This is an ongoing series of posts by Dr. Ann Meyerson about assisting clients through a real estate transition. Dr. Meyerson specializes in senior transition, but has been doing work recently on clients with hoarding issues. Read Ann’s other posts here.
There has been much written about the need for proper pricing when selling any piece of real estate. This is especially true for older adults in transition. When down-scaling or moving to a senior community, the process is very stressful. Not only do seniors have to contend with this dramatic move, they also need to get their finances straightened out quickly. An over-priced house or condo will not sell quickly and we all know what that means in terms of increased anxiety and disappointment for the seller.
I listed a house for an 86 year old widow, Carol, who had purchased a condo in closer proximity to her adult children. I conducted a comparative market analysis and showed both the owner and her concerned family what the market conditions and statistics supported. She had anticipated receiving about 30% higher for her home than what was indicated. After reviewing my report, her son asked her, ‘Mom, why did you ever think your house was worth this much?” Carol quietly responded that she had discussed it with her friends at the country club and they all agreed on what the listing price should be!
Needless to say, a compromise price had to be determined. Because of her unrealistic expectations, the initial asking sell price was higher than I recommended. We listed the home for about 15% above the statistics. Weeks later, after no significant activity, we all agreed to reconsider our goals. This time to counter frustration and ease family tensions, I recommended that a certified property appraisal be ordered. This unbiased report was needed to get another true assessment of fair market value. I explained that in the current market and these economic times, no buyer was going to receive a mortgage from a lender for more than the appraised value.
The appraisal results were similar to my findings and everyone could read the report validating my market pricing. The entire family could now agree without personal opinions and emotions becoming involved. We dropped the price to an acceptable range…and yes, we received an offer from a qualified buyer. From there, we were able to reach an agreement and the house is now scheduled for closing!
I have used this strategy several times when “Fantasy” Real Estate must be turned into “Real” Real Estate. The small cost of getting a licensed appraisal is well worth it if that is what is required to overrule the club ladies’ decision. Lessening the time on market created by the common error of over pricing alleviates both major financial and psychological stress and for all involved.
Dr. Ann Meyerson is an agent at William Raveis in Westport, Connecticut and specializes in helping seniors and their families during real estate transitions. She has been featured as an industry expert on Channel 12 News and has hosted the Real Estate Forum on Channel 88. Ann shares her professional time between Connecticut and Florida where she is actively involved in Senior Transitions and is affiliated with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®. You can learn more from Dr. Ann Meyerson on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and FourSquare.