Selling real estate at the local level is a long gone thing of the past. People transfer from out of area, out of state, and even from out of the country. Further, electronic access to properties has made it easier to expose your listed home to millions of interested buyers.
Not only are sellers able to get more exposure, I assist folks hands on during the buy/ relocate/ investing side literally nationwide. No MLS service in Michigan provides more data than the service we use. Here’s a partial list of markets we access directly:
- In Michigan:
- Ann Arbor Area Board of REALTORS®
Branch County Association of REALTORS®
East Central (aka: Flint) Association of REALTORS®
Great Lakes Repository (GLR)
Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS®
Hillsdale County Association of REALTORS®
Jackson Area Association of REALTORS®
Lenawee County Association of REALTORS®
Montcalm County Association of REALTORS®
Saginaw Board of REALTORS®
Shiawassee Association of REALTORS®
Southeastern Border Association of REALTORS® (fka: Down River and Monroe Associations)
- REALTORS® Association of Citrus County (Florida)
- Daytona Beach Area Association of REALTORS® (Florida)
- Stellar MLS (formerly My Florida Regional MLS)
- New Smyrna Beach Board of REALTORS® (Florida)
- Miami Association of REALTORS® (Florida)
- South Broward Board of REALTORS (Florida)
- Baldwin County Association of REALTORS® (Alabama Gulf Coast)
- Greater El Paso Association of REALTORS® (Texas)
- Greater Las Vegas Association of REALTORS® (Nevada)
- Houston Association of REALTORS® (Texas)
- Ocean County Board of REALTORS®, Inc. (Jersey Shore, NJ)
- MLSOK, Inc. (Oklahoma City, OK)
- Midwest Real Estate Data LLC (Chicago, IL)
- Northwest Arkansas Board of REALTORS® (Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Arkansas)
- Northwest Mississippi Association of REALTORS®
- Western New York Real Estate Information Service, NY
- SMART (Statewide MLS in Connecticut)
- West Penn Multi-List
- Western Arizona REALTORS® Data Exchange
Read more: Sell | Buy | Florida
Ready to move forward? We formalized ‘Plan’ to help get to ‘Develop’ & ‘Execute’.
* Anibal Group LLC does not offer legal advice. This article is not to be considered advice specific to your situation. Most financial decisions should involve advice from a trusted professional of your choice that will advise on insurance, legal, banking/ lending, structural/ property condition, and other transaction significant matters. We can offer referrals for CPA’s and other professionals.
Insertion in the MLS can be good, but in some cases it can work against an optimal outcome.
When I use it, I’ll recommend it as ‘part of’ an overall approach, and timed properly. If the relatively passive marketing approach of only using MLS & always employing it asap is used, you may be missing opportunities.
Dedicated social media page, posting of ads, mailings to your neighborhood and my client list, dedicated URL page just for your property and yours alone, YouTube, these and other tools used correctly and at the right time have produced the type of results seen in this one example listing. Below is a glimpse of the URL page and what example days of syndication look like using a ‘formula’ to drive traffic. My approach you might call a ‘controlled exposure’.
Conclusion: Often our listings have up to 3x the views per day as competing listings.
General: SEARCHES Map| Detailed | Lake
A buyer passively considers a move for about 6 months. Then, actively shops on average 30-45 days for a home. What does this mean? You’ll get lots of looks from that 1st group asap but they’ll never set appointments. Then, you’ll get a lot of appointments in the first few days – these are the folks that have been looking 30-45 days. After that, they will trickle in only with about 1/30th to 1/45th of the same interest as you had those first few days.
“Wow, I got lots of showings but no offers!” Possible reasons: You are the ‘early house’ on a 3 home tour. The best is usually the last shown.
“Wow, I had a lot of looks online, but no showings!” Read on my friend…….
- How long should property be on market?
- You’re agent give you this info with the CMA report. It will differ based on season and how unique your property is. If you don’t give the agent a good amount of time to ‘develop’ the marketing, testing various approaches against each other, don’t expect their best in return.
- How many ‘looks’ should I get?
- Once the listing goes out to the public, its not just looks, but ‘lingers’ that you want. The back end stats will give your marketing expert details not seen out front. The magazine sites that purchase listing databases…they’ll show so some of this, but you won’t know who looked, motive, where they initially saw the offering, or why they are looking.
- When should I be getting showings?
- Online looks are a type of showing. Based on where they see your property and how/ where (online) they came to ‘look deeper’, they may or may not become physical showings. If you have a good number of looks from active marketing efforts – not just ‘lookey looks’ – you should have in person shows w/in 10% of the total marketing time being allowed (see #1).
- When should I get offers?
- After 7-10 showings or 25% of total marketing time being allowed.
- What to do to expedite the process?
- The more a listing MLS data is changed, the more you’ll look desperate. Carefully consider whether quick sell or highest price is of more importance – from the outset – lest those ‘days on market’ and ‘price change’ details start to scream out. Bad: rushing to market w/o preparing the staging looks all over the inside/ decorative highlights on on the porches/ decks, etc outside/ and honestly setting a price … that you would pay to buy it back from the lookers that won’t place an offer.
- When to reassess:
- Depending on how highest goal: quick sell vs high price, usually reassessments are made at the intervals noted below:
- If no showings: w/in 10% of the total marketing time being allowed. (eg: 180 days listing = 18 days)
- If no offers: after 7-10 showings or 25% of total marketing time being allowed. (eg: 180 day listing = 45 days)
- At each 1/3 of marketing time being allowed or every 30 days. See ‘More’ articles for ideas, but look at cleanliness, decor IN & OUT, pricing against comps. (eg: 180 day listing = 60 days)
- More advertising will only hurt a listing making it stale and stigmatized if its not priced right and shows well … the first time.
MY HOUSE SOLD IN A DAY ~ IT MUST HAVE BEEN TOO CHEAP!
Seriously? One day one you had 6 months worth of lookers, 30-45 days of shoppers. If you 1. did your part to stage it, 2. the agent did their part to expose it with ‘a full deck of cards‘ on day one, and 3. you worked honestly together to nail down a price that is competitive, then this is your best expectation come to fruition.
OLD LISTINGS GET STALE AND SELL FOR LESS!
General: SEARCHES Map| Detailed | Lake
Do those articles ’Best time to sell’ lack depth to you? … seem to leave out ‘bigger picture’ approach and how/ what to calculate? Simplistic, in fact. ‘Best time’ means many things.
For quickest sale?, highest price?, least competition?, most ‘looks’? It depends on your goals what’s best for you. It also depends on what the best features of your property are: eg: retiree target?, waterside?, near summer/winter activities?…or perhaps a college.
There are pluses and minuses at each time of year, the secret is if you must sell now, then your buy/sell/relocate timing needs to match marketing approach and expectations. If you can be flexible, timing moves up your list based on your overall goals. A ‘move-up’ situation differs from a ‘down-sizing’ approach. The time-of-year preference is opposite.
Now locally, Nov-Feb oft have the lowest price, end of May thru early July the highest. If speedy sales are your goal, the data gets trickier and is more dependent of who’d be the typical buyer, eg: family with school children, golfers, skiers, etc. You get the idea.
Nearly every day I ‘pull’ from public & agent-only sources, and build buyer/seller spreadsheet ~ posted to and accessible from YourSpace247. The answer isn’t as simple as the online magazine sites generic data driven (vs human intervention) generalizations.
- ‘.. Nationwide, the first half of May is the best time to list a home ..’
|Best month to sell
||Best day of the week to list
|First half of May
||Nationally, homes listed for sale in this window sold almost two we
eks faster than average, and for $2,500 more,
- ‘… During the week of March 31 to April 6, homes are listed, on average, for 6 percent more than at the beginning of the year—an extra $17,000, according to the study. Homes for sale that week also tend to fetch 14 percent more views on realtor.com® than at other times of the year. Further, listed homes sell about six days faster. The homes also see less competition that week; the highest number of homes tend to go up for sale in late spring…’
Ready to move forward? We formalized ‘Plan’ to help get to ‘Develop’ & ‘Execute’.
Selling a house ? Its about 1 buyer, not ‘hits’, not ‘showings’. Meet & Discuss
- Pricing too high:
- The big reason I use an in-depth approach model to a pricing range is because I feel is THE Most important aspect of the selling experience. Buyers have had their search app set to send them updates. Overprice and you’ll show up in searches of properly priced homes. ‘Days on market‘ ? What does this mean to you? No other brokerage uses our valuation model OR our approach to prevent the ‘stale’ listing.
- Fist impression:
- Flowers, lawn, edging, lights (if eve). If it doesn’t draw the eye away from the next house, buyers have already started to look for reasons they don’t like the inside once they step through the door.
- Making the place ‘sell – ready’:
- Selling a house, car, or garage sale items … dirty, and non-functional aspects are over emphasized the potential buyers mind(s). Clean and fix as if you are looking to buy it! This includes emptying storage areas and staging…without clutter. You’re not selling a candy bar – do the work, glean the $’s.
- The inspection, do it before the offer(s):
- Sellers that won’t take my word for it should get an inspection up front. Why? You can present it as part of the marketing material and avoid the offers that try and hustle the seller after tying up the house with ‘nit pick’ things that you should have attended to before. Fix it, or disclose it before they write – thank me later.
- Taking feedback as a personal attack:
- Why are sellers shocked that buyers also want the best deal? Its numbers. Lets update the valuation spreadsheet, then as dad said ‘tell them what you WILL do, not what you won’t’…. the house is sold, if you want to buy it back, state your price.
Do those home sites make you wonder what you are getting.
- Lots of ‘hits’! Are they qualified buyers or just ‘photo surfers’?
- Lots of showings. Ready to act buyers? … or agents using your house to compare against?
- The data you need to make a big decision.
- ‘Drill down’ marketing to bring ones that really want your place (and will pay for it).
- ‘Property Specific’ (not plug-n-play):
- Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) that takes more than a few minutes. Most are very over-simplified. Zillow reviews.
- Pre-listing ‘to do’ list.
- Website that showcases your property ONLY without distracting ‘click-aways’.
- Marketing using specific demographics & interests unique to your offering.
- Videos of your property and area.
- Your own portal space – 24/7 access.
A significant part of any move, relocation, addition of 2nd home, or estate plan involves taxes; income taxes & property taxes for starters. Hence, below is a primer how to not accidentally double your property tax bill, or conversely, overpay if not need be.
Principle residence: Plan to return after ‘short absences’. Assessor will look at: min 6 months per yr occupancy, mail, driver license, voting registration, utility usage consistent.
Trust will allow PRE to the grantor in most situations. Does not apply to family LLC’s or other entites. A residence that has been transferred into a Limited Liability Company, a Partnership, or some other legal entity will cease to be qualified for the principal residence exemption.
May 1 for summer tax bill, Nov 1 for winter tax bill.
Scenario #1: 2 principle residences
- Both are claimed as principle – one owner/person
- Best to rescind one no matter if it is across town, across the state, or across the country.
- Both are claimed as principle – two owners/persons
- What address and filing status (‘joint’ or ‘separate’) do they file on 1040?
- Can you demonstrate per ‘principle residence’ definition above that it is indeed your princ. res.?
- From linked article below: ‘…What if you are husband and wife? State and Federal laws are nothing if not unclear about this distinction. The general approach is that we treat married couples as a single unit. However, … for purposes of the principal residence exemption, if a husband and wife file a joint (MFJ) income tax return, they are entitled to one exemption for their “marital unit.” However, if they file separately (MFS), they may each claim an exemption. Beware, however, that they will still have to demonstrate the “intent” reality discussed above. In most cases, unless the parties are separated, that will be pretty difficult to do….’
Scenario #2: Short term renting our residence
Even though ‘guidelines’ suggest if a property is rented > 14 days per year it is not a ‘principle’ residence, this is inconsistent with recent court rulings and the source law:
- ‘… Concerned about losing your homestead exemption because you have been renting your home for more than 14 days per year? Fear not, as the Michigan Court of Appeals recently ruled in the taxpayer’s favor on this issue. Michigan’s Principal Residence …’
- Per statue: ‘ … the MCA ruled “the PRE guideline provision relied on relied on by the Tribunal is erroneous and inconsistent with the GPTA (Michigan General Property Tax Act – added). Renting one’s home for more than 14 days does not disqualify a homeowner from the PRE.” …’
Scenario #3: Current house for sale, new house already purchased.
- State of MI realized homes are not always bought/sold simultaneously. Further, during ‘down’ markets – or slow times of the year – homeowners may wish to time the sales process of the old home. Hence, you may have an ‘on-market’ home still receiving a PRE for up to 3 yrs.
Links for further reading:
Please seek you own professional legal, tax, real estate, and insurance advice – not to the reliance of this article.
2020.02.18 update to this article. New National Association of Realtors rules are in place for ‘off MLS’ format. Call for details.
Isn’t everything done best via the MLS? Lets look.
Meet & Discuss Further <|> Share Your Buy Wish List
- Often seller(s) who want a highly controlled, minimally invasive, & best outcome approach to the selling process… a “rifle style”.
- The agent/broker who wants to take the time, target the marketing, minimize interference without publishing so much history and pricing data that it works to the buyers, not yours (the seller’s), favor.
- The websites that sell ‘buyer leads’, they need to control the data. (Zillow/ Trulia/ Estately/ Redfin…)
- The buyer or buyers agent that wants as much control over the seller and their ‘story’ as possible.
- The ‘nosey neighbors’.
- The friends that want to know know more about you!
- A less than scrupulous agent that wants to put your house on ‘the tour’. In reality your home is a stop on the way to the one they want you to write an offer on.
- These are NOT real & qualified buyers of interest. They like the “shotgun style”
Perhaps look at it this way: Do you prefer thousands of curious lookers, or the highest thousands of $’s?
More about Selling ?
Like to talk further ?
Selling a house ? Its about 1 buyer, not ‘# of hits’, not ‘# of showings’.
Meet & Discuss Further
35 yrs as a Realtor/ Broker, always as an independent, not a franchise. Why?
Those ‘online dating’ sites make you wonder what you are getting.
- Wow, lots of lookers! Are they potential/ qualified buyers or just ‘photo surfers’?
- Ya, lots of dates – aka: showings. But again ready to act buyers … or just neighbors getting decorating ideas or agents using your house to compare against the one they plan on showing after yours?
Franchises are fine. They have a place. But my clients find when they ask for “Mr/Ms Top Producer”, they really get a group of less experienced ‘specialists’ & ‘processors’, etc. lacking a global vision. Marketing ? Those producers do have their systems, yet are they customized enough to make you feel you are getting:
- All the data you need to make a big decision?
- ‘Drill down’ marketing that will bring out the ones that really truly want your place (and will pay for it)?
- ‘Property Specific’ (not plug-n-play/ off the shelf):
- Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) that takes more than a few minutes. Most are very over-simplified in methods AND accuracy? See my Zillow reviews.
- Pre-listing ‘to do’ list?
- Custom made mailers?
- Website that shows your property ONLY without distracting ‘click-aways’?
- Web advertising using specific demographics & interests unique to your offering?
- Videos of not only your property but also the area leading to your home?
- ‘Adwords’ on different search and social platforms?
- Your very own portal space – feedback and doc’s area to enjoy (or ignore) 24/7.
Summary: Make sure your selling agent/ broker can get past the ‘plug into’ format. Quick-n-easy tools are great for the new agent – often simplistic/ standardized. Are they best for you? Remember what you need. A buyer – 1 buyer to be exact.
Are the 1000 hits and 25 showings qualified and interested? or curiosity seekers? It is the ‘drilling down’ on that 1 unique buyer to get the best price with the least interference, at least in my approach!
Are you one of Michigan’s thousands of ‘car persons’ ? I’ve brokered for 3 decades and owned many classics myself.
If you’re a local, you’ve seen my office just down the street from Boomers Shark Club, home of the famous huge weekly car cruise-ins, or the Dream Cruise in Flint, or the Fenton Dream Cruise ‘tune-up’, or even in Brighton MI (below). If you’re a dealer, you’ve seen me all over the country at dealer auctions searching out sweet unique rides for clients.
As a local 30+ year real estate broker with loyal clientele & lots of hands on construction & car experience, I’m also great source of hot rod & other car related referrals.
Let me walk you thru your Buy/Sell situation knowing the value of a Great Car Space !
Bonus: Here’s some exceptional adaptive use spaces for Great Car Caves, Showcase Garages, Wrencher Spaces, and Daily Driver Comfort Zones. How do you rate them ?
My dedicated webspace for car lovers ! Great Car Caves – custom garage spaces in MI and FL
Test your water regularly and as part of a purchase offer if a home has well water. Why ? There are all sorts of carcinogens in most ground water – not all is at high levels, but you need to stay informed. Recent cancer diagnosis of friends have brought this to my added attention. They eat clean, and live healthy otherwise.
You can use a state or local lab, but I’ve added a link to National Water Testing, a lab I recommend.
Call me first before testing for more details if you are considering buying or selling.
Per Inman News article
Zillow, and other third-party real estate search sites like Trulia, have made a big push to get data feeds directly from brokers and MLSs because, without a direct feed, the portals face accuracy and timeliness issues with the listing data they get from a variety of sources.
A recent study by the brokerage and referral site ZipRealty, for example, showed that 16 and 17 percent of the homes listed as for sale on Zillow and Trulia, respectively, in the markets the study looked at were not listed as for sale in the MLS.
The point here is when you are ready to get to work on your buy/sell activity, there is no substitute for a licensed flesh and blood brokerage that has access to info you need – when you need it.
Ask me about the house they ‘valued’ at $184k then $93k just after I’d sold it for $150k! The seller pointed me to a similar house listed a block away – ‘Zillowed’ at $160k – eventually sold for $85k. Take it from there.
More <|> Meet & Discuss Further <|> Share Your Wish List
Good article on selling the `ol family home. Other houses are selling, yours isn’t – but why ?
At this point I’ll switch to a quote from the MI Assoc of Realtors magazine article: “….“See, it’s like this,” he says. “The house looks as if the Brady Bunch still lives here.” What he means is, the house hasn’t been updated since you and your siblings have moved out….”
If you haven’t heard it a million times:
- Neutral colors
- NO personal items on the counters/tables/walls
- Front door has fresh paint and lockset
- Bath and kitchen are updated
- Any storage areas 60% occupied at max
- Mow lawn/ wack down the shrubs/ fresh mulch/ and flowers
- Clean clean clean clean
Option #2: Empty the house of all but a minimal amount of furniture and discount it by 30-40% and let the buyers make the upgrades. Caution, the house still needs to be clean and mostly empty so they can easily evaluate or prepare to discount even further.
You’ve heard about “disclosure”… well, I believe that a Guest at an Open House needs to disclose if:
- They are only being nosy – looking for decorating ideas
- They’re hungry and looking for a cookie
- They need to use the bathroom
- They’re casing the joint for goodies
- They have ever been, or intend to be, rapists, murderers or other deviants
How does your broker attract well qualified serious buyers? How are they screened once in your home. Are your ‘smart house’ tools up to date and your valuables out of reach?
Homeowners who are selling their homes, but moved into another home elsewhere in the State, get to have two principal resident exemptions. …the St of MI Act provides that an owner may retain an exemption for up to 3 tax years on property previously exempt as principal residence if that property:
• is not occupied;
• is for sale;
• is not leased; and
• is not used for any business or commercial purpose
Big penalty for not rescinding when the old home is sold.
We complete this form free for clients that have retained us under buy/sell brokerage, minimal fee for others.
Four piles ! – that’s the bottom line.
- Toss it.
- Donate it.
- Sell it.
- Keep, organize and store it.
If a seller wants to get the same prince the neighbors got for their property, then I have expectations for them too !
Read the entire list with a caveat, e.g., I’d put kitchen bath rehab higher on the list, but if yours in no more than 5 years old and clean clean clean, then its off the list. You get the idea.
Above is the jest of today’s suggested reading.
I have my own pre-listing checklist I provide as part of your marketing package to use before putting you’re home live on the MLS or a sign in the yard. But here is a good related article from the “again, curb appeal brings intrigue, but people like clean homes, especially in eating and grooming areas”.
I tend to look at properties from a “multi-use” perspective.
I might say to a prospective buyer client “will you ever work from home ?…have customers stop by ?…. want rent out part for future/retirement income stream ?… have retired parent(s) live with you ?… have a business & residence at the same location ?
In our up/down economy that has become more of the norm in recent years these are valid considerations. I prefer to start with “when will you move” or “what might cause you to have to move”, to help a buyer consider liquidity – and the “what if you can’t sell” perspective.
I’ve linked to an article on an adaptive reuse option that has always intrigued me. Converted factories turned dazzling homes
Oh yeah ? Not so fast.
I hear it over and over – “lets bandwagon, let the bank have it, let it go, walk away”…after all, Mr Fix It is in the white house and America cares for the little guy, not those ding nab fat rich bankers !
Try on a dose of reality:
To short sell, you’ll need to prove hardship, and then wait for the income tax bill and higher insurance rates while you ponder getting sued for the short fall and remaining fall out of bad credit for 7 years.
..do NOT constitute hardship:
- Bad purchase decisions.
- Unhappy with the neighbors.
- Buying another home.
- Moving into an apartment.
Examples of hardship are:
- Medical emergency / sudden illness
A decent article for the cold shower awaiting.
ps, consider buying something that makes sense in the first place – questions ? Call us.