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March Madness and the Spring Selling Season

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Jason O'Neil

Jason O’Neil

By Jason O’Neil

March. In like a lion out like a lamb…it is one of my favorite months. Yes, my birthday is in March, but so is St. Patrick’s Day, the first day of Spring, and let us not forget about the Ides. More popular than all of those combined is the NCAA Division One Men’s Basketball Tournament, simply known as March Madness or The Tournament.

Amidst the excitement this past weekend it dawned on me that much what happens all season long doesn’t mean anything once the first whistle blows. I was drawn toward the parallels of pricing and selling a home. You see, the price of a home is a very academic thought out process that involves averages, standard deviations, seasonal adjustments and countless other adjustments. As an agent, I spend countless hours with my sellers developing a pricing strategy.

The time spent developing a pricing schedule is similar to ranking, or seeding, teams in The Tournament: strength of schedule, margin of victory, conference wins, play ins and automatic bids.

But then the game starts, the sign goes up and first whistle blows. And none of it matters.

It really doesn’t.

All the academic work to develop the pricing strategy or to see who is an 8 seed versus who is a 6 seed or if the home should be listed for $275,000 or $250,000 is out the window. Now it’s up to who, in basketball has more points when the clock runs out, or who in the neighborhood is going to get an offer on their home first. Butler is still an 8 seed, even though they beat a 1 seed. Statistically speaking, that is not supposed to happen. But the funny thing about about things that aren’t supposed to happen is that sometimes they do.

Once the sign goes up all that matters is what the buyers who are active in the market think, and more importantly how they act. At that point agents and their sellers need to pay close attention and react to the initial pricing strategy…once a home is listed the “comps” no longer matter, the only thing that matters is buyers making offer. In basketball, the only thing that matters is winning.

Go Butler!

Jason O’Neil is a broker and an owner of McKenzie Real Estate in Indianapolis. Visit his Web site: www.McKenzieListings.com

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