Ask a Realtor: Why lower the price of my home listing in a seller’s market? (column) | VailDaily.com

Ask a Realtor: Why lower the price of my home listing in a seller’s market? (column)

Joan Harned
Ask a Realtor

Joan Harned Ask a Realtor

Dear Joan: My property has been on the market in this valley for four months now. We have had a few showings and no offers, and my Realtor is now suggesting we do a "price adjustment," i.e., lower the price.

I thought this was supposed to be a seller's market, isn't it? Maybe I pushed for a list price that is a bit too high, but why have we not received any offers? It is a nice house in a fair location, and I am told there is not much on the market for sale. I am reluctant to lower the price until I at least see an offer come in. You can always go down in price, but you can't go back up, ever. Please, enlighten me.

— Puzzled

Dear Puzzled: It appears that you have made a classic mistake that actually is made by many sellers. Especially in a "seller's" market, sellers think their Realtor, who is using years of knowledge and a massive database, is being much too conservative. Let me give you a few statistics and then explain why you have probably gotten off to a less-than-perfect start selling your property.

First of all, you are not the only one to make this mistake. The Vail Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service shows that in the last 30 days, there have been 253 new listings and 96 price reductions. So, your competition may have increased, and you can see that it is certainly true that some properties will not sell at the original list price if it is too high, even in today's market.

We have discovered that ever since the major market downturn in 2009-11, buyers will not bother to look at properties they think are overpriced, and they do not make any offer if they think it is too big of stretch to start with.

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You are much better off to listen to your Realtor and price at or very near the current market value and then hold firm on your price when you get a low offer — and you will get low offers. Every buyer wants a deal, or to at least feel they are getting great value for their money. I would highly advise listening to your Realtor this time on what your price adjustment should be.

Finally, it is possible to raise your price later. Actually, there were seven price increases on existing listings in the last 30 days. However, I have to admit that I am a faithful follower of the MLS updates everyday, in all categories, except the price increases.

Maybe I am missing out, but I figure, if it did not sell at the first list price, then why would I want to spend time looking at it once they increased the price? So you might be close to right on that one. Best of luck to you.

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at joan@teamblackbear.com, 970-337-7777 or http://www.skiandteehomes.com.