How do you set a list price when there's no comps?

Asked by Bonner Davis, 22734 Mon Jan 14, 2008

With the mix of foreclosures in the Remington area, prices are all over the board. And no split-foyer homes (like mine) have sold recently. How do you determine list prices when nothing is moving?

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Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Tue Jan 15, 2008
You have some good advice, particularly Jennifer.
I would encourage you to have a couple of things clear in your mind, and your Realtors:
1. Why are you selling?
2. What is you minimum price?
3. What will happen if you do not sell?
4. Most markets are buyer's markets. If you do not need to sell, don't. If you do, it is usually better to sell sooner than later. That means if you list the property, and in the first few weeks have not activity, then a price adjustment is probably in order.

Good luck!
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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Tue Jan 15, 2008
Setting a price is both a science and an art and, in your case, it's got to have a lot more art mixed in with the science.

Even if "nothing is moving," that provides some (unfortunate) pricing clues. If nothing is moving, then the prices on those non-moving properties are too high for the current market and current buyers/lookers. In some cases, there may not be good comps, but some stuff is selling. Maybe no split foyers, but some ramblers, or colonials. In that case, you may have to look at those properties--look at number of bedrooms, baths, total square footage, amount of acreage, age, condition--and attempt as best as possible to adjust those factors for your split foyer. So, to use an extreme example, let's say a couple of 1950s 3 bed/2 bath ramblers on 1/4 acre lots have sold for $130,000. Yours is a 4 bed/2 bath split built in 1974 on a 1/2 acrea. Other splits have been on the market, not selling, for $225,000. Well, there's your range. Based on the size and age of your house, it's probably worth more than $130,000. Based on what's not selling, it's worth less than $225,000. Who knows? Maybe $199,000. Maybe $169,000. It depends on what people value, what they care about, and also what they can afford.

Hope that helps.
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Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Tue Jan 15, 2008
Check out It is a website that offers current values on properties across the country.
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Jennifer Nav…, , Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Apache Junction, Queen Creek
Mon Jan 14, 2008
As ugly as it is, the pricing of your home is affected by all of the neighboring foreclosures. The foreclosures and pre-foreclosure sales must factor in to a point as your competition. Have a Realtor determine the "absorption rate" for your neighborhood.

The absorption rate is the average number of homes that are selling in your neighborhood/subdivision per month over the last several years. Then, calculate how many month's supply of inventory you have by dividing the number of homes currently on the market by the number of homes that sell on average each month. 3 mos or less supply; prices should be on a slight increase. 6 mos supply- prices are neither climbing or decreasing. Over 6 mos, prices are decreasing.

I hope that is a guide as a starting point. First analyze your neighborhood/subdivision (and maybe even the surrounding ones), and then begin determining your specific selling price with these things in mind.
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