During the creation of the residential real estate bubble in the early 2000's, it felt as though we (ie Sellers and Brokers) could dictate higher and higher prices and the market (ie the buyers) would continue to pay. How quickly we've learned! Starting in 2007, and even more so following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, selling real estate felt like trying to catch a falling knife as the market spiraled downward.
The market has changed quite a bit since then as inventories continue to dwindle, total annual sales volume is up and pricing continues to inch higher in local markets such as Newton, Brookline, much of Boston and Cambridge. We're starting to see healthy demand and competition again. Whereas the news cycle a few years ago was negative on residential real estate, that trend has changed to a positive theme as of late. Given that much of the new construction of residential real estate in Greater Metro Boston is not coming online for several years, it should be expected that the real estate market will continue its upward trend assuming interest rates do not balloon in the near term.
In towns with real estate that's ascending in value, it's quite common that properties listed for sale at the right price sell within 1 week of being marketed. Typically these sales operate on a first come, first serve basis wherein the first offer to reach the seller's number becomes the purchaser. In rare cases, a bidding war breaks out between buyers which forces a higher sales price. This bidding war can only occur if these two or more buyers happen to place offers within the same time period.
The flaw with the platform described above in the last paragraph is that by creating a first come, first serve transactional device, Sellers leave money on the table. Rather than accepting the first offer that comes through the door in the first week, Sellers and their brokers should utilize unique marketing platforms that allow the market to fully speak. In other words, elongate the marketing program and publicize a final offer due date in the near future that gives the full market sufficient time to act. By giving enough time for the market to act, real estate agents and their Sellers foster competition and urgency from the buyers – particularly in Greater Metro Boston where supply can not meet the markets demand.
In addition to competition and urgency, differentiation can also be a great way to draw buyers attention on your property. Try using unique terminology that differentiates your home from the rest of the competition ie a “Call For Offers” or an “Accelerated Sale”. By doing so, Sellers and Brokers draw the full attention of the market.
To summarize, by creating a competitive marketplace, differentiating your listing and creating a sense of buyer urgency, Sellers and Brokers will ensure the maximization of value for their property listings.