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Coldwell Banker High Country Realty
Yes, it is correct that sales are off and Sellers may be willing to concede moderate to great drops in their asking prices in order to move their property. This statement would probably fit most of the country right now.
What I think Sellers need to keep in mind is that there are many variables to consider and not just what you hear of the slow down in the housing market from all the media outlets. You may want to consider 1) Is your area a retirement and second home destination (Ellijay defenitely is) this can make an area more or less susceptible to the ups and downs of the market, in comparison to a strictly urban area for example. 2) Does my property offer something unique? Water frontage, spectacular views?
I agree that the best way to determine a fair market value and see what comparable homes are selling in your area is to contact a local agent. I would not only create a Comparitive Market Analysis based not only on recent home sales but on homes that didn't sell as well as homes currently on the market and their asking prices, etc. but physically visit the property. I would want to then consult with you on what the results of the Market Analysis were in determining a "suggested" price and then my opinion on what I feel the price should be, and then discuss with you as whether it would be wise to wait or go into Spring and Summer with an aggressive marketing plan.
Good news is 3 years ago we were in a boom. Bad news is it is 3 years later.
Call an agent who specializes in the area you are talking about. One with several years experience and lives in the area if possible. Ask him/her to get into MLS and find out what has sold that would be a comp to you in the past 90-120 days. Go further back if need be. Ask what is for sale now that would be a comp. Find out what the percentage of the asking price property is selling for. He/she can give you an average. Also, days on the market. They will have that also.
Appraisals are great if you are getting refinaced, but what you need are the cold hard facts on what is selling.
Once you have this, call another company and ask for the new kid on the block and have him run the same exercise for you. Chances are you are going to get more info from the kid than the old guy, but both roads will lead you to where you want to go.
The information you need to make an intelligent decision is out there. You just need someone to pull it together so you can review it. Continue to ask questions. Information is critical to making smart decisions.
In answer to your question about is this a good time to sell. It is truly a buyers market unless you have a one of kind property that people have been waiting to come on the market. People are looking for deals and there are plenty out.
Get your information, study it and then you make the decision on of you want to pull the trigger or not.
Keep in mind the market does not care what your home appraises for. Save that money for something else.