Redfin, a low-cost real estate brokerage company, today released recommendations for home sellers, based on academic research, an analysis of Web site statistics and other measures.
The recommendations, at www.redfin.com/scientist, include advice not to overprice for-sale homes, and to price at or below the thresholds of the $25,000 or $50,000 listing price increments on real estate search sites, among others.
Redfin launched a forum site at http://forums.redfin.com/rf/board?board.id=RealEstateScientist for consumers and agents to discuss the recommendations and underlying research, and to propose areas for future research. The company plans to release new findings periodically, according to the announcement.
The seven recommendations outlined in the Redfin report:
— Don’t overprice your property. In a 2002 study of 3,490 Stockton, Calif., listings, published in Real Estate Economics, homes without a price reduction sold for 97 percent of initial list price, whereas homes with a price reduction sold for 88 percent of initial list price, a difference likely greater than the amount of the price reduction.
— Set your price to show up in Web searches. A home selling for $350,000 will be seen significantly more than a home selling for $355,000 because the $355,000 home will be excluded by buyers who set $350,000 as their maximum price, Redfin reported. A September 2007 analysis of traffic to its own Web site in the San Francisco and Seattle markets found that moving from one price band down to the next can increase online activity by as much as 7.1 percent.
— Debut on Friday. A December 2007 Redfin analysis of its own Web traffic for 119,079 listings in the Boston, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle and Washington, D.C., areas found that listings that first appeared on a Friday got an average 7.7 percent more visitors in their first seven days than those that appeared first on Thursday.
— Stay engaged. “We believe the data validate the importance of an informed, active home seller, whether an agent is involved or not,” Redfin reported, citing several studies.
— Market the property online.
— When selling your home, stay put. Redfin cited a pricing study of 3,490 Stockton listings, which found that vacant homes were 9.5 percent more likely to experience a price reduction.
— If you can, wait to list your property until neighboring foreclosures are off the market. Redfin cites a Nov. 13 report by the Center for Responsible Lending, which estimates that a foreclosure costs neighboring homeowners an average of $5,000 when listing their property. “If you can’t wait to list your property until neighboring foreclosures are off the market, you will have to account for the effect of the foreclosures in your own pricing.”