If you are a home owner looking to actually sell your home in this season of 2008 in the current Irvine real estate market, and not just hoping to sell, then pricing your home realistically makes the best sense–that is not at 2006 sales prices but at today’s comparable home sale prices. If the home is priced commensurate with the recent sales, then the home will sell.
The buyers out there, (and, yes, there are lots of buyers looking and comparing homes and prices) are savvy buyers. They are looking for the best deals. If there’s one thing of which Buyers are aware, it is the prices/values of homes and condos for which they have been looking–often for the better part of a year or more. Moreover, buyers are acutely aware of the foreclosure and short-sale market. These properties scream motivation–even if they are, in fact, a past buyer’s folly or mistake. That’s the buzz, and the buyers are sticking to it…at least that’s what we’re seeing.
Buyers are comparison shopping. Their antennae goes up when a new home comes on the market. Prospective buyers have frequented all of the comparable new homes around and have visited many Open Houses. Buyers are searching on the internet for those real estate web sites and blogs for active real estate listings and comparable home sales, or are seeking the advise of friends and family who may have purchased homes or read about properties for which the debt now exceeds the market value. Thus, buyers are very cautious about the real estate market in general.
Laurie Manny of LongBeachRealEstateHome.com correctly suggests in her article entitled, 8 Deadly Selling Mistakes, that overpricing a home may lead to the opposite result–ultimately a lower price–in other words, chasing the market down. Indeed, overpricing your home will send buyers off to look at and choose to purchase those homes that are reasonably priced in today’s market, leaving the overpriced home a bridesmaid, and never the bride. Moreover, chasing the market down not only can result in a greater loss in the home seller’s net equity, but may also could push a financially shaky seller into a short-sale or foreclosure situation.
On the other hand, homeowners who price their homes to sell can entice multiple offers and actually wind up selling the home for above the asking price–an anomaly in this market, but an increasing event. In her article of April 13th in the New York Times entitled, “Bidding Wars? In This Market?, Elsa Brenner, writes, of an owner in the Westchester area of New York who originally listed their house at $1.2 million, much less than they would have hoped for in better times, but, instead, the relatively low price drew three offers in five days. “In the end, the house sold for $1.35 million, which is what the asking price probably would have been in 2005, when the market was far stronger.”
It is also important to keep in mind most home sellers are, at the same time, home buyers –looking to either size up or down or, if relocating to a new city, purchase a home once they have settled in a new area. So, if the seller can get their home sold fairly quickly, then they can typically negotiate a better price on their new home purchase rather than having a contingency fettering their sale, or, perhaps, the lost opportunity to buy a great home value.