We’ve all heard the old adage, “You get what you pay for.” That’s the best way to describe the current real estate market. In one sense, housing prices have “leveled” or stabilized and the days of overpriced listings are numbered. If you compare the final selling price to the beginning list price, you’ll see a pattern of price reductions and increased days on the market.
Most buyers have drawn that proverbial line in the sand and are now demanding the homes they purchase be in great condition if they are going to pay top dollar. I’m seeing more inspection repairs requested from buyers as a condition to moving forward with the purchase. These small signs may seem insignificant, but they point to the beginning of a market that’s about to shift.
In another sense, “You get what you pay for” signals the decline of discount brokerages; those companies that will list your house in the internet and multiple listing service for a small fee or even free if you use them to buy your next home…instead of paying a more expensive commission to a real estate professional. Consumers now realize that there is a lot of fine print they should have read about the amount of help they will get when the time comes to do the deal. There is the realization that they need the help of someone who knows the market and can negotiate a better deal on their behalf (not only the price…but also the repairs and other hiccups that may occur during a normal transaction).
An experienced and knowledgeable agent can save their client thousands of dollars. Hiring an agent prevents them from overpaying for a property, they get the best recommendations and counsel during the entire process and, through their agent, have access to the best tools of the trade. A listing agent gives their home the highest volume of exposure on the internet (where most buyers begin their search for a home) to attract more buyers and command a higher price, they offer staging advice, professional photography, marketing plans and they know what repairs are necessary and what are wasted effort…which can save you a lot of money. Using an agent to assist you in buying your home or investment gives you an obvious advantage in negotiating; they know the current market trends and values, and offer advice and counsel through the entire buying process.
“You get what you pay for,” especially in today’s changing market. You wouldn’t hire a discount surgeon to perform heart surgery just because it was cheaper…why would you hire a discount brokerage to handle your largest investment? So skip the discount shopping…be smart…hire a local expert, a knowledgeable real estate agent, when you are ready to buy or sell your next home.