OK sellers, there is a such a thing as chasing the market down. What does that mean? Well in a market where prices are falling, whether they are plummeting or just sliding gently down you absolutely cannot expect good results by overpricing your home or even pricing it based on recent comps. Because a typical home sale takes 30 days to complete so a house in your neighborhood that closed yesterday for $400,000 was actually negotiated 30 days ago or more.
When you price at or above the current market and you factor in the increased marketing time of a stable market you will be overpriced by the time your buyer arrives. Buyers are not likely to make an offer on an overpriced home unless they absolutely love it. Meanwhile as the marketing time increases new competitive properties come on the market at even lower prices. So eventually you have to lower your price. If you lower it again to what the "current" comps suggest you fall into the same cycle and literally chase the market down until it starts to recover. In the end of this scenario sellers will lose thousands or perhaps tens or thousands of dollar. I have seen it before and I am seeing it now.
In a market will declining values a seller need to get ahead of the curve and that means pricing the home a little under the comps suggestion. Now the house looks competitive in the market place even 3-4 weeks into the listing cycle. It is better to sell it now than let the market fall further. This can be a hard pill to swallow, especially in the immediate aftermath of one of the hottest markets we have seen in decades. That market is over. Buy as of now the sky is not falling, homes are still selling and price reductions and valuation adjustments are still sliding south on a gentle trajectory. There is no guarantee that glide won't convert to a precipitous fall but it just as easily could be a minor bottom and return to growth depending on economic activity in the region and nationally over the next several months.
Don't chase the market down, you will lose way more money with six months of price reduction than just selling it quickly at a sharp looking price today.
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