As a realtor serving the St Petersburg area, I can tell you that some changes have occurred over the past year. Just this time last year homes were lasting only days on the market. Homeowner's could not believe how fast their homes were selling and at premium prices. As a result we saw low inventories and buyers had no choice to make offers fast before their dream home went off the market. Fast forward to today and we see the same inventories but pricing and demand has softened. What does this mean? Well some experts would say we are moving toward a buyers’ market and sellers have lost their advantage. They blame this on recent rising interest rates and taxes that have priced some buyers out of the market.
However, I see it a different way, yes interest rates and taxes all play a part in home affordability but I think the real reason the market has softened is that most homes were overpriced to begin with and buyers coupled with rising property taxes and interest rates just can’t afford area asking prices or are now being very selective in the home they choose. FYI, it's not all doom and gloom for home owners. Zillow just recently reported that they forecast home prices in the St. Petersburg area to increase by 5.2% this year.
So what is a prospective St Petersburg area seller to do? Well you should definitely ask your realtor for advice. If your home has been on market for longer than three months then there might be a few things at play...1. It’s overpriced 2. Needs work 3. Doesn’t show well 4. The area is undesirable to some buyers.
Right now buyers are looking to check all the boxes. The problem however is that inventories are still low, so their options are slim. As a seller, you need to help them check those boxes. Start here to improve your chances of selling your home for the most money. After all, it's your home and you have invested a lot of money into it, you should get a return on your investment.
1. Get professional pictures taken: this is a minimal cost and your realtor should foot the bill.
2. Get your home in order, meaning...clean it! Or pay to have a one-time cleaning completed.
3. Complete minor home repairs such as broken doors, leaky faucets, replace worn window blinds...etc. Trust me, when a potential buyer enters you home, they immediately start assessing it. This means the cash register starts ringing every time they see something THEY need to fix or replace. The more move-in ready your home is the better your chances of receiving asking price or more!
4. Curb appeal! Paint or pressure wash your home and fix up the front entrance by painting your door and adding new mulch or landscaping. These are fairly cheap fixes that only require elbow grease and a paint brush. Do it!
5. Be realistic! If your home is apples to apples to the home down the street that sold for 30k less....then you need to look in the mirror. Do you want to sell your home? If so, find out why the home sold for less and make adjustments to your own home to fall in line or highlight why your home is worth so much more.
6. Finally, ask your realtor what they are doing to market your home. Just saying it’s on the MLS is not enough. Are they door knocking your neighborhood, are they holding open houses, are they advertising on Facebook and Instagram? Higher end homes should be marketed on every social media channel including search sites like Google and Bing. Does you realtor have social marketing experience?
There you have it, my short list for improving your homes marketability. Even though the market has softened a bit, it is definitely still a seller’s market. Give me a call for a FREE consultation.
Realtor – Luxury & Beach Realty