If you drive around Pinecrest, you’ll see lots of FOR SALE signs enticing passersby to dream of their next home purchase. To the keen eye, you can interpret a lot from the signs. How long have they been up? How many are on the block? To which real estate company does the listing belong?
The somewhat sad story of today’s market is that there are far too many signs up. In industry terms, we talk about inventory levels.
Inventory levels are a way to determine if it’s a Buyer’s market, a Seller’s market or if things are generally balanced. This is done by looking at the number of homes currently on the market in an area and then dividing it by the number of homes that went under contract in the last 30 days. The result is a number that estimates how many months it would take for all homes currently on the market to be sold.
In Pinecrest for $1M+ homes, the answer is 18 months. Not good for Sellers!
So, if you want to sell your home in Pinecrest you need to find a way to stand out and be different than ‘standard’ inventory. Once you are unique in the market, you have a better chance to get sold in a reasonable time frame and for a reasonable price. Sometimes, your home just is unique. For example, if you are on a small or oversized lot you are not in competition with everyone else. If you are on a cul-de-sac or have water access, your home is instantly different. Old versus new and style of home can make you stand out too.
I recently had the pleasure of selling a home in Pinecrest (7402 SW 102nd Street) that was new construction. Listed at $3.25M and sitting on 1.12 acres, the home certainly had a lot of good things going for it. Yet, in north Pinecrest, there are a lot of new construction homes and when you get to that price range, there are fewer Buyers, period. The clientele that can afford this level of home is the top ½ of 1% of Americans.
Of course, I had a builder and owner that was very proud of his construction, and rightly so. He felt the estate home would simply sell itself and he’d cash out very quickly (a matter of days, not months). My job, of course, was to try to meet his expectations, but also temper his mind with a good dose of current statistics.
In this weak Pinecrest luxury market, homes of his caliber typically were taking an average of 223 days to get under contract. So, what could we do to beat the market? The answer was a combination of many marketing techniques.
From Real Estate 101, the trick to selling a house is getting people into the house. So, words, photos, video and virtual reality were my weapons of choice. Thankfully, I come from the broadcast world and understand that you need to make the best of every opportunity to communicate.
The MLS allows for 800 characters in its description of the home. Choose the right words and you can paint a picture in the minds of potential buyers so vivid that they can taste themselves living there. Next are photos. As an award-winning videographer, I know just the right angles, light and style to make everything look amazing. Video for this home included drone footage, as well as personable walk-throughs. I completed the marketing arsenal with a new technology that allows for 3D virtual walk-throughs where you can gain a 360-degree view from any place in the house. (You can see this at 5starpinecresthome.info.)
Next, is taking to heart the phrase ‘It takes a village.’ Never trust a Realtor who tells you THEY will sell your home. The reality is WE will sell your home, meaning the real estate professionals in South Florida. Yes, I can market better than nearly anyone out there, but I can’t multiply my reach.
Think of it this way. A great TV commercial airing on one station will get you results. That same ad running on 10 stations will get you amazing results. The same applies to marketing homes. By utilizing broker’s open houses and regular open houses, I educated the real estate community about my listing and then they carried my message out to their Buyers. This is the best way to amplify your message.
Next is strutting your stuff when showing the home. When a potential buyer walks in, I perform a one-man show of sorts. Just walking around does nothing. It’s the educational talking and visionary stories that can take a home visit from ‘maybe’ to ‘yes, I want it’.
In the end, I had the house under contract in 34 days. Six-and-one-half times faster than the average. The secret sauce is different for every home. But the idea is the same. Find the unique and make sure everyone can see its value.
Real Estate Update
As of June 15th, the Pinecrest market remains soft, about the same compared to May. Homes listed over $1M are at 18 months of inventory, indicating a strong Buyers’ market. A healthy market is 3-6 months of inventory. If you’re a Seller, it’s tough out there. No matter where you live, let me assist you with local expertise, realistic expectations and guidance to get you to wherever ‘next’ is. It’s easy to get started at miamihal.com/myvalue.