The 2012 real estate market may be improving, but it's still tough for home sellers. Top West Chester PA realtor Don Dowd offers advice to homeowners planning to sell their homes in 2012.
Online PR News – 13-January-2012 – – West Chester, Pa. – It’s no accident that Top Chester County, PA realtor Don Dowd has racked up some very impressive sales numbers during one of the worst real estate markets since the great depression. Always the contrarian, Dowd chooses to focus mainly on representing sellers during a market where the buyers are holding most of the cards. So how does he manage to consistently stay in the top 5 in sales out of over 3200 area RE/MAX real estate agents? The primary reason is marketing, and a lot of it. Here are just some of the creative ways Dowd brings prospective buyers into his clients’ homes:
• Luxury Homes & Estates Magazine Listings (front and back cover)
• Distinctive Homes Magazine Listings
• Chester County Life Magazine Listings
• Home Décor & Ideas Magazine Listings
• The Real Estate Book Listings
• Internet & Email Blasts
• YouTube Video Blasts
• Broker’s Only Cocktail Party-style Open Houses
As 2012 gets underway, Real Estate Agent West Chester PA Don Dowd was asked by some of his peers for thoughts on the real estate market as it stands today and to offer some advice for folks thinking of putting their homes on the market this year:
Q: What is your view of the state of the real estate market as we start the New Year?
A: “I think the market will stabilize this year, because inventories have leveled off and interest rates remain near all-time lows. In fact, my inventory is very low, because many of my properties sold during the holidays, which proves what I’ve always told my clients-never take your home off the market during the holidays. People are still shopping for homes between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and there are fewer of them on the market to choose from. Those who listened to my advice were able to capitalize on this opportunity and their homes will be closing in either January or February.”
Q: What is the best piece of advice you’d give home sellers during the 2012 real estate market?
A: “Be Flexible. We are still in a buyer’s market, so sellers need to be realistic about their expectations and willing to show some flexibility in certain areas. For example, when it comes to showings, be willing to allow a prospective buyer to see your home on short notice (like less than 24 hours). The reason is that lots of home buyers are moving from other parts of the country and may only be in town to look at houses for a day or two. If you want to get more eyeballs on your home, do your best to accommodate the ‘out of towners’. Oh, and always be out of your house during a showing. Nothing makes buyers more uncomfortable than having the sellers present inside the house while they are looking through it.”
“Another place where it is important to be flexible is on the asking price. The fact is, the best offers tend to come between 2 and 5 weeks after the home is listed. Once a house has been on the market for more than 2 months, the listing starts to become stale. Rightly or wrongly, buyers start to question ‘what’s wrong’ with the home. A classic example of this was a listing I had a while back where the seller received an offer just $5K below their asking price of $725K in the first four weeks. They turned it down and ended up changing realtors and having to settle for $550k a year later. The lesson is-strongly consider those early offers, they may be the best ones you get.”
Q: What are the best ways for a seller to make the inside of their home stand out from the others in the market?
A: “Two things mainly-de-clutter the house and fix all minor but visible blemishes. By de-clutter I mean get as much of your personal ‘stuff’ out of there as possible. You have to keep in mind that the buyer needs to picture their own stuff inside your home, and it’s hard for most of them to do that when your stuff is in the way. Also, de-cluttering makes the home look bigger, which is always helpful in attracting a buyer.”
“By minor blemishes I mean things like nail pops, carpet stains, chipped paint, etc. Sometimes, hiring a handyman to do a couple hundred dollars of work can be worth thousands of dollars in added value to the home. And one other thing along these same lines-if it’s within your budget, add a fresh coat of neutral off-white or beige colored paint to all the major rooms of the house. This will enhance the appeal of the interior.”
Q: How about the outside of the home, any advice there?
A: “Sure, same thing. Get rid of junk and clutter and fix up any problems that are visible. While your house is on the market, you may also want to consider hiring a lawn care service to keep the grass plush & green, weed-free and nicely mowed, as well as keeping the trees and bushes trimmed. Remember, the ultimate objective is for your home to stand out in your neighborhood.”
Q: What should home sellers expect from their real estate agent?
A: “In a word, dedication. Whomever you choose, make sure it’s someone who is a full-time realtor and is fully dedicated to using all possible forms of marketing (both offline and online) to get targeted traffic into your home. Check out their track record, check references, and be sure you’re dealing with someone that has the same level of commitment to getting your home sold as you do.”
About Don Dowd Realtor West Chester Pa:
Don Dowd is a RE/MAX Main Line real estate agent and member of the prestigious National Association of Realtors. Don has been in sales for almost his entire adult life and he began his career in real estate at age 22. In 2010, (the last year where statistics are available) Don ranked 5th in sales out of 3204 RE/MAX agents in the Philadelphia and Delaware area. What sets Don apart from most realtors is his ability and willingness to invest the resources necessary to properly market the homes of his clients. He is able to do this because he retains 99% of the commissions he earns, as opposed to most real estate agents that keep 50%. His superior resources and exceptional negotiating skills make Don Dowd one of the top realtors in the region.