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What Are the Odds That My Home Will Sell?

Monday, September 1st, 2014 | Uncategorized | No Comments

By Tom Gongola, Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace, REALTORS®

There are only so many houses that are going to sell in a given area in a given period of time. Wouldn’t you like to know what the odds are that your home will be one of them? I know what you’re thinking. Oh come on. It’s not that simple. There are so many things that impact a sale. Size, features, price, location, and all of the great things that REALTORS® do to market and sell the property and the price point. Yes, I can calculate the odds, and yes, all of those things change the odds. Let’s get to work.

To start, narrow down to our area: Tellico Village (Knoxville MLS area 323) and Rarity Bay (area 326), residential homes (not vacant land). So far this year (through Aug 29, 2014) there were 361 homes listed which tried or are trying to be sold, and 124 of them did sell (closed). That’s 34%. One in three. Being an optimist, a third of them sold! Being a homeowner and seeing all of the yard signs, I know that two-thirds of them did not sell. What I’m describing is called absorption rate. On average, the market (Tellico Village and Rarity Bay) absorbs 15.5 new villagers per month. (124 closed in eight months.)

I can break it down further by area and price. Rarity Bay is a unique, awesome, exclusive, high-end special location, and as such there are only so many people that move into Rarity Bay in a year. Rarity Bay absorbed five new owners so far this year. That’s an absorption rate of 0.6 sales per month.

Here are the mathematical odds of selling your home:
Rarity Bay – All homes: 31%
Rarity Bay – Up to $500K: 40%
Rarity Bay – $500K + to $950K: 43%
Tellico Village – All homes: 34%
Tellico Village – Up to $500K: 32%
Tellico Village – $500K + to $950K: 45%

How do you know if your house is above or below the average? Where do you stand? Be honest with yourself. Is your location better than two-thirds of the homes at your price point? Are your size and features and condition “beat out” 66% of your competition? Do you even know what your competition is?

How do I improve the odds of selling? Prepare! You’re in a competition, so get ready to compete. Start with location, location, location. You can’t move your house to a new lot (well, some houses in Tennessee can), but you can make the best of the lot you have. Make your lot awesome. Clean, cut, clear, plant, paint, fix. Make the outside look impressive.

When I list a property, I nicely tell you how to arrange your furniture, redecorate, what to move, what to keep, and what has to go. I tell you how to prepare for a showing, what to do, what not to do. It’s a system. If I tell you to take your very cute extensive collection of cat figurines down, do it! It’s not that I am anti-cat; I am pro new villager. If you want to know more about how to prepare, call me and invite me over to look at your house. Ok, you did everything you can for location, arranging your furniture for maximizing the room apparent sizes and flow, and fixing and upgrading for condition. You boosted your odds as much as you think you can. You’re ready. Now what?

Cast your net as far as you can. When I list a house for sale, of course I advertise local, because neighbors talk it up and know potential buyers. But, quite honestly, most people reading this paper already live here. We need to expand. Cast the net farther. Where do buyers come from? They come from other parts of Knoxville. They worked hard their live long days and finally move to Tellico Village at retirement. So we need to market hard in Knoxville. They also live in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, or Florida. That sums up most of us. If you moved here from one of those places, raise your hand. If your hand is up, you probably look silly, so put it down before someone sees. How do people in those locations find homes? Trulia, Zillow, Realtor.com, ColdwellBanker.com, and relocation companies. Not all houses are on these sites. Win online = improve your odds!

How else do you improve your odds? Awesome professional photos = increase your odds. Photos taken by a professional photographer are better. They absolutely make a difference. Direct mail = increase your odds. Website for your house = increase odds. Mobile website and virtual tour = increase. Cast a large net = increase. Professional printed brochures = increase. Excellent write-up written with Zillow in mind = INCREASE YOUR ODDS. “Written for Zillow” means written for someone in California that’s never heard of Loudon but loves lakes and golf and hates paying 13.3% state income tax.

I would like to make one comment about price, which is, notice that I didn’t comment about price until the end. If you’re demanding top price, your home must be the best. If you home is not the best, then price it so it’s the best for the price you’re asking. Check your competition, listen to the market, listen to the feedback, react, fix it, change it if it needs to be changed, and try something new if it’s not working.

In summary, if you want to sell, the odds are against you before you even start. It’s a competition. Prepare for battle. Stack the cards in your favor. Every little bit helps. Cast a wide net. Make a great first impression. Maximize every lead. Listen to your feedback. If it’s not working, change it.

If you like my article, the highest compliment I can receive is a referral. Please have your friends, neighbors, or yourself call me and ask me to help them buy or sell property (preferably one that’s permanently fixed to the foundation). Have a comment on my article or a suggestion for my next one? Feel free to call, text, or email me anytime.

Tom Gongola
Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace, REALTORS®
(865) 203-8800

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