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Real Estate

Pricing it right makes all the difference

By - Last modified: June 5, 2012 at 10:39 AM

As Central PA enters the “hot phase' of the 2012 market — June and July — many owners are wondering why their home hasn't sold yet even though it's been on the market for a few months now.

I think I have a 95 percent chance of properly guessing the issue: It's overpriced.

There's a lot a real estate agent can do to promote a property. One thing no agent can do, however, is make someone pay more than a property is worth.

Read that sentence again, carefully. This is exactly what some homeowners are trying to do — find a convenient "rube" who will pay more that the market is telling everybody in the room. I talked to an agent just yesterday whose seller is frustrated that he can't get the price he wants — there have been NO showings all year! The wife, on the other hand, is saying, "Just sell it, lets move on." The agent is stuck in the middle holding sold comparables that the husband is avoiding looking at too closely.

This seller is relying on hope in a fictional world, a world where he sets the price.

I also spoke to someone else on the subject of pricing (my version of blog research) who had a good analogy: In 2005, there were five cars on the lot and 12 buyers coming in. Today, there are 12 cars and five buyers. Who's going to take bets that the car prices will stay the same?

A rational home seller needs to be a student of the local home market and make rational pricing decisions with their agent, eyes open.

The wonderful free market we live in is going to tell us what a property is worth. But will we choose to listen?

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