Being a Realtor® is a profession you can love and hate all in the same day. One customer is happy everything is going smoothly with their real estate transaction and a call later another is coming unglued because their home is not selling. I’m sure it’s like this in many vocations but I am a Realtor® and write about real estate so that is the window of understanding I peer through and use to get my point across.
One of the most asked questions I hear from my home selling customers is “how can we get more showings and an offer on my home?” This question has been even more prevalent over the past 2 months due to the shrinking demand for housing in Reading and Berks along with most of the country.
If I only had the power to create a market bubble inside Berks County and have all home values miraculously go up 10% to 20%. Or better yet, a secret marketing weapon I could employ just after the home seller asks what we can do to sell the home. BANG! The home would sell and all would be right with the world. If I had either ability I would not wait for them to call before employing them.
What most home sellers don’t want to hear is that a price adjustment would likely help in getting more activity. Home purchasers are more educated about the value of homes now than ever before. It is estimated that 80% of a home’s ability to sell is based on economics. This leaves only a 20% variable for things like marketing and such. It only stands to reason that lowering the price will give the home a much greater advantage to sell than running a larger ad in the local real estate publication. That said, it does help to have good photos of the home’s features (this means no feature shots of the toilets or an agent’s reflection in a mirror, taking the photo).
The real secret weapon is a combination of a good home price, solid marketing plan and the internet. The web may be the greatest marketing invention in the history of man, to date. Billions are spent on internet marketing throughout the country. What is being marketed? Your home. There are thousands of real estate websites from Zillow.com to your local real estate specialist who has an IDX agreement with their local MLS. They are all vying to find a buyer for your home. That is how they get paid.
There is another option out there. Before you call your Realtor® and ask how to sell the home quicker you might want to give your county commissioners and local supervisors, zoning boards and planning commissions a call. Ask why it is so hard to get needed infrastructure and services, like new businesses, in your community. The jobs would likely help raise home values. Ask why they turn down business opportunities without even offering them a reason. Somehow the Kutztown silk mill comes to mind. You may also try calling the Reading Mayor and city council. Ask why they spend money needed for neighborhood and economic improvement on their own disagreements. While you are on the phone with them ask what the holdup is with allowing Mr. Boscov to continue his tireless effort to better our community. If you still have the stomach for it you can call your state and local legislators and ask why they cannot come up with a solution on property taxes. They have only been working on it since the early 1800’s. Lowering property taxes will help home values more than anything I can concoct.
There are many other examples I could give but I think you get the picture. Good leadership leads to good neighborhoods. Responsible growth leads to good jobs and a better, more desirable lifestyle. These are the things that help homes sell. Maybe we should call our neighboring counties, Lancaster and Lehigh. Property values in those areas have been up almost double digits for the past 2 years. While Berks County home values have been stuck in the mud.
Sorry for all the sarcasm this week. It must be getting close to a mid-term election. Maybe the real answer to the home seller’s question is in who we vote for? Get out there and vote for people who can lead us back to prosperity.
I am glad my customers voted for me to be their Realtor® but there are people out there who have more to do with home values than I. Vote for them too.
Knowledge is power. Vote wisely!
Jeffrey C. Hogue
#jeffreyhoguerealtor #berkscountyrealestate #getoutthevote