Casey Samson has always kept an eye on the major West Coast markets of San Jose, Seattle and Los Angeles for the latest innovations in the real estate market. Translating those trends to the East Coast market has benefited his sellers handsomely.
Although the West Coast market differs from the East Coast, two rules still apply to any real estate market:
- Sellers do not want to leave money on the table and buyers do not want to pay more than a home is worth.
- Fear drives prices up and greed drives prices down.
Here is how West Coast trends are successfully applied to the Northern Virginia market:
Modified West Coast Pricing
On the West Coast, homes are priced well below market value and buyers are left to bid the price up. Fear of losing the home drives prices beyond fair market value.
Most homes in Northern Virginia, are priced high allowing for wiggle room. This is a 1985 model, which results in high days on market and a high percentage of listings withdrawn unsold.
The Casey Samson Team (CST) first establishes true value using our proprietary pricing models for the home. If we are close to a major threshold, then we recommend a list price just below the threshold attracting the largest buyer pool. For example, the buyer pool under $1M is 4 times larger than the buyer pool over $1M. A home valued at $1.01M would be better served listing for $1M.
Our models serve to help us price homes accurately, defend the homes value to buyers, their agents, appraisers and inspectors.
Results: CST homes sell faster and for a higher percentage of assessment. In the Spring 2019 market for homes over $850,000 in Vienna/Oakton, the Casey Samson Team sold over twice as much as their nearest competitor in average of 13.8 days vs the industry average of 119. We sold those homes at 100.3% of original list price vs the industry average of 96.6%.
West Coast Simplicity & Style Sell
On the West Coast, homes are usually in a “Transitional” condition, which is a blend of “Traditional” and “Modern” styles. The homes are staged by taking them from a transitional look to a more West Coast buyer friendly modern look.
On the East Coast homes start in a more traditional style. Traditional style is out and homes need to take on a more East Coast buyer friendly transitional look to attract to highest buyer pool.
CST focuses on free and low cost cosmetic recommendations that take a home from traditional to a transitional style. These improvements return $6 for every $1 invested, as well as selling homes faster.
West Coast Marketing Targets Buyers
Most West Coast home presentation online far exceeds the East Coast homes. Homes have their own websites and target buyers on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google ads.
Most East Coast Realtors still use newspapers, magazines and depend on Zillow as their digital marketer.
CST uses state of the art tools to target potential buyers of the proper age and income in employment centers 30-45 minutes to the east. Boosted, digital marketing ads, to targeted buyers, generate 20 times the traffic as organic ads. Larger buyer pools generate the highest and best offers and best terms for the seller. If buyers see a property they like, they click through to a state of the art website about the home that was designed after homes selling for $20M+ in Beverly Hills. The combination of Information and entertainment present the home in the most powerful light.
Seller Friendly Contract Negotiations
Most West Coast contracts for mostly “Highest and Best” offers which produce higher prices and the best terms. The winning bid could be $10s of thousands of dollars higher the next closest bid.
Most East Coast contracts allow buyer friendly escalation clauses. This form of bidding keeps prices low and contingencies more buyer friendly.
CST does not allow escalation clauses. It is not unusual to receive contracts that are $20-$30,000 (or $100k) higher than the next closest offer, as well as, removal of appraisal, financing and inspection contingencies. Example: 4 contracts came in on a home listed at $750,000. One buyer offered $755 plus an escalation of $2000 higher than highest bid, resulting in a $757,000 contract offer. He was told no escalation, so he returned within 30 minutes with an offer of $790,000, no contingencies, all cash. Highest and Best offers are POWERFUL.
Combing the latest West Coast pricing, condition, marketing and contract strategies with east coast tried and true methods have allowed The Casey Samson Team to secure higher values in a shorter period of time with less risk of contingencies. As more buyers migrate west to east in our high tech corridors, this strategy will become more critical.
These techniques saved (or made) our sellers over $430,000 in March 2019 alone!
- An offer of $1.3M was increased to $1.35M after reviewing our pricing documents
- An offer of $1.425 was increased to $1.475M after reviewing our pricing documents
- A $50,000 home inspection release request was reduced to $2,500 after reviewing our pricing documents
- A well priced home was bid up $30,000 over list price
- A well priced home was bid up $55,000 over list price
- A well priced home was bid up $100,000 over list price
- $10,000 recommended cosmetic improvements increased a seller’s profit $50,000
- $11,000 in recommended cosmetic improvements increased a seller’s profit $65,000
* All listings were at 4.5% and commission savings are not taken into account!