By Kay Wilson-Bolton
November 14, 2006
When it is time to price your property, be sure to have your REALTOR® look closely at homes that could be considered “along with yours” (competing) as well as homes that are comparable.
Some of us are still trying to convince market players that prices haven’t really changed and that sales are really pretty even. However, there are many homeowners who long for a buyer who will help them dispute that.
A home seller in Oxnard put his home on the market and listed it for $625,000, which was above the price his agent recommended. The house was appealing and newly painted inside and out.
The listing was well received at the agent and public open houses. But, at the end of the first week on the market, the listing agent hadn’t received a single inquiry.
Furthermore, well-priced listings in the area were still selling quickly. Although the listing was relatively new on the market, the listing agent recommended that the seller reduce the asking price to $609,000,000. The seller agreed.
Within the next week the showing activity picked up dramatically. Open houses were frequent with new visitors every weekend. New listings around the subject were priced less that this one and selling.
It was easy to figure out that the listing was still priced too high. When listings are selling and yours isn’t, it’s usually because of the price.
The seeming lack of interest may also be due to local market conditions.
In a high-inventory market, the competition for right-pricing is even more important because buyers have more listings to choose from, and they can afford to be picky, as well as wait.
Ask your agent to call the listing agents who are handling your competitor’s listings to find out if these homes are being shown and how frequently. Then take a good look at the price of your home in relationship to the competition.
The time to make a price adjustment is when you discover that it’s too high, even if this is soon after the property is listed. Staying on the market too long at a high price is risky. If the market softens further, you could end up having to make a bigger price adjustment later. The issue then becomes “days or dollars”.
A minor price reduction is likely to result in a modest response. In order to make a positive impact, reduce your list price enough so that your list price is at or below the level of your competitors whose listings are being shown and sold. If you can, wait for another time to sell when the financial impact may not be so great.
Kay Wilson-Bolton is the owner of CENTURY 21 Buena Vista and brings a regional perspective to local issues. She can be reached at 805.340.5025. Her website is http://www.readysetkay.com