We call this process a bidding war and not even the sellers are always happy about the outcome! My motto is this: Price it right, it sells over night, price it wrong, it stays on too long. It’s pretty simple.
When I met with my clients in early March, they told me they hoped to sell their house in less than a week and try to close in mid-late July. My sellers have one of the split level homes in Short Hills, NJ, and they knew that their house needed a lot of updating, but they did not want to do much work. After over 40 years in this home. they wanted to just move on and let the next owner tackle the kitchen, baths and renovating. We decided on the five or six small projects to do to prepare the house, and we chose a weekend for the debut.
They painted the front door so that was not dingy looking as people first approached. They planted flowers around the front which added some charm. They cleaned, decluttered, washed the windows and lifted the carpet out of the entry foyer to show off the handsome hardwood floors that were otherwise covered in most rooms.
I suggested they price the house a little on the low side and let us blow the lid off with a media blitz in the paper, postings on 30 websites, a for sale sign with a direct domain to their house. postcard mailings in the township and through email blasts to our buyer list and our Realtor database. We examined the market inventory and priced the house lower than the other homes in the area and also below the tax assessment, to account for the work still needed.
What followed was near hysteria as 100 people came to the Sunday open house and we got 17 offers within 5 days! The house sold way over list price, the terms were exactly what they wanted and they are very pleased.
Read this article in the New York Times from April 11, 2010
“Multiple bids are very definitely back,” said Karen Eastman Bigos, the broker with the Towne Realty Group who had the listing for the 1958 split-level on Seminole Way that garnered all those bids, along with two that she said came in after bidding was closed.”
So what is the moral of this story? Just as Jeff Otteau says:
“Median prices are “inching up” in the state’s more-sought-after communities, said Jeffrey G. Otteau, whose New Brunswick-based company, the Otteau Valuation Group, analyzes sales data for brokers.
“It is very gradual, in the low single digits,” Mr. Otteau said. “While historically, coming out of a recession, prices go up 5 to 10 percent in the first year, this year so far we are seeing a couple of percentage points, in only limited markets.”
“Short Hills is one of 29 communities.”
The good news is that if a home is priced right, with not too much competition and the location has potential for renovation, (this one had 134′ frontage which is important for a builder in considering a tear down) then the house can have more value to two separate audiences.