Saturday, July 29, 2006

Market Changes & Swelling Inventory

What a difference a year makes! Even though there were signs of a changing market last year at this time, there was little indication of the severity of the downturn and the number of homes languishing on the market. For the first time in six or seven years on Long Island, properties listed for six months are expiring only to be relisted, usually with some other office to begin the marketing process again.

No matter how good your agent, homes in our area are just too often these days not selling in less than nine months to a year. I know the natural inclination is to believe that someone else can do it better, but it has far less to do with the specifics of your experience than the factors governing the market as a whole. The one good thing to remember is there are no empty houses. At the right price, everything sells. But therein lies the rub. We've all been spoiled by the astronomical numbers properties were selling for, affording sellers a tidy nest egg to bring to life's next venture.

The one thing we all have to recognize is that you can't price your home based upon what your neighbor, friend, relative got for their home two years ago. You can't price it based upon your improvements and what you believe they add to the value, and you can't price it based upon what you need to move to your next place. No matter how experienced and talented your Realtor(R) is, we don't make the market. We interpret all the factors that go into properly positioning homes to sell, but buyers determine what they're willing to pay for homes, basing that determination on their perceived value of your property compared to other available properties. If you come across an agent who promises you much more than anyone else has told you, don't be seduced by hopes of winning the housing lottery. It is likely that the person who told you that is "buying the listing," only to ask for price breaks once you're locked into a contract with them. Like so many other things in life, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

Author: Geri Sonkin


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