Member Perspectives -- What are you doing to get people to list their homes

We asked the following REALTORS® to share their thoughts on the inventory shortage across the country. With these unique conditions that don’t look to improve in 2018, we asked what are they doing to get people to list their homes. Check out what they had to say!

My advice to sellers is: The market is hot right now and homes are steadily increasing in value. Columbus is now in the top 10 housing markets nationwide. With inventory so low, it is definitely a seller's market. If there is any interest to sell, now is the time. — Roschelle Richardson, Equity Central Realty

Our approach is the same in any market, starting with finding out why a customer is considering selling at this time. Moving is tough, even under ideal circumstances, folks don't sell their home because it's fun! We think establishing a personal relationship with the customer early on results in better decision-making and a mutual trust that allows the homeowner to make the informed decision to list, or not. — Joe Rath, Redfin

When demand is much higher than supply it’s always more difficult to find listings. With that being said, the way to show potential sellers their potential need to sell is showing them that if they buy more house, later on down the road there is a potential to reap more profits off of it. Especially when you downsize or retire, the houses you bought and sold when the market was hot, led you to make more profits because the more you spent, the more potential profits you can make. Also showing them they can make more profit now if they sell now and if they are willing buy a home and fix it up, they can use those profits to pour into that fixer-upper and get more house with a little sweat equity. — Jason Rasor, Best Homes Real Estate

At this point I am not buying that the home shortage will correct itself in 2018. I am seeing buyers in a state of panic to get into a new listing ASAP because in many cases they have missed getting so many prior.  I am in a situation of listing several homes for a local company who is relocating out of state.   Many of my clients I know very well and have tried to prepare them of impending offers immediately upon listing. What I am finding is sellers are holding back to list their homes because they are afraid of quick sales that will leave them “homeless” sooner than they are prepared for! I am encouraging my sellers to list when they are ready but to prepare for an offer within 4-5 days. The central Ohio area is one of them most affordable areas of the Midwest. When people come here from other states they comment on the value, unlike our local residents that are moving out of state who find prices usually much higher in states where they are moving. I wish instead of builders building in the upper end ($350K and up), which I am mainly seeing in the NE Central Ohio Area where I work the most, I wish they would accommodate the middle price range between $175-280K with quality homes to choose from. I also find in my area a terrible shortage of ranch condos that are so desperately needed by retiring baby boomers and older clients. Many who are sitting in a home that really doesn’t work for them but cannot sell because there is nothing that will any work better. There would be many more homes to list if these people had a functional one floor plan in which to move. Builders come to Centerburg, Sunbury, Johnstown! We need you! — Becky Payne, Howard Hanna

What we have I believe is actually a lead generation problem. In having more conversations with more prospects, I am able to educate more potential sellers on what it will take to make the next move. They feel they are a prisoner in their home since they hear how hard it is to buy their next home; and on top of that their next mortgage rate is going to be higher than the current mortgage they are probably in right now. As the experts in the market, REALTORS® can help increase the inventory one house at a time by stepping up our work as sales agents in making more calls around listings that have sold, calling through our geographic farms and knocking on doors around our open houses to have face-to-face, person-to-person conversations. With 8,000 of us around central Ohio, you would think that we have the force it takes to right the ship and balance things out! — Jason Peeler, Keller Williams Greater Columbus

Everyone’s housing situation and goals are unique, so when someone is considering listing, I always try to prepare them for the most plausible scenarios that could happen throughout the process. If they are looking to list their home, and need to find and purchase another home, I typically have them prep their home for listing it by decluttering, touch up painting, staging, etc. and rather than list it then begin looking for their next home, we’ve shifted to looking for a home first, then listing their existing home if it’s in a low “days on market” area. As a plan B for people in this scenario, I have them also identify potential rentals, should something fall through with a purchase transaction and they find themselves in need of something short term. With the biggest listing objection being that the inventory is so low and they aren’t confident they’ll find another home to move to, I think it’s also important to let them know marketing language and contract language can be added to allow them extra time to find suitable housing. With the demand for homes so high right now, buyers are becoming increasingly more flexible on terms that are appealing to sellers. Assuring sellers that they have the power in these situations is key and prepping them and putting a game plan in place to accommodate all the potential obstacles is a necessity for sellers looking to list their homes. — Jill Richardson, Keller Williams Greater Columbus

When I meet with a potential seller and the topic about not being able to find a place to go comes up, I discuss a couple of options with them. In a seller’s market, we can set a longer than usual closing time, say 60 days instead of 30 days. Delayed possession is also an option. I have a client listing later this week and her home won’t be ready until August. She will need to lease or rent back after closing. I state that information directly in the agent-to-agent remarks. Buyers are willing to make the concessions. — Jodi Reitz, Fathom Realty

One of the biggest items I am providing to get people to list their homes in 2018, is to offer a no obligation—free home valuation. Many homeowners don't know that the value of their property has increased so dramatically over the last few years. The free KV Core program offered by Key Realty allows me to easily create the automated valuation and reach targeted sellers online who are likely to move. Then I follow up with a visit to their home to narrow down the price. I provide them with a free Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) adjusted by property features and amenities. It is also helpful to talk to them about a bridge loan (as they move from one property to another) or time contingency (in their seller terms) to find another home, as finding their next home is a primary concern. Two other items I am providing is education of my clients to make informed decisions, and communication that is client-focused, routine, and 24/7. These are key to helping them navigate the selling and/or buying process by providing a team-based process, i.e., negotiating terms and creative funding, value of remodeling/changes, unique photo/video tour, staging, “choose your neighbor” campaigns, tested target marketing and social media campaigns, and assistance in setting the selling price with an adjusted CMA similar to a lenders’ BPO—critical to the bank/lender appraisal to avoid shutting out potential buyers and delaying the process. New builds are the only long-term solution to a tight market now and projected even tighter in the future. Rehabbers are revitalizing neighborhoods to utilize the current housing stock; commercial builders are erecting multi-story apartments, condos, and retirement communities, while residential home builders are adding townhouses and single-family home communities. The lack of qualified laborers is slowing that growth. The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), working in conjunction with the Urban Land Institute (ULI), projects Columbus will grow by one million people by 2050. To put it simply, there are not enough acres to build single dwellings, so MORPC’s “dense by design” for the Columbus area is to gather data on the desires of each demographic, work toward a “village” atmosphere, and build “up” versus “out” in conjunction with streamlining transportation to avoid congestion. Access to public transportation and amenities will become an important location preference. — Mary Rhinehart, Key Realty

I take a consultative approach with clients. I see my job as to educate them on both the high demand for housing in the Columbus area and also on the current value of their home. Many people think they have to tackle a laundry list of to-do items before it will be market ready. But I like to give them price options for selling the house as it is or consider doing a few improvements that will most increase the value. Armed with that information, they can be the best judge of whether it’s the right time to make a move. — Liz Pione, HER Realtors®

I have talked to many people who are on the fence as to what to do. I like to give real advice, not always making me the winner of a new listing but is in the best interest of the public. I tell the older clients that this market gives them an edge. I tell them they will get the highest value we have seen in years and can move to a senior community seamlessly. Other discussions I have with the young people I work with is to buy a little more now because to think you might sell in five years and buy a bit bigger is a question. If rates go up a lot as I expect then the difference in the rate could mean you buying no more home for the same payment. Those days will come soon enough, if they have not already for some people. Often the thought of a new home is out of reach because the interest rate brings a monthly payment so much higher that they just have to stay in their homes longer then they wish. These homeowners will do additions and or remodel in some way to allow themselves to stay longer. The circle of real estate sales! — Carol Reeves, RE/MAX Achievers

With inventory so low, I’m relying heavily on my past clients and friends for referral business. I am also chasing recent sales with print marketing to get my foot in the door with a listing appointment. Once I meet with a prospective client, I’m really pressing the advantages of listing in such an opportune time with inventory so low. Low inventory and high prices have actually helped to move some of my clients off the fence, especially those who have been thinking about selling for a long time. The challenge continues to be getting in front of prospects before they list. — Rob Riddle, New Albany Realty, Ltd