Priced to sell, maybe

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It is difficult to break away from the pack and go forward alone. Well, for some it is difficult while we all know others that never do things the same way as everyone else. Pricing a home when listing it for sale is an art and a science. And very few sellers want to go forward alone in their pricing. They almost all start out above what the home will sell for and then settle for a lower price later on.

Why do they do that? Not only is everyone else behaving that way, but they seem to have a tremendous fear of underselling their home; getting less than it is worth. If it is worth $400K and will sell really close to that figure, then why price it at $449K to start? Why not price it at $409K? Then when an offer below $400K comes in, counter with $407K or something. The research and comparisons with other homes is why you pay your Realtor. Find out what it should sell for and then make your offer accordingly. Same with pricing; price it maybe 1% above what it should sell for then don’t budge if a lowball offer comes in.

In the data available this morning in our MLS system, there are 22 solds reported. 19 of them saw price reductions between their first day on the market and the eventual closing date. 1 was a new home with a few upgrades so it went for a little higher than asking price. Another shows it went for one hundred dollars above asking price (a foreclosure that someone really wanted) and the third may or may not have included some personal property and furnishings in the price. It was a Cash deal so that is quite likely.

But very few of them seemed to have started out very close at all to the eventual sales price. Times are changing however and the gap between asking price and sold price seems to be narrowing. That will serve to lower the average days on market (a number our MLS deemed meaningless several years ago) since buyers will not be as likely to sit on the fence waiting for a price to drop. Some do that, you know? They have a home or two in mind for themselves, then do nothing while waiting for the price to come down. When it does then they are ready to move. And correctly so because until the seller lowered the price, they were not emotionally (or financially) ready to accept the lower price.

Many say “if a buyer wants my home they should just make an offer”. If it is overpriced by more than, say 5%, they must might not make that offer. They may wait until you come to your senses and come down a few more percentage points; then they will be ready to write that offer.

Time and again we see listings priced well above what the market says they should be at. And just who is this market person anyway? They are the ultimate authority. They are the ones that deliver buyers to your door. The market is the final decision maker in real estate. Yes, there still are occasional sales that defy the market facts; buyers that pay more than they really have to for a house they love. Then they put more money into it insuring they may never get their money back out of that home in their lifetimes.

So tracking sold properties can be interesting. It can also be maddening because an active Realtor has seen many of the homes on the list. Then they see that home finally sold for $XYZ dollars; almost exactly what they guessed it would sell for when they saw it on tour six months ago. Back then it was listed for 12 percent above $XYZ dollars. It had to come down before a serious buyer would take a shot at purchasing it.

Condos are hot right now. Anything in town and fairly close to the Plaza is going to get lots of showings. Those units fit the bill for 2nd homes, investors and empty nesters that might be ready to downsize and get rid of couch #3 and dining room table #2, plus that second fridge and deep freeze in the garage. How about those old LPs? Are you saving those for a big vinyl comeback? You just might get the last laugh. My favorite thing I still have is a canoe rack system for hauling a canoe on top of a car. I have not owned a canoe in about 10 years. but I still have the rack system. Free to a good home! Time to downsize. After all, I am almost 65 now!

Have you noticed the growth in popularity of homes with a high walkability score? If you can live somewhere and walk to a grocery store, breakfast or dinner, a pharmacy and a yoga place, plus throw in some mass transportation facilities nearby and you have a winner. Just remember to price it right!


Always glad to be of service to you. Please reach out to me anytime!

Posted in Home Values, Santa Fe area real estate, Statistical Data - Santa Fe real estate market and tagged , .

The writer is a 68 year-old young man engaged as an active REALTOR (associate broker) with Keller Williams, in real estate sales and management in the Santa Fe NM market area. My career has been in and around the real estate industry for more than 35 years, ranging from mortgage lending (interim, commercial, residential); residential property management and leasing; shopping center development and leasing; real estate sales; sales training; title insurance as an executive and an escrow officer; various management positions; consulting and other related activities. That plus a bunch of banking experience including our family-owned Bank of Santa Fe in the 1980s. Where has the time gone?
My background means you have my working knowledge of the entire transaction process at your disposal. That comes with honesty and no bullshit.