Friday, December 19, 2008

A snowy weekend

I'm sitting in my office waiting for the snow to begin. The first big snow of the season always leads to cancellations and traffic, but little real estate activity. Most of our activity this week has been in the form of office parties. Spirits have been surprisingly good, although maybe it's due to the spirits consumed! We've had many toasts to a better 2009.

What I am seeing, however, is that those listings that our offices collectively think are "well priced" have been selling. From one meeting to the next, more than half of those will have gone under contract. That's very surprising, considering that it seems as though nothing is selling. I guess that's because we're only talking about 5 percent or so of all the properties we have listed. I put quotation marks around well priced because it's so hard to know what that means now. Even if a seller took our advice when he or she listed it, it's probably lower now. Past sales are very little indication of what will happen today, and buyers are only signing if they perceive that they're getting a bargain. Believe it or not, there are still some multiple bid situations when that is the case. The internet provides so much information, and most buyers look at so many properties, that they know right away if they need to move quickly to lock something in before it sells to someone else. What does this mean for sellers? Your property must stand out in a sea of listings, and price is the most important factor for all but a very few.