I recently talked to a neighbor who had planned on selling their house and moving out of the country. They had been working on their house for several months, fixing up minor issues, redoing flooring and cabinetry, and spending a lot of time on small details that he thought buyers would really appreciate. Then I asked him who was listing his property and he said that someone down and Kirkland was going to list it because that same real estate agent had helped him purchase investment properties down on the east side, so he was just going to use the same person. Now, while that might sound loyal, there’s a huge problem here. Remember, he’s on Camano Island. Kirkland is about an hour or more away. Plus, the Kirkland and Bellevue area is more toward the Seattle and tech side of the Puget Sound, a much different real estate market that here on Camano Island.
My neighbor actually said that his agent had no idea how to price his home but that they were starting somewhere around $489,000. Now, after looking at the house, knowing what I know about properties on Camano Island, the age of the home, lot, and view, I’m not sure that that’s a good price… No, I take it back, I know that’s not a good price. I know that that is way overpriced and it will probably sit on the market far longer than it needs to be.
Sure, every homeowner wants to get the very most out of the sale of their home, but pricing a home height to start and then lowering it can be the demise of many real estate sales. Once a homeowner actually prices it where it should be or reduces it to a decent number, it’s been on the market too long and buyers become wary that there something else wrong with the house. The house might be great, move-in ready, and completely stable, but if it’s been overpriced from the beginning, buyers will naturally steer clear.
However, this neighbor did ask what I thought about it. I mentioned that I thought the price was a little high for the size of the property, the age of the home, and the repairs or upkeep’s done. The kitchen wasn’t completely remodeled with granite or quartz and the cabinets not completely refinished or replaced, so we’re still talking about 20-year old cabinets and counters here. While he may have painted things and spruced up stuff to make it look amazing, it’s still not what a lot of buyers are going to get right out of the gate with new construction. But that’s okay, people understand that a 20-year home is going to be a little bit dated with wear and tear, however, you can’t price it as if it were brand-new.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to use a local agent when selling your property. This agent knows what buyers are looking for in the area and knows how to price the home for the current market. We are in a much different market than we were just a year ago, and while he may have gotten $489,000 last year at this time, this year, things are not hopping as fast as they were last year. I have a feeling he’s not going to be able to sell the home at that price point. Sure, he can list that price point, but not expect to get a sale within the first couple of weeks. I’d really like to be wrong about this, but understanding what sells and how to price, especially in unique markets like Camano Island, takes a dedicated, experienced, and knowledgeable real estate agent.
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