tend to net greater profits than FSBO sales.
As the NAR 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report indicates, “FSBOs typically sell for less than the selling price of other homes,” selling at a median of $217,900 in the prior year. This is significantly lower than the median selling price for agent-assisted homes, which was $242,300. Crucially, sellers who began by attempting FSBO before bringing on a real estate professional ended up selling for 98 percent of asking price — though this group ultimately had to reduce their price the most before arriving at a final listing price.
Bottom line? There is an art and science to selling a home, and smart negotiation begins with pricing the property correctly from the very beginning. A lot of factors go into pricing a home, including size, location, condition and more. During the sale, getting sellers as close to asking price as possible involves knowing when there’s leeway for give and take, and understanding the crucial role that timing can play.
Selling a home is a major undertaking, with many moving pieces that need to be accounted for in the important phase between contract and closing.
After contract acceptance, buyers and sellers will need to work through a number of important elements required to “seal the deal” on the transaction, including but not limited to performing a title search and ordering title insurance, handling the initial earnest money deposit, coordinating a home inspection, awaiting the results of the bank appraisal, negotiating and resolving contract changes, and more. This is a lot for a FSBO seller to tackle without guidance or direction — particularly when you consider how much time you’ll also be devoting to packing, moving, and getting ready to take your next steps.
When it’s time to close, your agent will make the entire process easier by managing the details and the team working on your behalf at every step of the way, including appraisers, loan officers, title attorneys, and home inspectors.
Baird & Warner’s one-stop shop approach helps turn this intricate, complex process into one that is even smarter and more seamless. Because the rest of your life doesn’t go away when you’re selling a home, Baird & Warner agents can offer the use of dozens of convenient locations to complete your closing. With Baird & Warner Title Services, you’ll have access to a network of 1,000 local real estate attorneys who have been vetted to ensure they offer the best expertise, service and integrity. And because of your Baird & Warner real estate agent’s connections with Key Mortgage, you can get a complimentary second look at offers from potential buyers, helping you to make better decisions and ensure an easier closing.
Reaching the Right Buyer
According to the NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report, 51 percent of FSBO sellers said that they knew the buyer of the home before the transaction; FSBO sellers who already knew the buyer predominantly sold to a friend, relative, or neighbor. However, what if your ideal buyer is not a friend or family member? A real estate expert can help you take advantage of a mix of proven tools, technologies, and techniques to ensure that your ideal buyer sees your place and wants to make it their home.
It takes a multi-reach approach to make sure interested buyers see your home and all its best qualities. Your Baird & Warner agent will spend time learning about what makes your place special, what your needs are, and then planning a marketing strategy that works.
Your Baird & Warner agent will create a website for your home that includes a professionally shot photo gallery, property details and even neighborhood and school info, while also leveraging essential traditional marketing materials including brochures, flyers, ads, and postcards. Whether for open houses, publications, or mailings, our professional design and production will make your home look absolutely beautiful in each printed piece.
And what if you want to reach a national or global audience? Your Baird & Warner agent can bring you potential buyers from around the world. In fact, we’re founding members of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, a network of top brokerages from across more than 50 countries. Our relocation services team provides outstanding service to individuals and corporations and can bring even more potential buyers to your home.
When Home Means More, You Need a Team With More to Offer
Home is about so much more than just four walls. Buying or selling a home is a big deal, and with everything we experienced in 2020, our homes have never been more important. That’s why your local Baird & Warner agent is with you at every step of the way, from finding the perfect home to connecting you with local experts in mortgage and title. Whether it’s the beginning of a story or the end of a chapter, we’re here to help.