Search All Homes For Sale

Expert Tips for Navigating the Real Estate Market

Our mission at Yoder Real Estate is to be your best resource for real estate advice. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, our team of professionals can answer any questions you might have about real estate. Subscribe to this blog to get the latest news on local market trends and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

How to Sell With Confidence in This Market


If you need to list your current home before you purchase your next, you're not alone. There are many ways to tackle this situation, and my team and I can help. 

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

2017 has been a year with a very interesting market. As we move into the fall and winter, we’re seeing a lot of interesting changes in real estate. A lot of these changes are generating questions from sellers.

For now, I have a question for you: Are you, like the hundreds of people we’ve talked to this year, feeling stuck in your existing home? If you want to list but you have to sell your home to buy your next one, this does create a challenge. Nevertheless, this is a challenge that can be overcome.

Perhaps you have been stalled by low inventory in your home search and have felt unable to find your next home. But something I want you to think about is this: How can the home you’re supposed to find be there if you haven’t listed your current one yet? 
Your perfect home could be out there now as an off-market listing.
The universe cannot deliver you the right home if you aren’t in a position to buy your next one. When you’re ready, willing, and able, the home you need will present itself because you are going to be devoting your time and energy to making it so. 

There are a few strategies my team and I have to help people like you who need to sell before they can buy. Did you know that you have up to 75 days from the time you get an offer until you get under contract? My team and I have tracked the typical time it takes for people in your situation to find their next home, and we’ve found that it takes an average of just 16 days. 

October and November are also great times to be on the market because of low inventory and high demand. If you’re worried about finding your next home, you might also want to think about off-market listings. These listings receive less traffic. Your perfect home could be out there now as an off-market listing. 

We can also help you get from one home to the next by placing a contingency on your contract. 

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Should You Hire a Friend or Relative as Your Real Estate Agent?


When it comes to hiring a real estate agent, whether they’re a friend or relative shouldn’t be a part of your search criteria.

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

I recently read an article by Dave Ramsey titled “Real Estate and Relatives Don’t Mix,” and it talked about whether you should hire a friend or family member to help you with real estate.

I thought this article was interesting because it was written from the perspective of a well-known financial guru. Dave has hundreds of thousands of followers and has been on the radio for over two decades. He’s a person to listen to when it comes to both finance and real estate, and there were a few takeaway from this article I want to share with you.

First, hiring an agent is not a matter of right or wrong—it’s a matter of due diligence. For the folks that used a relative to represent them, that wasn’t their only method of choosing an agent. They actually did their homework and checked to see if that relative also had credentials 

Dave also mentioned in the article that when you’re thinking about listing a home, there are a list of things you should look for in a real estate professional if you want them to represent you:
  • Do they have a track record of success? This is made evident by the number of homes they sell annually, the number of reviews they have on real estate review sites, how many third-party referrals they have, what their list-to-sale price ratio is, and what their average days on market is compared to the board average.
  • How long have they been selling real estate? By and large, more experienced agents get sellers more money. 
  • What is their marketing strategy? In other words, what are they doing to sell homes? What are the tools, methods, strategies, and systems they have in place to get the home the most exposure? Every agent has a different version of this process. Some do a lot, and some do very little aside from posting the home online, and it’s important to find out if your agent is the former or the latter.
Nowhere on the list was “Are they a friend or family member?”

So, what’s the takeaway here? When you’re looking to hire an agent, talk to a couple of them and compare their results and marketing strategies side by side so you can make a decision based on sound information. Past history is an indicator of future results, so what an agent is doing or has done should give you a pretty good idea of what you’ll experience as far as listing with an inexperienced agent versus listing with an experienced agent. 

If you have any questions or would like to know more about getting the most money out of your home sale, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We’d be happy to help you.

3 Reasons to Put Your Home on the Market This Fall


Selling this fall is actually a pretty good idea. Here are three reasons why. 

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

We receive lots of questions from sellers about timing the market. Many want to know when the best time to list a home to maximize their sale price is. A lot of people we talk to say they are going to wait until spring to list, but can’t give us a reason why other than: “Everyone else is doing it.”

The truth of the matter is that most sellers take their home off the market during this time of year because of that way of thinking. When you combine that with the seasonality of fall and winter, you will find that we have a market right now that is completely void of inventory. This gives homeowners a huge advantage should they choose to sell. Here are three compelling reasons that you may want to consider selling this fall:

1. Less competition on the market. When a buyer is looking for a home like yours, it will be one of the few on the market for the buyer to choose from. This gives you an opportunity to maximize your sale price. When demand is high, prices go up. In this market, demand is very high. In the spring, there are certainly more buyers. However, there are more sellers too. During this time, you can be one of very few listings on the market.
Motivated buyers are more highly concentrated these days.
2. More motivated buyers. Buyers used to need to get into their new home before school started. That’s not really the case anymore. More and more buyers are using timelines to mark their transaction. A lot of them have a move-in deadline of “before the holidays.” Putting your home on the market over the next few months puts you in a great position to find a buyer who is on a deadline and will do whatever it takes to get a home like yours.

3. Perfect time for photos. The grass is still green and the leaves are changing colors. Our photos are looking awesome right now with all those colors. Your home will leap off the pages.

If you have any questions for us about selling your home or you just want to know your home’s market value, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We would love to hear from you.

What Needs to Be Done to Your Home Before You List It?


You should focus on a few specific tasks when getting your home ready for the market if you want to sell it quickly and for top dollar.

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, there is a short list of important things you need to do to it first. These strategies will allow you to sell your home for the highest price, in the shortest amount of time, and with the least amount of hassle. 

First: declutter, declutter, declutter. The homes that cause a person to ask “Does someone actually live here?” are the ones that sell fast. Don’t let the prospect of decluttering freak you out. It’s not a matter of completely emptying your home—it’s a matter of simply depersonalizing it. Your home should look like something the buyer can envision themselves living in. Use your garage or a storage facility to store the items you don’t have room for. You can also give away what you don’t need to the Goodwill or hold a garage sale.
Decluttering is 70% of the home listing preparation equation.
Second, have a professional market prep consultation. This means meeting with either a home staging expert or someone who understands what needs to be done to each room in terms of furniture placement, paint, carpet, and miscellaneous or minor repairs. The idea here is to take what you have and make the most out of it. This should be done before you take any photographs or have any showings. 

Third, order a home inspection. If you get your home inspected before you put it on the market, you’ll be able to take care of any repairs that aren’t visible to the naked eye. Let’s face it—if you’ve lived in your home for more than 10 years, there are likely things going on that you’re not aware of. Without having your home inspected in advance, a surprise repair will cost you more money once the buyer is involved. 

Lastly, do some basic landscaping. Plant some nice plants out front, clean up the entryway, paint the door, and make everything else crisp and clean. This is the first picture buyers get when they pull up to your house, and first impressions are critical. 

If you have any questions about what to do to your home before putting it on the market or you have another real estate topic on your mind you’d like to chat about, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to speak with you!

What’s the Latest From Our Grand Rapids Market?


As we enter August 2017, it’s a seller’s market - but interest rates are keeping homes affordable for buyers.

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

What do the latest numbers say about our Grand Rapids market as we enter August?  

First, mortgage interest rates stayed steady at 4.6%. Remember—this is 3.5% lower than the 30-year average. This makes homes way more affordable for buyers. If interest rates rise by just 1%, that can impact your payment by hundreds of dollars—don’t lose sight of that. 

What else is different? Let’s look at some other numbers from this past July and see how they stack up compared to where we were at this point two years ago. 

The median sales price currently stands at $190,000, which is an increase of 23% from July 2015. 

Inventory sits at 3,370 active listings, which is down 37%. 

The average days on market is 24 days, which is a decrease of 34%.

These numbers add up to a very strong seller’s market. Homes are selling quickly out there—some in less than 24 hours with multiple offers being thrown at them. 
Grand Rapids is in a strong seller’s market.
Lastly, our month’s supply of inventory is down 48% to just 1.5 months, which means that’s all it would take to sell those 3,370 active listings if no other new homes came on the market. 

If you have any questions about our market or are thinking of buying or selling a home, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to talk with you.

Average 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages


Median Sales Price

Properties for Sale


Average Number of Days on The Market


Months Supply of Inventory


It's a Seller's Market, so Where Are All the Listings?


We’re in a seller’s market, but we aren’t seeing any listings. There are a couple reasons why that is.

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

It’s a seller’s market and people are aware that now is a great time to sell their homes, so why aren’t we seeing more listings? There are three distinct reasons.
  1. Lack of inventory. Sellers are wanting to sell their homes, so they go out and look on the MLS for homes to purchase. But they aren’t seeing a lot of options. They don’t want to get stuck and be homeless. 
  2. Lending guidelines have tightened up. When sellers are trying to move up, lenders are seeing a higher debt-to-income ratio that may have been left over from the housing crash and they see it as a challenge.
  3. A lot of folks are trying to “time the market.” They want to get a little more equity out of their current home so they want to wait so they have more to bring to the table for their next purchase. The problem with that is both homes are going up in value at the same time, so you’re not really gaining anything by waiting. Additionally, interest rates are also rising which if you wait and they go up, your monthly payment will be larger as well.
How can we navigate through this market without getting stuck? One thing to look at is off-market listings, which are generally comprised of folks who are getting their homes ready for the market. Ask your Realtor for those listings so you can see what’s going to come on the market when you’re ready to sell.
To navigate the market without getting stuck, try looking at off-market listings.
Another option is to look at homes that haven’t been listed on the open MLS. Generally these homeowners want their homes on the market but aren’t open to showings due to certain situations arising, and are only interested in ready, willing, and able buyers. If you’d like access to these listings or are looking for a comprehensive market analysis, give us a call.

If you have any other questions about this topic or you’re looking to buy or sell your home, give us a call or shoot us an email. We’d be happy to help!

Why Waiting to List Your Home Could Be a Big Mistake

The answer to whether you should list your home now or wait depends on your situation. However, don’t be waiting for the wrong reasons.

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation


If you’re a home seller in our market, should you list your home now or wait?

This is a tough question because real estate values are at an all-time high and demand is also high, so that could make for an awesome sales experience as far as the money that goes into your pocket. However, it can be a challenge to find your next home. 

The answer depends on your situation. Think of buying and selling in terms of one big transaction. A lot of sellers like to dissect those two things, focus on selling for X amount of money, and neglect to look at it as an opportunity to move into their next home. They don’t factor in the costs on the buying side. 
Many people in our market are waiting but waiting for the wrong reason.
Whenever you’re selling a home in this (or any) market and buying a home in the same market, you’ll pick up both the benefits and downsides of the other end of your purchase or sale. Many people in our market are waiting, but waiting for the wrong reason.

For example, they might be waiting for their home value to go up, but this is probably a mistake because home values are already at a peak here in western Michigan. If you’re waiting for your home value to go up, the value of the home you intend to buy next will also be higher once you decide to pull the trigger. 

Furthermore, interest rates continue to rise and will likely not be where they are today in the next one, two, or three years. If your needs are more along the lines of downsizing or upsizing, that may be a valid reason for moving now and taking advantage of the price you’ll get on your home sale and current interest rates, which are very favorable. 

One of the strategies we use to help buyers and sellers is to find homes that are not currently listed. We have a database of available listings whose owners want to sell but can’t be on the market for one reason or another. 

If you have any questions or you’d like to know more about our off-market database and how to navigate selling and buying a home in this market, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be glad to assist you.

The 4.5 Things That Will Get Your Offer Accepted

It can be tricky making your offer stand out against the others when you’re looking for a home. But, we have 4.5 tips that will help you do just that.

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation


How, in today’s hot, competitive market, can buyers get their offers noticed? Well today, I want to share with you 4.5 tips that can help you get noticed and accepted even in multiple offer situations.  

Our market is ultimately defined by low inventory and massive demand. Right now, every seven out of 10 homes are selling with multiple offers. This means a few things for those involved.

For sellers this is good news, because it means that they have a little bit of control by virtue of listings being in high demand. 

For buyers though, the story is a little different. If you’re in the market to buy a house, you’ll need to get your offer accepted against the competition. That’s easier said than done, as things have changed drastically even within the last 10 years when it comes to the market and how it works.

Luckily, I have 4.5 strategies designed to help you get your dream home.
Our market is ultimately defined by low inventory and massive demand.
1. Go big or go home. Change the way you think about the list price. When looking at homes, try not to consider the list price as an absolute. Instead, think of it as a range. If the price is $150,000, for example, expect a range of at least $10,000 more. To compete in today’s market, you cannot offer below list price. 

2. Throw out the love letters—money talks. Though there was a time where offer letters would entice sellers into choosing an offer based on sentiment, the truth is that today, the best monetary offer most often wins. However, in lieu of the offer letter, we do encourage buyers to make use of strategy No. 3. 

3. Make a video. In today’s modern world, offer videos have replaced letters. A video will allow you to express your personality and why you love the home. Combined with going big and having a solid offer, this can go far in getting your offer accepted.

4. Big earnest money deposits. There is no good reason to go in with a small earnest deposit. If a seller sees that you have truly invested in your deposit, it will lend much more credibility to your offer overall. It gives off the impression that you are financially capable of purchasing the home. Think 5% to 10% of the list price, and remember that you can get this money back if inspections don’t go as planned.

4.5. You can’t overpay. Because homes have to be appraised by a lender, sellers will often need to comply to a purchasing price that matches the home’s true value. 

If you’d like to learn more or ask me any other questions, give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Using Affirmations to Sell Your Home

Today I want to talk to you about how combining visualizations and affirmations with solid marketing and strategy will help you sell your home.

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation


The traditional methods for selling your home are plentiful - signs in the yard, marketing, video, photography, staging, negotiations - the list goes on and on. Even with all the tools at your disposal, these methods may not be enough.

What if you’re on the market and you have a lot of showings and you don’t have an offer? What do you do then? A seller gets frustrated when 20 or 30 showings are done and there isn’t an offer. The first thing a seller then looks at is if they need to make a price adjustment. Sometimes lowering the price gets the job done and the house gets sold.

Sometimes lowering the price just isn’t enough. There are more showings, yet still no offers. Now the seller is feeling the stress of trying to get the home sold. It’s a lot of work for no results. So what do you do next?

I’d like to offer you a solution that I’ve seen work time and time again, but it only works if you believe in it and you apply it. This process will help you sell your home through affirmations.

This affirmation works wonderfully and quickly. A close friend of mine was able to sell her home after a few days of using the affirmation and visualizing the end result. This idea came from a book called, “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” by Joseph Murphy, who took the time to visualize his home selling quickly and saw results.
The worst thing you can do as a seller is say things like, “My home will never sell.”
The worst thing you can do as a seller is say things like, “My home will never sell.” When you say a positive affirmation, visualize what you want to happen. What will you do when your house finally sells? Will you throw the sign joyously from your yard? Imagine the end result and feel that satisfaction. 

I use this affirmation: 

"Infinite intelligence attracts to me the buyer for this home who wants it and who prospers in it. This buyer is being sent to me by the creative intelligence of my subconscious mind which makes no mistakes. This buyer may look at many homes, but mine is the only one he/she wants and will buy because he is guided by infinite intelligence within him/her. I know the buyer is right, the time is right and the price is right. The deeper currents of my subconscious mind are now  in operation bringing both of us together in divine order. I know that it is so."

Remember: what you are seeking, someone else is also seeking it. What you are seeking is also seeking you. Your home is meant for somebody. Take this affirmation I’ve included above and say it in the morning and evening. Combine visualizations and affirmations with solid marketing and strategy, and you will be on your way. 

If you have any questions about this or any other topic, please reach out to me. I would be happy to help.

Should You Ignore FHA Homebuyers?

What is an FHA loan and how does it affect you as a buyer or seller? I’ll explain everything you need to know today.

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

The Grand Rapids real estate market has the third-lowest housing inventory in the United States, which definitely makes our market more challenging. Today, I’ll go over FHA loans and how buyers and sellers can use them to navigate this difficult market. 

An FHA loan is a loan that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration. This loan program started several years ago in an effort to help first-time homebuyers by offering them a low down payment program. Most first-time homebuyers will use an FHA loan to achieve their mortgage needs and only put 3% to 3.5% down. 

As a seller, you have a couple of different options when it comes to accepting an offer. You can work with an FHA buyer or a buyer with conventional financing. Buyers with conventional financing have more of a down payment and are usually a second or third-time homebuyer; they are able to pull equity out of their home or have more savings for a down payment. 

The FHA loan is a little more strict when it comes to things that the seller has to take care of, but that doesn’t mean you should be afraid of accepting an FHA loan. Before 2005, sellers were very reluctant to accept FHA offers because the FHA required far too many repairs. Since then, those guidelines have relaxed. 
FHA buyers make up about 50% of our market.
If you are selling your home, you should also know that 40% to 50% of the offers in our current market are from FHA buyers. If you eliminate FHA buyers from your buyer pool, then you will eliminate plenty of potential offers on your home, which is not a good idea. 

If you are thinking of putting your home on the market, you will need to make these repairs before closing if you accept an FHA offer: 
  • Peeling paint in homes built prior to 1978.
  • Unpainted downspouts and broken rain gutters.
  • Rotting outbuilding in need of demolition.
  • Exterior doors that do not properly close and open.
  • Exposed wiring and uncovered junction boxes.
  • Major plumbing issues and leaks.
  • Inoperable HVAC systems.
  • Leaky or defective roofs, roofs with a life expectancy of less than three years, and composition over shake.
  • Active and visible pest infestation. 
  • Rotting window sills, eaves, and support columns on a porch. 
  • Missing appliances that are usually sold with a home, such as a stove.
  • Bedrooms without minimum-sized windows or bedroom windows with bars that do not release. 
  • Foundational or structural defects. 
  • Wet basements. 
  • Evidence of standing water in the crawl space. 
  • Inoperable kitchen appliances. 
  • Empty swimming pools, pools without a working pump, and pools with mosquito fish. 
  • Ripped screens. 
  • No pressure relief valve on water heater. 
  • Leaning or broken fence. 
If you are thinking of listing your home and you’re wondering what FHA requirements are, that’s pretty much it. Talk to your agent about that list because it may change year to year. Regardless, it’s important to understand that these are items that will be looked at closely. 

So, what’s the best thing you can do before you list your home? I recommend getting a pre-inspection and taking care of the items on that list in advance in order to open your home up to more offers. 

If you have any questions about FHA loans on the buyer or seller side, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

2 Factors That Affect Our Market the Most

Interest rates may be going up, but do you know where they were 10 or 20 years ago? As you’ll see, the low rates of today are a rarity and worth taking advantage of.

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation


Our market right now is defined by two factors: housing supply and interest rates. I’ve got two charts to share with you that demonstrate exactly where our market is when it comes to affordability.

The first chart shows historical rates from Freddie Mac for 30-year fixed rate mortgages. The big takeaway here is that today’s interest rates are still 3.5% lower than the 30-year average. A lot of first-time homebuyers aren’t aware of this. Knowing that rates are up to 4% doesn’t sound that great when you don’t understand the context. For example, if you look back to 1987, you’ll see that rates were over 10%. At the same time, this is the fourth best year for interest rates in the last 30 years, even if the rates are up slightly from last year.
Historically speaking, rates are rarely this low.
If you’re trying to save up for a down payment, look at what a 1% interest rate hike would do to your payment to see if it might be a better idea for you to just buy now with rates where they are and a lower down payment. If home prices are going up by an average of $10,000 to $15,000 every year, is saving up $15,000 really worth it?

The second graphic is similar to the first but shows interest rate changes over the last 200 years instead of the last 30. When you look at this chart, it’s crazy to see that rates were at 16% in 1980. This is just another example that shows how good we have it with our current interest rates. Even with low inventory, there are still plenty of homes on the market available for purchase.

Hopefully you’ve found this information helpful. If you have any questions in the meantime about buying or selling a home, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I would love to hear from you soon.


Chart 1: 30 fixed rate mortgages

Chart 2: 200 years of interest rates



How to Wow Buyers With Your Landscaping

Spring is in the air, and a lot of sellers are asking what they need to do to get their homes prepared for the market.

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation


There are many things you can do to get your home ready for sale, but curb appeal has the greatest impact on how buyers feel. With that in mind, here are the top four things you can do to wow a buyer through landscaping:
These tips will help your home appeal to buyers’ emotions.
1. Cut the grass. When buyers first pull up to your house, they’re making judgments, and you only get one chance at a first impression. Cut the grass at least once a week and make sure it’s green. 

2. Install outdoor lighting. This way you can illuminate the house at night and accent certain parts of the yard. If a buyer can’t see your home during the day, it’s a cool thing for them to be able to pull up and see all those landscaping lights. This is a low-cost, high-return investment. To get an idea of what installation setup would work for you, there are many online resources you can reference or companies you can contact. 

3. Plant flowers to add color. Believe it or not, too much green in your landscape is not good. Planting flowers to add a splash of color is a good way to appeal to buyers’ emotions.

4. Clean the siding, the porch, and the front door. Enclosed porches tend to have a lot of cobwebs, dirt, and debris cluttering around, and that can make a bad impression on buyers. Cracks in your driveway are a prime area for weeds to sprout from, which doesn’t look good either. Make sure these areas are swept, cleaned, and cleared. 

We’re in a seller’s market, but if you want to maximize the price of your home sale, you still have to be responsible about selling your home. These tips can earn you an extra couple thousand dollars on your final sale price. 

If you have any questions or are thinking about selling your home, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or shoot us an email. We look forward to talking to you soon! 

Grand Rapids Ranks #3 in the U.S. for Biggest Housing Shortage

Grand Rapids is making headlines because of our low inventory. I’ll go over how our low supply of homes is affecting our market today. 

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

The housing shortage in Grand Rapids is making headlines! A recent article in Grand Rapids Business Journal says Grand Rapids is number three in its list of the 10 U.S. cities with the biggest housing shortages. Today I want to talk a little bit about what that means for our market. 

Right now there are 1,426 homes on the market compared to around 10,000 homes on the market at this time in 2008. Demand is crazy in Grand Rapids.
Buyers and sellers still have plenty of options to get a great home.

In fact, there are people who want to move into a new house and sell their current home, but they are scared they won’t be able to find a new home because of the low inventory and increased competition. Situations like those are definitely when an agent or team who has access to off-market listings will come in handy. 

The best teams in any area are going to have a list of off-market properties, so you can feel confident listing your current home or buying your first home if you choose to work with one of those teams or agents.

I recommend selling your home now and putting yourself in a situation to buy in the next 60 days when inventory increases in the spring as well. 

As far as buyers go, there are a ton of options out there and the spring market will bring an influx of inventory to choose from. 

If you have any questions about this topic or any other real estate related questions, please feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!



Listen to my radio interview on Wood Radio 1300:

The Value of Working With a Veteran Real Estate Agent

I recently came across an article about the value of working with an agent who has a veteran level of experience. I think you'll be surprised to hear how much more money that can make you.

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation


I recently came across an article in The Wall Street Journal from a couple years ago that I wanted to address today called "The Price of Real Estate Experience: $25,000."

A professor of finance was intrigued by this topic, so he took a 10,000-home sampling over a 10-year span and researched real estate sales. He broke the sale into three categories; homes sold by rookie agents with two years of experience or less, homes sold by agents with two to 10 years of experience, and homes sold by real estate veterans with more than 10 years of experience. 

He found that the veterans sold homes for an average of 12% more money than rookie agents. In our market with an average sale price of $175,000, that equates to about $20,000 more in your pocket by hiring a veteran agent. 

The more experience you have, the more insight you have. You also will have the finances and the skills to market better, because you've seen it all. Having seen almost every possible version of a real estate transaction is invaluable experience that means more money for a seller. The funds to market properties appropriately comes with a breadth of knowledge and experience to allow an agent to do it over and over and turn their skills into mastery. 
In our market, working with a veteran agent could net you an extra $20,000.
The study also found that two-thirds of the listings were sold by veteran agents, while the rookie agents only sold half of their listings. A lot of the listings from rookie agents were expiring. Another benefit to working with a veteran agent is their knowledge of neighborhoods and a larger network of buyers. 

If you knew for a fact that your ability to get the most money for your home hinged on hiring an agent or team, would you place more value on that, or on appeasing a friend who just got their real estate license? I ask because we see it all too often. Our market has attracted so many agents because the barrier to entry is so low; you can get a license for $100. This leads to many agents making transactions without much experience in marketing or negotiation.

Hopefully you found this information helpful! If you have any questions about buying or selling homes in the Grand Rapids market, give me a call or send me an email. I'd be happy to help you.

3 Reasons Why Homes Fail to Sell

There are three main reasons why homes fail to sell, and the third one may surprise you. 

Call me at (616) 942-2449 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation

Why do homes not sell? There are three main reasons why, and one of those will likely shock you. 

Many listings are expiring. An expired listing is a listing that an agent put on the market but failed to sell. Many home sellers blame the agent and believe getting a new one will solve the problem, but that isn't always true.

The number one reason why homes don’t sell is they aren’t priced properly. In 2016, the average sales price was only 91% of the listing price, which means that most homes sold at a discounted price. In fact, 50% of the time in 2016, homes went through two price reductions before they sold. That means that the home was priced incorrectly, forcing the seller to accept a reduced price. If it had been priced right from the beginning, the seller could have sold faster, gotten more money, and even drawn multiple offers. 

Improper pricing also causes the home to be in a different price bracket than it should be. If you overprice your home, you will be at the bottom of a more expensive price bracket, and your home won’t look as impressive as the competition. Get the pricing right up front so your home doesn’t just sit on the market. 

Poor marketing combined with incorrect pricing is a recipe for failure. Most expired listings fail to sell because the pricing was wrong and the agent didn’t do a solid job articulating the benefits of the property, using technology to accentuate those benefits, and sending your listing out into the marketplace in a way that would compel the buyer to take action. 
Negative experiences can follow home sellers and impact the sale.
One of the most important factors when selling your home is placement. If you are in the wrong price range, then you are not priced for success. If your home is not marketed well in a competitive market, buyers will not notice your home. A real estate agent who can guide you through the pricing process and has the marketing to back it up will get you a successful home sale. 

Finally, many sellers in the expired listing category tend to get in their own way. Why? They have hired an agent before and had a negative experience. They start to believe that all real estate agents are the same. Negative experiences can follow home sellers. Even if a new agent gets a lot of new showings and activity for the home, a seller might rebel against the new opportunities. They may even start to say negative things about the buyers or the home itself.

This is a real challenge. However, it is always important to remain positive. In Norman Vincent Peale’s book, The Power of Positive Thinking, he says, “If you expect the best, you are given some strange kind of power to create conditions that produce the desired results.” 

In other words, if you expect the worst, your home will fail to sell. Expectations and intentions are important to the home selling process. Figure out what you want, keep the negative emotions at bay, and hire the right agent to sell your home. Don’t self-sabotage the deal, let your agent get you to the closing table.

If you have any other questions about expired listings or the home selling process, give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!