Scottsdale Realtor® Says Creativity Key in Selling Homes in a Cooling Market

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Last year, houses in the Scottsdale real estate and Phoenix real estate market sold in just a few days and for full price. But now, reports say the market has slowed.

Home owners selling their houses are worried that it might take a long time to sell. Last year, houses in the Scottsdale real estate and Phoenix real estate market sold in just a few days and for full price. But now, reports say the market has slowed. What can home owners do to sell their houses quickly and get a decent price?

“First, you need to stop worrying,” says Scottsdale realtor Echo Farrell. “The market is just returning to normal. For the past two years we had a red-hot market, but that was unsustainable. The market has cooled considerably, but houses in Scottsdale and greater metropolitan Phoenix are still selling well and appreciating in price.”

Last month, the average home in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area was on the market for 49 days. That may seem a long time compared with 2004 when houses stayed on the market an average of only eight days. But in 2005 the average was 42.77 days and that was still three weeks faster than in 2002 and 2003. This is an indication that the demand still outpaces supply, although at a different level than in 2004.

Next, according to Farrell, make sure houses are priced right. “In today’s market, having your home priced correctly is critical to selling it in a reasonable amount of time,” she advised. “Make sure your realtor does her homework to see what comparable homes in your area are selling for and price yours accordingly.”

Be flexible. “You also need to be willing to negotiate,” Farrell continued. “When the right buyer comes along, you may need to drop your price slightly to make the sale.”

Farrell, who has followed the Phoenix-Scottsdale real estate market as an investor and an agent for more than 15 years, feels current home prices in general are perceived to be a bit on the high side. So, just as in pre-2004 home purchases, savvy buyers are offering less than the asking price and some sellers are dropping their prices in order to sell their homes more quickly.

Holding out for a higher price and playing the waiting game is not the answer. Currently, if houses stay on the market past 60 days they will start receiving lower offers than if home owners had priced their homes correctly and competitively.

Finally, get creative. While price is important, there are a number of other things home owners can do to make sure their houses don’t languish on the market.

“You need to be creative when putting together a deal,” said Farrell. “Talk to your realtor about offering incentives to help sell your home more quickly. Surprisingly, some buyers might find that you paying $2000 of their closing costs will be as appealing as your other option of reducing your price by 10 percent.”

Another effective incentive is offering a bonus to the buyer’s agent. Farrell says “It can run the gamut, depending on the price of the home and how motivated you are to sell. I include it in the realtor comments in the multiple listings service. Money talks and I’ve found a bonus really does a lot to motivate buyers’ agents.”

But money isn’t the only way to attract buyers and their agents. An exclusive agent reception can help let buyers’ agents know about houses and also provide feedback on pricing and how houses show.

“Just last week I hosted a reception for one of my sellers,” said Farrell. “It wasn’t anything elaborate, just wine and cheese. We had a good turnout and the comment cards the buyers’ agents filled out told us the price we were asking was right on, but that the owner needed to “de-clutter” the home – valuable constructive criticism that will help the home show better and ultimately sell faster.”

While selling a house today isn’t as easy as it was a year ago, the right price and a creative sales strategy will go a long way toward getting homes sold quickly.

Echo can be reached by calling: (480) 607-9990 or (480) 682-5026 or visiting her web site at http://www.azsonorahomes.com, which includes free tips and tools for buyers and sellers.

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