I had an appointment this morning where I was reminded of two cornerstone laws of real estate:
- Unrealistic people tend to remain unrealistic no matter what evidence is brought before them.
- The price one asks for their house and the price one gets are two entirely different animals.
As for part 1, my colleagues know the drill: you walk into a home that was, at one time, a show stopper. It's like a Jane Russell house- amazing 60 years ago, today, not so amazing. But the owners, who bought it when I was in high school, insisted that it appraised for $1 million in recent years, and they turned down an offer for $850,000 a few years prior. Today it is hardly worth half a million. When I opened my laptop and showed them market data putting their home's value so much lower than their expectations, I was met with a chorus of disagreement.
I no longer argue; it isn't worth the stress. So I asked the folks where they got their value opinion from. The answer was a passionate rendition of all the neighborhood homes currently on the market, some for hundreds of days, for vastly higher prices.
None of these homes were sold or reported under contract. The actual highest closed sale was under $400,000.
Market value is what the buying public is willing to spend. Just because a neighbor -or three- are asking inflated prices for their homes doesn't add a cent of value to your home. The same goes for when you log online or look at print ads (!) for homes with high asking prices. They can ask for a billion trillion gazillion. It doesn't mean they are going to get it. The only numbers that matter are those that closed with ready, willing and able buyers.
The high bidder gets the house. All too often, the highest bid comes from those who already own it.
If you'd like to see what is actually selling in Westchester County, get yourself a free Listingbook account.