You have all experienced a toilet whose handle needs to be jiggled in order to make it stop running. Or, for readers from my generation, you are probably familiar with the various routines that went into getting an older 8-bit Nintendo to function correctly. Through elaborate rituals the Nintendo game that we wanted to play and its console were blown into, the game placed in the console just right and the game pushed down just so.
Both of these are hacks. Experienced real estate agents have hacks as well. Today I will explore one of the hacks that we use at Fairway Residential, however as my analysis reveals, this useful hack is used far less commonly than jiggling the proverbial handle.
Today 124 residential properties in San Diego had a price change. If we assume this is a normal number of daily price changes then there are roughly 3,720 residential price changes per month. There are currently 4,799 residential properties for sale and not yet under contract and it is taking, on average, 35 days for a property to go under contract. Long story short 90% of properties undergo one price change while listed on the market for sale. However, the vast majority of these price changes reflect the listing agent or the seller coming to grips with the real value of the property by lowering the asking price substantially. For example the seller might agree to a price change from $799,000 to $775,000 or from $1,250,000 to $1,220,000.
Price changes draw attention to a listing, even if the price change is not substantive. When a price is changed in the MLS, there is a section on the front page of the MLS that agents colloquially refer to as the Hot Sheet. The Hot Sheets, by default contain all those properties that have been newly listed, gone under contract, expired or whose price has changed in the preceding 3 days.
In Sandicor’s Paragon MLS system, the most popular MLS in San Diego County, this “Hot Sheet” section is referred to as the Market Monitor. As a seller, having your property listed on the Hot Sheets is important because active agents, the kind that have many buyers, will routinely skim through the Hot Sheets to identify what is new or what is changed in the MLS.
Just 4 of these 124 properties that had a price change today were just “jiggling the handle” by tweaking the asking price in order to get on the hot sheets. One of these price changes was done by Fairway Residential’s own Jonathan Webster. Another of these price changes was done by real estate agent Chris Bedgood, who is also a fellow investor, and was a costar on A&Es Flipping San Diego. The final two price tweaks were done by other savvy realtors. It’s interesting that half of these “jiggle the handle” price changes were done by realtors with extensive investing experience. Who knows better what it is like to be in the shoes of another owner than an agent that has bought and sold a lot of real estate for himself?
Though uncommon among our peers we will regularly, with our client’s approval, “jiggle the handle” of our listings by tweaking the list price. This tweak will place our listing front and center on the hot sheets and make sure that it stays top of mind among the other most active agents in San Diego.