The Educated Seller – Gettysburg Real Estate

On October 27, 2010, in Sellers, by David Monsour

Ever since the real estate market started to decline in early 2008 it has been challenging to explain to people that their safest investment is worth less than it’s purchase price. Three things in life are certain: death, taxes, and appreciation of real estate. Well at least that is what we thought until values started to fall, buyer pools started to shrink, and the real estate market itself battered peoples credit scores for various reasons (short sale, foreclosure). Lenders have curled up into a fetal safety ball and credit requirements are tighter than the twist top on a Coors light.

With this we face the most basic economic principal of supply and demand. A lot of markets are holding a years worth of inventory or more. Credit is hard to obtain and those battered credit scores have effectively removed 25% of the buyers from the market for 5-7 years until they can repair the unexpected damage caused by unforeseen circumstances. Top all this with a heavy dose of unemployment and it’s pretty easy to understand why we are in one of the best buyers markets ever. Did I mention the banks are giving away money at 4% if you can qualify. A big “IF” compared to the glory days in 2005 and 2006.

I figure I’ve written two full paragraphs and made no reference to my title. I suppose I’ll start now. Sellers understand that home prices have fallen and that the United States economy isn’t strong at the moment. They know that the government is piling up debt trying to keep the the US economy in some sort of check. The element that creates the most controversy is pricing and value. The strict banking requirements are causing strict appraisals with PROOF of value. Years ago it was possible that an appraiser could stretch value a little bit to get a deal closed. There was little risk because of ridiculous appreciation. Explaining to the sellers that documented proof of value is required to pass an appraisal will help achieve the proper sale price. Appraisals are like a test these days. Passing is a must!

I can actually say that I’m guilty of listing a home too high at a range that was acceptable to the sellers. Got a contract for full price but couldn’t get the house to appraise. Here we all lose. Wasted time, money, and effort. Stories like this one are just a little of what we need to share with our sellers. We need to address average price per square foot. Are we within spec for the local market? If not, we need to get there.

Furthermore we need to look at the solds, the pending, and the active competition for the property. Analyzing all of these items puts the seller in a position where they understand what, why, when, and the agents job is to show them how. So it’s important, now more than ever, to pave the way for the seller.

If you’re a Gettysburg Area or Adams County resident give me a call. I’ll help you find the most probable sale price and list your home at a price where I know success can be achieved.

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