- Prices are going up
- Inventory is way down
- Plenty of multiple offer situations
So while in the past few years, buyers were great to have in your pocket, now listings are back on top. According to Redfin, since October over 13,000 listings nationwide have sold in less than 24 hours. But, it turns out that many people aren’t listing their homes today, because they believe they are still upside down, when in fact they aren’t. Numerous publications including NAR report that as many as 1.2 million homeowners will be back to positive equity by the end of 2013. So what are you doing to ensure they know they now have options?
So what are you doing to get listing inventory up? Here’s one little tip you may not be doing that might be a huge help.
Take a look at your past client list since 2005. Set each person up on either a property drip of homes in their neighborhood through your MLS or utilize tools like Altos Research or Market Snapshot. Email / Mail the reports to them to make sure they know what’s going on in their area. According to Mike Simonsen, CEO of Altos, there is less than a 0.1% unsubscribe rate on these reports. People want to receive them!
More importantly, you’re letting clients know that their fears of being upside down may be unfounded and encouraging them to take a look at what they might be able to now afford with rates at historical lows.
It doesn’t have to just be your past clients however. You can also select farm areas to focus on that have had larger upsides in the past year. This is the time to potentially go after the farm that the big agent in the area has been neglecting lately. A perfect example where I live in St. Charles, MO – 2 agents used to own a 450 home community. From 2001 through 2010, 3/4 listings went to one of these two agents. They owned that market. But they are letting things slip. They no longer mail out to the farm regularly and they have done nothing to let homeowners know that now might be a great opportunity to sell. A pioneering agent with some time and energy could go into this market and own it with the right marketing in educating sellers. Consider the snowball effect in one of these subdivisions – if you can get a couple listings and sell them quick, how easy would it be for you to get more?
If you want to take it one step further in your education process, you may want to explain the issues behind Zillow data and provide them information on their accuracy ratings. Their system and other AVMs tend to lag 3-6 months behind the market. So while Zillow is still using data from last year to estimate value, you can say what’s happening right now.