If you’ve read any of my past posts, you’ve noticed that I really don’t like statistical interpretations of the market. While I post a lot of them, what I may really be trying to convey is they are almost meaningless to the reality of the interaction between buyers and sellers and establishing “the market”.
No one can argue that each and every property is unique. Every quarter of the year has different trends. A myriad of economic factors affect prices throughout the year or years. So it is very difficult to match todays market up to even just last month. The great news is the trend that’s been brewing over the last 7 years is one of steady improvement in real estate activity and prices-at least for the sellers and the overall economy that is, not for the buyers coming in looking backwards for deals!
Even when looking at condos and townhomes. Two identical condos are likely to be different in the way they “show”. Staging, condition, smell, view all will likely be unique. One particularly offensive smelling or looking unit “should” sell for less one that doesn’t. But like the real estate is different, so are the buyers and sellers. As a professional, I need to be keenly aware and sensitive to what each person’s style and preference may be. And I need to constantly remind the buyers and sellers that their reality may not be the sellers and vice versa
And how do we actually establish the right listing price? And who is to say that price is right….or wrong? Let me say this though, it is relatively easy to over price or under price a house. When a hyper motivated seller NEEDS to sell in less than the market average time, they are most likely to under price the house-resulting in a quick sale. So does the next door neighbor have to follow the same pattern? Should the real estate agent expect that EVERY buyer looking at that street or neighborhood expect the same deal? In my opinion, no they shouldn’t!
Likewise, buyers too often focus on the price per square foot that as a fact rather than a variable benchmark. There are many factors that affect PSF, like the land value, the condition of the house, needed or completed improvements and don’t forget the sellers motivations for selling. Does the seller NEED to sell, do they want to sell or are they just hoping to sell?
How about the buyers motivations. Does the buyer NEED to move or do they WANT to move? Do they need granite counters and a swimming pool or would they just be nice to have if a seller that has those would be willing to deeply discount the price because they HAVE to sell? How much value do you put on privacy, character, quality, location, schools etc? Those motivations vary among all the buyers I’ve ever worked with so how can one buyers eventual terms line up with another buyers terms.
All of these factors come into play in the decision making process. Is buying or selling a house emotional? You bet. Do buyers and sellers only make emotional decisions or do they balance the emotions and economic, logical implications? You bet.
So with all of this in play, you need your real estate agent to be a professional guidance counselor, marriage counselor, scheduler, keeper of secrets and personal information, chauffer and scapegoat for everything about the transaction that you will hate. So pick a great one, they are worth their weight in gold!
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