A Blogazine, based out of Park Slope, Brooklyn, that features fun and interesting articles. Topics include: parenting, society, real estate, career, style, spirituality and more. Written contributions are always welcome!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Selling Your Home In The Current Market

Gabriele Sewtz

In today’s market potential buyers are unsure how the real estate market will develop in the future and the daily fluctuation of the stock market is feeding into their indecisiveness. The 3rd quarter of 2008 posted actually an increase in average sales prices in the North Brooklyn Market by 3.7% in comparison to Q2 of 2008 and a 7% increase in comparison to the 3rd quarter of 2007. The number of sales though was down by 20.7% in Q3 2008 in comparison to the same period a year before. The financial crisis over the last 2-3 weeks will amplify the trend of a declining number of sales in this quarter – driven by more cautious buyers and significantly less inventory on the market. Hence purchase prices will be balanced through demand and supply more than ever in comparison to previous quarters and a low inventory for example here in Park Slope might help keep the price level stable up to a certain degree. If you have to sell your home now, here are a few things to keep in mind when selling your home yourself or when selecting a real estate agent:

1. Price your property right

Formulate a price strategy based on current market data by finding out for how much comparable apartments or town houses sold in the last three months. But even more importantly these days the listings in contract and the number of price reductions and days on the market for competitive active listings will determine the current value of your home. The longer your home is on the market, the more the value of your home will decline and price adjustments will be necessary to entice buyers.

2. Get maximum exposure

It only takes one buyer to buy your home but the most crucial thing is to expose your home to the largest possible target group to find that one buyer. A targeted and centralized marketing strategy will guarantee you the maximum exposure needed to sell your apartment or town house. Targeted email and phone campaigns to potential buyers are typically the most effective ways to advertise your home in addition to tapping into resources that are already working with your potential buyers like co-broking real estate agents, lawyers or mortgage brokers.

3. Find the right buyer

During the heat of the real estate boom sellers were quite often able to benefit from a bidding war and chose the highest bidder out of multiple parties. These days the emphasis is not necessarily on the highest offer but on the most qualified buyer. Potential buyers are facing higher down payment requirements by banks, have to have higher credit scores and face tighter debt to income ratios when obtaining financing. In addition a lot of co-ops tightened their financial requirements as well. Make sure to check a buyer’s cash reserve and proposed debt to income ratio in addition to the required down payment before accepting an offer.

If you have questions please feel free to contact me at gsewtz@elliman.com.

A mother, Real Estate Broker and active Park Slope community member who moved to Brooklyn from Hamburg, Germany with her husband in 1999, Gabriele understands the major emotional undertaking and financial decisions involved in relocating, purchasing and forming roots in a neighborhood, and strives to ease the real estate process for others. Aside from her professional expertise, Gabriele is also a seasoned real estate investor and landlord who owns apartments in Park Slope and Prospect Heights. Gabriele holds an M.B.A. from the University of Hamburg. She is also a regular contributor for Hip Slope Mama on Real Estate related topics.