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When is the Time Ripe for a Price Reduction

How Reducing the Price Can Bring Multiple Offers

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Price reduction sign

Reduced Prices Sell Homes

© Big Stock Photo
Price reductions, price improvements, price adjustments, it doesn't matter what you call it, nobody wants to hear about lowering prices except a buyer. In slow markets and buyer's markets, it's not unusual for sellers to point fingers at the agents and agents to point fingers at seller's unrealistic expectations for a price. Sellers say, "Why don't do you do more to sell my house?" And that's a good question. Sellers should ask an agent this question.

Before Reducing the Price

  1. How many ads have been published?
  2. Do the ads contain too much or too little information?
  3. What kind of direct mail campaign has been launched?
  4. How many open houses have been held?
  5. How does the house show online, lots of pictures?
  6. Is your signage in a prominent location, contain several phone numbers, plus a Web site?
  7. Do you have a virtual tour published, with scrolling text and audio?
  8. What kind of feedback have you received from agents and buyers?
  9. Are you offering enough compensation to selling agents?
  10. Have you had any showings?

  1. Maybe you don't have to sell. When the market is slow and inventory is high, demand falls. If that's the case, maybe you should take your home off the market.
  2. It makes no sense to put an overpriced home in MLS that is not receiving any showings because it skews the numbers for market performance.
  3. If you're not motivated, you might be better off renting your house or staying put until the market rebounds.

Realtor JaCi Wallace once said to me: "If a seller does not conform to the marketplace, that person is not a seller. That person is just somebody with a sign in the yard."

Picking the Right Price

If you're too high, you'll need to continually reduce the price until you hit that "magic" number, and by then buyers will begin wondering:

  1. What is wrong with your house?
  2. How much lower will you go?
Ideally, you want one price reduction. Here are guidelines to consider:
  • Realize your agent is not your adversary but is on your side; enlist her help.
  • Pull up pending sales and examine the history. How many days on market before the price was reduced and how much of a price reduction was made? You won't know the sold price, but you can determine average price reduction percentages.
  • Compare sold prices with active listings. Are they reversed? Are sold prices higher?
  • Pull the history on active listings to determine how many days on market before the prices were reduced. Ignore active listings without price reductions unless they are similar to yours and the DOM are low.
  • Run side-by-side comparisons with active listings near the price point you are considering. Price yours so it falls in the bottom two to five listings or, if you're really determined, price it less than anything else on the market.

Is Your Price Too Low?

  • Even in distressed markets, as home prices slide into downward spirals, properties that are priced below what buyers are readily willing and without prodding to pay will receive multiple offers.
  • It's common to have price wars among buyers who are competing, which will then result in an accepted offer for more than list price.

Every House Will Sell if the Price is Right!

A Land Park seller owned a home that was located along the I-5 freeway in Sacramento, California. It hadn't sold after 60 days on the market. To sell it, the price had to be less than anything else in the neighborhood, which was the very reason the seller had purchased the home in the first place. After a $60,000 price reduction, the house attracted two buyers and sold almost immediately.

At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

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