It could happen to you!

Transitional times are the most unsettling; spring is a case in point. New green shoots appear everywhere (more weeds than flowers). Changes to national beliefs create huge divisions among those who want same gender marriage and those who want to keep the status quo. Our neighbor to the North, the lovely state of Colorado, is seeing a big bump in real estate activity, not without a major push from their legalization of “pot”. I know, this is your brain on drugs, someone might say. This blogger is not taking a position of what was made legal in Colorado  But there is no denying the completely different real estate market in Colorado versus New Mexico. Yes, they have more jobs. And yes, marijuana is legally sold there, to anyone of age with ID.

Some of my best friends are Realtors in Colorado and they are amazed at the strength of their real estate market. We here in Santa Fe are always amazed too, but probably for different reasons than that. Our market languishes in the creeping upward stage compared to many other areas and it gives us a rash just to think of the great deals and bargains here that are going for cheap! Or not selling at all.

Very frustrating to homeowners that want to at least break even on the home they have owned for a couple years or even 8 or 10 years. Yet many homes were overpriced when sold last time and now still won’t bring the owner that same price. All those foreclosures and short sales that got stirred into the pot have a lasting effect on prices too. They too want to make some money; that might have been their motivation when they bought at 60 cents on the dollar. Or they may have just wanted to live in that home and were delighted to be able to create some sweat equity and help it grow in value.

Something is changing here; something that many have hoped would happen for a few years now. We are seeing an increase in multiple offers on listings. I know, you already knew that. Sure you did, when you look at the inventory and see many many homes that have been on the market well over 200 days and some for a year or more. But some homes attract immediate attention when they are listed and the only thing I can attribute that to is that the seller and their broker decided to price the home to sell, rather than to sit on the market for 9 months. This is where the unsettling part of a transitional time comes into focus. Some can see the changes as they unfold while others are holding onto a fact that has been refuted.

It can happen to you. Price is everything in home buying. It’s as if the 99% are completely focused on price while the 1% don’t care a hoot about money. Do we discuss the actions of the 1% or do we examine the behavior of the 99% to get an idea of our market trends? So if price is the whole story (so to speak), why do so many sellers not price their home to sell? Is it a lack of understanding of our market conditions? Ask me about your own home. I can afford to be honest with you and if its silly overpriced, I am not likely to want to be your broker with the listing. But if its competitive, we can make it happen. Yes, it can happen to you.

Every homeowner wanting or needing to sell wants to get the highest price possible. And there is that old line “if a buyer really wants my home they can just make an offer”. But time and again we see a home that is overpriced, yes a beautiful home in many ways, not sell because those buyers DO NOT just make an offer. Instead of offering 80 or 85% of asking price, they move on to a home that is priced closer to what they are willing to pay. And please remember that the value, the true worth of a home for sale, is what a qualified buyer will pay. So a home priced at $500K that someone will buy for $410K probably should not be priced at $500K. What do you think the asking price should be if you knew at the end of the process a buyer would purchase at the price of $410K?

And then there is the length of time it takes to sell, something I have been writing about for years. How long will your home need to be on the market? And can you speed up that process? What is the average length of time it would take to sell a home in a certain price range or neighborhood? All of those questions are important and ALL can be answered with the information available to your friendly Realtor. Some homes are on the market for seemingly forever while others are pending in a month and sold in two. Think about your own needs and wants when you are pondering what to sell your home for. Then position it in the market for the best chance of sale in the time frame you desire.

Given the deep cultural and artistic attractions in Santa Fe, with the beauty and diversity of its people and its ideal climate, all we are missing is the ocean views. We have the history. We have the outdoors to brag about. I think we have plenty of what people are looking for, unless you need unlimited amounts of water. That is a scarcity that must be addressed someday soon.

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