Real Estate Q&A for April 20, 2014
We listed our home for sale about 3 weeks ago and it sold in the first week for what we were asking. I was elated, but my husband keeps saying “we sold it too cheap.” I keep telling him it was just the right buyer, but he says it was underpriced. If our home sold in the first week, does that mean that it was underpriced? Just curious of how you view this, as I am sure you have run across this very situation.
— Jackie, Grand Junction
p.s. I am happy we sold it quickly, even if we could have gotten a little more.
I have run across this many times over the years and this is one of the real estate questions that is almost always debatable. There is no doubt that every time we sell something quickly that I ask myself the question, “did we price it too cheap?” I am here to tell you that sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes the answer is no and sometimes the answer is impossible to know. I can absolutely tell you that just because it sold quickly, does NOT necessarily mean that you sold it too cheaply.
There are times that we have sold a property within the first few days with multiple offers and in that case the answer would be, more than likely, yes. If something sells that quickly, with multiple offers then you probably could have gotten more money for it, because there are multiple people vying for the same product. The good news is that most of the time in multiple offer situations, we are able to get more than asking price. It usually works out to be about the same as it would have brought if priced higher originally. I really do believe that most of the time you are correct, it is the right buyer and not because it was underpriced.
I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t tell one of my customers, “there’s a butt for every saddle, we just have to find the right butt!” A little talked about fact, which I might point out is underappreciated, is that there is always a school of buyers in the market and they are circling, just like fish in a pond. When new bait is thrown in, they all swim over to check it out and either take it or wait for something better.
In our current market there are more buyers than one would think. They are circling and waiting for just the right bait. When they see it they will strike, but only if the price is right. Today’s buyers are not dumb — anything but. They are very smart and well educated on the market. When a property of interest comes up but is not priced appropriately, it will sit.
I say it all the time, houses are like any other good to be sold. At a certain price all homes will sell and sell quickly, but the tricky part is establishing the market value for each one when no two are the same. That makes establishing a top of market value much more difficult than one might think. It is much easier to establish a market value for a particular item when there are thousands to be sold and they are all identical. In that case it is simply the law of supply and demand, but when EVERY item is different with its own characteristics, good and bad, it becomes much more difficult. Even the same house in the same neighborhood has a different lot, view, finishes, condition etc… As you can see every house is different.
Honestly, sometimes I get it just right, sometimes I set the price too high and sometimes too low, but every time it is based on comparable sales in the area and my professional assessment of the unique values the property offers and I am sure your agent did the same. It really is as much art as it is science and you do not get them all right. If your home had not sold in the first week and been 60 days and no offer, your husband would have said it was priced too high. It’s really a no-win debate. My best advice would be to be thankful it is sold, remind him that he agreed to the sales price and be thankful you can avoid the countless showings and constant cleaning! The bottom line is, it is sold and that is a good thing.
The Kimbrough Team
REMAX 4000 Inc.