At the barn raising

Once upon a time, there was an interesting event that took place all over North America. And I am sure it still goes on in many places. When a farmer or rancher or homesteader needed a barn, they had a barn raising, with help from all the neighbors, followed by a feast with music and dancing and general celebration. My distant relatives from near the Niobrara River got involved in those activities, along with other distant relatives that settled in the Platte River valley and along its tributaries.

Barn raising was as good an excuse for a party as anything else someone could think of. This was long before raves and monster truck races. And something got accomplished and a landowner had a new structure to store hay and tools or keep animals safe from predators. Later they could park their tractors inside to keep them out of the elements, however briefly. Ever been in a hayloft? Or to a barn dance? Oh honey!

At last I have come across a certain way to raise the price of a rural property that a seller hopes to sell. Raise a barn! Does it add value to the property? Yes. Is it functional and useful? Yes. Does it cost very much? Not really because of all the help from your neighbors pitching in. Is it aesthetically pleasing? That depends on the design and if you paint it red or something. Or sell the barn side space for advertising. Such as “List your home with the Old Pro, Alan Ball of Keller Williams. He works extra hard to please you”

Why are sellers raising their prices right now? I don’t understand. Is it from a headline that an expert pundit stuck on a newsletter that said “prices are going up nationwide”? What happened to the established fact that all real estate is local? When did that go away? I have example after example of sellers raising prices and what the information proves is that someone who purchased a property in the last 5 years is not going to find a willing buyer to pay what they paid for it back when they bought it.

It may seem as if I am completely ignoring the skill and finesse of an expert real estate salesperson that could sell ice to the scientists at the North Pole weather station. Correct. I am not one of those sweet talkers and I don’t do well with customers that are that gullible.

Many sellers have learned that for them to get into the SOLD column, price has to be a major reason to consider the property. Buyers are savvy enough to know value when they see it. It is almost as if the seller does not really want to sell just yet. The phrases we use in real estate are

A>   being IN the market (price is set to attract offers and serious buyers)  versus 

B>   being ON the market (property will show up on a list, only to be ignored time and again by market-wise buyers)

So RAISE THE BARN and improve the value of the property and THEN raise the price. Make sense? You’ll make new friends and, oh by the way, you will need to help your neighbors raise their barns when that day comes. It takes a village, they say. Fair is fair.


At the barn raising — 2 Comments

  1. Alan, your common sense blog is refreshing. I just relocated from San Francisco and have really been confused by Santa Fe’s housing market. In the recovering California Bay Area you price to sell (low), generate interest, get some bidding going and usually sell above asking price. In California if a house sits on the market for too long it gets that bad deal smell. Obviously Santa Fe’s economy and housing market has not yet recovered but everyone seems to be in denial. I’ve never seen so many houses ($200,000 to $400,000 dollar range) languishing on the market for so long with the slow drip drip drip of incremental price reductions. It’s like they are trying to hook a fish but the fish aren’t biting. When I talk to realtors, they say, “better hurry up and buy!” I say, “huh?”

  2. Karen, you are very astute.

    Our market (and many of our sellers) are in denial and the national headlines about prices going up do nothing but confuse people looking in our market. And those headlines really confuse our sellers. We still have more than a year’s worth of inventory and many act as if there is nothing out there for sale.

    There are many examples of homes that eventually sell for the right price, but they take 6+ months to sell because the seller and their agent started too high. Some of my own listings might fit that description, unfortunately.

    The phrase “now is the time to buy” was true for about 12 months back about 2010 and 2011.

    Let me know if I can be of any assistance to you in your search… Thanks

    On Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 9:56 AM, Alan Ball's Santa Fe Real Estate Blog