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The Right Way to Price Properties

by Megan Oster

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@properties Broker Associate Kim Kerbis cringes when she recalls one of the listings she had on the market the longest during her career. The listing was placed on the market right at the time when the market was at one of its worst points, and though it was listed at $275,000, she received a cash offer of $250,000 on the home in May 2009.

“I begged and pleaded with this woman to take the offer because it was a decent price, but she refused to listen to the market data I was giving her because she had put money into improvements,” Kerbis says.

Kerbis had the listing for a year, and reduced the price to $250,000. After one year, the client went with a different agent. And finally, just in January of this year, Kerbis’ former client ended up selling the home for half the price at $135,000 in a short sale.

“The entire situation breaks my heart – it is tragic,” Kerbis says.  “The outcome was not good for her. Everyone lost in that situation.”

Recently though, Kerbis had the opposite outcome with a client who held firm on their desired price. The sellers bought the house in June of 2010 for $470,000. At the pre-listing appointment, Kerbis felt that the current realistic price was $435,000, based on data and sales from the previous three months. The sellers balked, so Kerbis agreed to $450,000. After a few weeks, Kerbis recommended raising the price to $475,000. The reason for her decision?  She reviewed data indicating that listings were trending up pretty quickly.

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