I have a friend who has their house on the market in Stanwood. It is a beautiful and spacious house that my

Asked by Gabi, Stanwood, WA Fri Apr 4, 2008

friends upgraded thouse with hardwood floors throughout the main living area, new carpet in 2 bedrooms as well as granite and stainless steel in the kitchen. Their house is on 5 acres as well. They had the intention of selling the house for just under $600,000 but now it has been reduced to under $575,000. The agent they are working with is suggesting a lower price. Do you think it is a good idea to continue lowering the price when the house in an excellent house?

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Larry Johnson, Agent, Marysville, WA
Wed Apr 16, 2008

There is a range of value to any home. The top of that range is "move in ready"--all upgrades are completed and the buyers don't have to do anything but turn the key. The low end is your typical "fixer". There is also the location to consider--obviously a "view" home is going to be worth more than one that's next to a garbage dump. Real estate agents do research to find comparables for your home and it is only an educated guess. However, the ONLY people who decide the final worth to a home is the buyer. Buyers in this market have a lot to look at and are able to be more picky. In other markets, mulitiple offers come in and it sells for a higher price than was listed. Sellers tend to be emotional with their house and buyers are all business. There is a "right" price for any house in any market. It depends on the sellers' urgency to sell. If they aren't in a hurry, waiting until the market changes would be a good idea. If they need to get the house sold yesterday, an agressive price would be a good option as well. Along with price, presentation is important.

Keep in mind: real estate agents take 100% of the risk (as far as expenses go) until the house sells. It's in the best interest of everyone involved that the house sells for the highest possible price in the shortest amount of time. If the agent is doing his/her job by marketing the home and keeping the seller informed, chances are that the house may be overpriced. The agent should have a marketing plan that is agreeable to the seller and go with that. The seller should also understand that nobody makes money until escrow closes! Trust me the agent wants that house sold and FAST!

Good tip: if sellers remove as much emotion from the process as possilbe then the process will move along.
2 votes
Debbie Barger…, Agent, Marysville, WA
Thu Apr 17, 2008
Dear Gabi:
This has been a fascinating market, I'm sure we can all agree on that! If the house has been on the market for awhile then either it's priced too high for this market, not good enough exposure via fabulous web pictures, not staged well or a combination of the above. Buyers are very picky right now and it's my experience that you can move them off the fence if they think the property is priced better than their competition. The house information identified above is not adequate for a price opinion from any of us. Their agent should provide them with the facts........all homes in the price range that are on the market so they can see their competition, all recent solds and pendings so they can see what those folks had to reduce their homes to in order to secure a sale. It is a strong Buyer's market this year in most areas and Sellers must get realistic and respond to that. Please remind them that the longer their home is on the market, the less they'll most likely get for it. Best wishes.
1 vote
Judie Chambe…, Agent, Marysville, WA
Tue Jul 31, 2012
If your friends really want to sell the house I'd have to say yes! The property may well be worth the full price however, the market will determine how much a buyer is willing to pay for the house. The other option would be to go ahead and pay an independent licensed appraiser to perform an appraisal. That way you have the proof of value in your hands. It also depends on the overall condition of the property, and neighborhood. Location, location, location has always been the most important determination as well. You never want to be the nicest home in the neighborhood because less valuable homes around you may drain some of the value from your property. Thirty years of experience has taught me that, it only takes the right person to see the home however, the house must appraise for what a buyer is willing to pay or the bank won't loan the buyer the money no matter how bad the buyers want it.
Hope this helps~
0 votes
Jay Sunderla…, , Lake Stevens, WA
Sun May 11, 2008
I've been fortunate so far. I haven't had to lower the price on my Stanwood, Camano or other listings, yet. I use several unique strategies that other agents aren't even aware of to generate exposure for my clients. Add to that the fact I give a 20% rebate to buyers and so far, I've sold each listing at 100% within 90 days. Good luck to the rest of you!
Web Reference:  http://www.ziprealty.com
0 votes
Amanda Haase, , Snohomish County, WA
Mon Apr 28, 2008
Sellers have to remember that agents don't make the market, we just advice our clients on what's happening in the market. We are currently experiencing a downward market. There are 2 things that will sell your home in this market, Price & Condition. You must look at what's pending, and sold and adjust accordingly. You also need to adjust your price depending on your motivation to sell. My advice would be that you look at the comparables weekly, and make sure that yours is the best price & condition for the area. It's a tough market at the moment, and no realtor really wants to ask for the dreaded "Price Reduction", they should ask the realtor to educate them on why they are asking for the adjustment.
0 votes
Susan Sestak, Agent, Prescott Valley, AZ
Fri Apr 18, 2008
Wow- tough situation. As you are not the listing agent, I think the best thing to do is suggest that your friends educate themselves on the market with the help of their agent. Looking at the pending and recent solds for similiar properties and then graph the trends for their listing period they can see which way the market is going and be better prepared to make a knowledgable decision. Often times a home is listed at the wrong price; It sells too fast and the sellers think they were underpriced or it sits on the market and the market says it is the wrong price. By charting the actual activity it will show what is actually moving- there is the chance that nothing is moving in that area. Good luck, but I think the safest thing is to encourage them to work with their agent .
0 votes
J R, , New York, NY
Thu Apr 17, 2008
The agent presumably has justified the lower price by showing the prices of other houses that have sold or gone under contract. Prices are falling. Having an excellent house does not make it sell for more, it helps it sell first--if it's priced correctly.
0 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Wed Apr 16, 2008
It really doesn't matter if it's an "excellent house" or that it's "beautiful and spacious." Not at all. The only question is whether buyers consider the price to be a value for what they're buying. And obviously, in your market, the active buyers don't consider $600,000 a good enough value for what they'd be getting. (It's not much consolation, of course, but in my area the type of house you described would sell in an instant at that price.)

Your friends shouldn't take it personally. It's just the market saying: "For this property, in this location, with these interest rates, as of April 2008, buyers aren't willing to pay $600,000."

Hope that helps.
0 votes
Loni Campbell, , Stanwood, WA
Wed Apr 16, 2008
Hi Gabi,
Sometimes that is the answer if Pending and Sold properties are selling for that amount, but other times you need to look at the days on the market. If the days on the market are high then it just may take a longer period to sell their home. Right now the price range on Camano Island for homes selling in between $400,000 to $600,000 has been taking quite a long time. There are over 250 homes on Camano Island that are for sale at this time.
0 votes
Janelle Wilt…, Agent, Marysville, WA
Tue Apr 8, 2008
In addition to the statistical analysis information I posted below... another thought came to mind... Make sure your friend's agent is giving them exposure statistics. One helpful tool is keeping track of how much web traffic or agent database traffic the home is getting. For example, for each website the home is posted there is a click ticker (a hit/view tracker). When a property is pulled up in detail and reviewed by an agent or a potential buyer that number of hits will give them an idea of how much exposure the property is getting on the web. If the numbers are low... something needs to be adjusted to bring more internet traffic to the home. Exposure is key! Data now shows that buyers do 80+ percent of their home research on the internet in addition to the guidance they are receiving from their local real estate agent. Often times a buyer will discredit a home for viewing if the photo gallery or website property details aren't well represented. The bottom line... magnificent property photos and web detailing is mainstream and now a potential buyers expectation! Hope this helps!
0 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Fri Apr 4, 2008
Homes that sell in the first 30 days will sell closest to asking price. Pricing a home high is not the way to maximize the price. The buyer that sees the home they purchase first sees it with a Realtor, so if the Realtors are not showing the home, they don't think that it is worth showing (compared to other homes on the market).

You do not mention the market time, however the trrend is that homes that sit on the market sell for less. My rule of thumb is ten showings or two offers in two weeks, or we adjust the price. Remember the price is not based on what they paid, how much they owe, or how much the have invested. Price is what a willing and able buyer will pay.

Buyers want value, so the best deals always sell first. How many homes, like your friends, have sold in the time this property has been on the market?

Hope this helps.
0 votes
Janelle Wilt…, Agent, Marysville, WA
Fri Apr 4, 2008
This seems to be the most asked question in today's real estate market. Acreage is something I know a whole lot about as I have horses and work with many clients whom have acreage properties. I will try to answer your question with some statistics and guidance for this niche of real estate. Right now, in Snohomish County, we have a very large number of properties with acreage actively listed in the MLS (about 350). In Stanwood and Arlington (usually a buyer will choose both those areas in their buying criteria) there are 103 listings actively available with 1500+ square feet on 4+ acres. That means they have a whole lot of competition out there for their home. To set their home apart from the competition it needs to be in AMAZING shape/condition/staging and presence for a buyer and featured by their agent accordingly. If it is not... a buyer will move on to the next property. The median/ average statistics for the market of your friend's home are as follows... average size of home for this area is 2600 square feet, has 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths currently listed at $575,000 with an average market time of 123 days. Obviously certain homes have differing features that make one home attractive to one buyer over another. In answer to your question... "should the continue lowering the price??" Your friend has to do what is best for them and make an informed decision accordingly. Their agent should be able to provide them with property specific statistics from a service like TrendGraphix (you have to be a member to Trendgraphix but there are other tools available for this through our agent database) to give the sellers an exact positioning of their home within the current market. Once all that data is evaluated... only then can an appropriate price be considered. At the $575,000 price point they seem to be in the average/median area of inventory. Have them request some statistical analysis from their listing agent to answer the pricing questions and give them an opportunity to make an educated decision on how to best handle their biggest investment. Knowing the market's particulars is key. It's like having a road map for a road trip. Without direction you are bound to get lost or take a wrong turn! Good question! Thanks for posting!
0 votes
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