Thursday, April 19, 2012

March 2012 Home Prices Up 2.5% over 2011

March 2012 existing home prices were up 2.5% over the same period in 2011. The number of homes sold was also up 5.2% over last year, but down from February 2012.

 We have recently been seeing inventory levels of real estate for sale in Massachusetts lower than they have been in a long time, which can make it a little more difficult for home buyers to find exactly what they are looking for. When they do find it, chances are there are several other buyers looking for the same property. This creates competition, hence we are seeing slightly higher home prices. We are seeing more bidding wars going on and more properties being sold over asking price. Mind you, these are the properties that are priced correctly for the market in the first place.

With the number of home buyers out there, if you are selling your home and you do not receive an offer on your property within 30 days, then it is overpriced. In fact in most cases, if you do not receive an offer on your home within 2 weeks, chances are that your home is not priced correctly. Today's home buyers are very knowledgeable about where property prices should be. On the average, they will take 45-60 days doing research online before they even go out to look at their first home. If your property is not priced right, you lose that buyer, who will most likely buy something else before you adjust your price to the correct market value.

Most people don't realize that pricing is part of real estate marketing. In fact, it is the most important part. If you do not price your home correctly I don't care how much promotion & advertising you do - it is not going to sell. Look at any other product for sale. Pricing is critical to it's success. Of course pricing a home, especially in this market,  is a lot more difficult than setting a price for most products because every property is different. That's why I say that determining the value of a home, either through an appraisal or a market analysis, is 75% science and 25% art. A lot depends on the knowledge of the individual performing the valuation, and the market conditions.

Jim Armstrong

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