Pricing is meaningful – Always Was, nevertheless Is

The old adage in selling real estate was always, “Location, location, location”. While that nevertheless holds true to a large extent, there are other factors just as crucial, not least of which is – Price.

I was reminded of this again, today, as I was sifting by the MLS. Time after time, the same old frequent flyers kept popping up. Homes that were $550K two years ago when they should have been $500K, now marked down to $400K, when they should be $350K. Always a day late and a dollar short, as the expression goes. You have to price into a falling market, not reflexively reducing to imitate local sales after they have closed. In the above example, had the seller started at a realistic $450-$475K two years ago, it would have sold. Now the selling price will likely be $100K less than that.

It is sometimes too easy to blame the seller, when many times it is the fault of a ineffective agent. Someone who has not worked by tough times may not have developed the skills needed to persuade a recalcitrant seller to lower their price. Or indeed, may not have developed the confidence to walk away from, or decline in the first place, an over-priced character. All Realtors say they need listings; what they really need are salable listings. Big difference.

As a home seller you need to speak to your prospective agent in order to satisfy yourself that he/she is capable of getting the job done.

Then we have homes that have been around so long, that the sellers are now upside-down, and owe more than it is worth. Often, this is as a consequence of re-financing to release equity. In retrospect, not a good idea, at all. These “short sale” homes are often priced temptingly low, in order to hook a buyer with which to begin the time of action. For a serious buyer, this can be a frustrating experience. Be cautious of the short sale that is under-priced, it may disappoint you. Given the choice, I would go for the bank-owned, or real live actual motivated seller, if I were able.

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