Friday, November 16, 2007

It is the Market, Not the Marketing

As the market continues to correct itself after these turbulent months, most houses are taking longer to sell. It is a good time to remember that in most cases, it is the market, not the marketing.

Many sellers are still in denial that their house won't cause a bidding war. They still think that they can list their house higher than the market will bear, and that they will get offers over the asking price. This is becoming a rare occasion, limited to the nicest homes in the best neighborhoods.

Buyers are also becoming more fickle. They know they have the upper-hand in most negotiations, due to the amount of inventory on the market and the slowing market activity. Many buyers are taking their time, making sure they have good financing, implementing all contingencies, and doing lots of inspections. And, they should.

I keep hearing from other Realtors about all of the effort they are putting into their listings, and frustrated that they aren't getting offers. They build elaborate websites, have multiple open houses and broker tours, send out fliers and postcards, and more. Even though they might get hundreds of potential buyers and agents through the property, they are no takers.

No matter how many people visit the home, you just need to get that one buyer who is perfect for the home. That is what can be frustrating about real estate marketing. Most marketing, such as for consumer products or movies, is geared to sell as much as possible. Whereas real estate marketing is all about getting that one perfect buyer.

So, remember that when it comes to the real estate market, it is usually the market and not the marketing that affects sales. When the market is hot, you can do very little marketing and get multiple offers. When the market is slow, you can market your heart out and still get nothing. The market at large sets the pace and the price.

If you have questions about the real estate market, especially here in the East Bay, let me know. I am always happy to help. I can be reached at 510-547-5970 x57 or

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