Not all real estate brokers are created equal…while I have always known this, I think in our current market it is becoming more clear about how important it is to do your research and be sure you are educating your sellers about our current market. I hear all the time from buyers coming from out of the area that we must be getting close to a bubble again in Bend…they say, “haven’t home prices caught up with the pre-recession boom and if so, won’t the bubble burst again?” Well I’m happy to get this question and to share what my thoughts are because I feel like I’m very immersed in our market and have been for years…I see what homes sell fast and what homes sit on the market and I see what buyers are looking for no matter what the price range and if a home has these traits, it can be priced accordingly.
I tell people “yes we have caught up and are now passing the pre recession prices…but to get caught up, because we fell SO far down, we had to jump at 25 percent and more per year….and that type of growth is not sustainable so we are seeing a needed slow down in growth..not a dip in value but a slower increase in value…but still an increase.”
A challenge to this slowed growth is when sellers expect and hope their homes are still going up in value 25 percent or more (depending on the area and type of home) and they want the list price to reflect that.
I have been experiencing this a lot lately as my phone as been ringing like crazy with sellers who want me to come look at their home and give them an idea of what the value is. This is the busy season for sellers and it is wonderful because there are a lot of buyers out there ready to have more homes to choose from but what happens on listing appointments is very important and we as real estate brokers need to be accountable.
Here is a recount of what just happened to me this week. I posted this on a web page shared only with real estate brokers in town because as I said earlier, it so important for real estate professionals to not just tell sellers what they want to hear…but educate and inform them of what the data shows their home to be worth:
I met with sellers last week who made it clear to me they had met with another realtor recently who had given them a very high value and they were excited to sell but they wanted my opinion and they said they hoped to work with me if my “number” was as close to the other realtors’ number. I spent two hours touring the home with these sellers…it has some very nice features with primarily single level living and some middle of the road finishes (fair amount of white tile, appliances are 12 years old)…it is on Awbrey Butte but looks east, and it sits above Mt. Washington Dr. so definite traffic noise on the front deck. I did my research and even though I couldn’t find an apple to apple recent comp, I ended up telling them I thought it should be priced around 800K and any higher and they would be compared to homes with more SF, nicer finishes and not the same traffic noise. They just shared with me the other realtor suggested they could list for 1.199 Million.
The seller said he hadn’t even looked at my CMA because he just had an instant reaction to my number and decided it wasn’t the right time for him to sell. He said he thinks I’m more right with the value than than the other realtor but at the same time he was very confused which I understand.
I asked him if the other realtor had provided him actual data/numbers to go along with the 1.199M value…he said no. He also shared that another realtor had told him a year ago, his value was around 1M.
So-my comment to all other real estate brokers is: I hope we can all agree that it does no one any good to WAY over price a home. It is one thing to come in on the “high” side and allow negotiation room or supply and demand room. But this is an interesting market we are in…it is booming with buyers but those buyers don’t want to over pay (at least the buyers’ I’m working with don’t)….they want good choices that are supported by comps…we are not up 25 percent over last year from what I can see….there are always a few exceptions but overall, our market is increasing but at a much smaller, lower number…which is good…it means we can sustain this growth.