Sometimes the List Price Isn’t the Expected Sales Price, So Run Comps!

pinpoint-the-pricingSometimes the list price on a Silicon Valley home for sale isn’t at all what the listing agent or the seller is expecting in terms of a sales price.

Sometimes it’s closer to a lost leader – that is, it’s really only intended to get home buyers into the door. Lots of them. The idea is to create excitement, and hopefully a feeding frenzy with multiple offers.

Other times, of course, a house or condo in the San Jose area may be an overpriced listing. In those cases, it’s more like a “fishing expedition”. More like, “let’s see if anyone bites”. There are always a percentage of these on the market. When you see homes listed for 60, 90 or more days on the valley floor, most often the culprit is an inappropriately high price – and most buyers aren’t biting at that bait.

Right now, it’s a mixed market in Santa Clara County real estate. If you find a home you like, the next question is this: what’s it worth? And finally, what’s it worth to you? Many times, the best advice is to ignore the list price, if it’s a new home, and just do your homework on what the current competition is and what’s been selling.

You may find that the home you love is priced high, on the mark, a little low, or crazy low.

While it’s helpful to know what the average ratio is between list prices and sales price, that information can never substitute for market knowledge.  The most powerful figure to understand is the absorption rate or months of inventory (or days or weeks of inventory).  Six months of inventory is considered a balanced market.  The smaller the months of inventory is, the quicker the pace of the market, and the bigger a frenzy there is over good inventory.
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