Monthly Archives: July 2009

Seller’s Choice: Lead The Market, or Chase It?

“It’s the sluggish economy.”  That’s what I hear a number of Sellers say when their home fails to sell here in Shelby county.  It’s an easy explanation to fall back on.  But is it accurate?  Many more times than not, the answer is no.

If everyone in the Birmingham area deciding to sell completed a simple one page question sheet with two answers, it would really help determine, up front, whether their home is going to sell successfully, and whether it sells sooner, rather than later.

Here’s what the question sheet would look like:

It’s amazing how many folks have to learn this most basic rule of real estate.  If you don’t know it, not to worry … you will learn it when you try to sell.

If you choose to make your home as attractive as it can be (yes, that can take some work for many owners), and if you commit to setting a price that piques the interest of potential Buyers, you’re automatically positioning yourself to sell sooner, rather than later.  You’re leading the market.  How do you know if you’re doing this?

By gauging response.  Response is everything.

In the current economic climate, if you get an Offer on your property within 30-45 days of putting it up for sale, you’re doing well.

In the area extending from Hoover in north Shelby county across Pelham, Helena, Alabaster and south into Chelsea, Calera and Montevallo, 2,286 homes are listed for sale at the moment, according to the Birmingham Multiple Listing System.  With all this available inventory, Sellers have competition.

As a Seller, you must make your home enticing to potential Buyers, price-wise and appearance-wise.  If they find it tempting, you will no doubt find yourself signing a Sales Contract soon.

But what if your home has been on the market for, say, a couple of months or more, and hardly anyone has even looked inside?  What if you’ve not yet had a single offer?  The response you’re getting—or lack of it—is the market speaking to you.

Planning to lead the market or chase it?  Your decision means whether you will sell sooner or later.

Planning to lead the market or chase it? Your decision means whether you will sell sooner or later.

Many Sellers may wind up not liking what they hear.  Oh, don’t get me wrong.  Sometimes I don’t like what I hear a lot when I listen to the market, either.  But, like it or not, it’s valuable input.

The sooner we accept what the market is telling us and adjust accordingly, the sooner we’re likely to see a successful sale.  And if that’s been our goal all along, why prolong getting there?

We know Sellers who, in essence, checked the ‘Lead the Market’ box.  We know this because they got their property sold successfully, and without being on the market a particularly long time.

We also know Sellers who choose the ‘Chase the Market’ option.  They do this by pricing their home higher than is recommended.  Some neglect to take the steps suggested to make their property aesthetically pleasing.

Market chasers pay a price for their decisions.  They may believe they’re going to get closer to their asking price when an Offer finally does come in, but this often doesn’t happen.  Market chasers can expect to have their property remain for sale with few showings for a long time—other homes will no doubt come on the market and likely get Offers and possibly sell before theirs even gets a nibble.

Some market chasers won’t see their homes sell, at all.

In short, Sellers who say they want to sell, but who are actually market chasers, need to be prepared for frustration.

Which box would you check?


What Walter Cronkite Did For A Kid In Texas

I will always be grateful for Walter Cronkite.

You’d know why I say that if you grew up in the 1960’s or ’70s, when television news was such a totally different industry from what it is today, and when we depended on it so much to learn about our world.

Click here to read more…


Alabaster, Helena & Calera: Good Places To Live

Here’s yet another reason to show why Shelby county is such a good place to live…

Bark In The Park is one of many events that make Alabaster a popular place to live.

Bark In The Park is one of many events that make Alabaster a popular place to live.

Money Magazine has placed Alabaster,  Calera and Helena in its top 100 Best Places to Live for 2009.

Alabaster’s steady construction and housing markets were noted by the magazine, while Helena gets praise for its housing market, along with cultural activities, scenery, and historical charm.

Calera was cited for its low crime rate and strong community values…

Click here for more information on the article…

Of course, folks who live in these communities already know what a good place Shelby county is to live.  Slowly, but surely, the word is getting out.

Housing inventory is plentiful right now:  There are 366 properties presently available for sale in the Alabaster, Maylene and Saginaw areas, while 524 are for sale in Helena and Pelham (Shelby Co.).

Add interest rates for 30-year fixed loans around the 5.125% range, and it all spells a great opportunity to buy a home in the Shelby county and Birmingham market…