No joking, even on April Fools Day. Portland’s real estate market hasn’t seen many situations like this recently. In 2006 and 2007 multiple offers and bidding wars weren’t that uncommon. The days of “stick a sign in your yard and it probably will sell” are gone which is probably for the best. Buyers are more educated and making better decisions and real estate has moved away from the house-is-an-ATM mentality. There’s no doubt that the events that got us to where we are now were painful to many and that the end to short sales and foreclosures isn’t right around the corner. It’s going to take time to rebuild confidence in the market.
What today’s experience highlights is that housing is a market and that an accurately priced home will sell quickly if it is priced for today’s market. There are so many different psychologies to pricing and marketing a home that you can’t adopt all of them and some don’t apply in different situations.
How would you price your home? My search in RMLS between $395,000 and $405,000 shows these properties in the “West Portland 148” area for sale:
- 3 @ $395,000
- 1 @ $397,000
- 1 @ $398,000
- 12 @ $399,000
- 2 @ $399,500
- 15 @ $399,900
- 1 @ $399,950
- 1 @ $399,999
- 7 @ $400,000
- 1 @ $403,000
- 1 @ $405,000
That’s eleven different pricing strategies for that $400,000 price point. I personally would go with the $400,000 even. Not above or below and my reasoning is more functional that psychological: I’ve never had a buyer say, “my price range is $359,000 to $399,000.” Their (desired) max price is $400,000. Buyer B doesn’t say my range is, “$399,000 to $450,000.” The bottom of their range is $400,000. Only seven of the 45 properties get returned in the search results for both buyers. Some search engines use predefined ranges that don’t allow the user to enter specific prices. Of course Buyer C may be searching between $375,000 and $425,000 and therefore all 45 properties will be in the search results.
$390,500 is not between $395,000 and $405,000.
Typo: $399,500 not $390,500. Fixed.