Of all Sequim homes sold in Sequim, Washington, which price category has the most overpriced listings? Very few people would know the answer to this question, and I would bet that very few Realtors know the answer. The issues I address about Sequim homes are questions that clients regularly ask, and which homes are priced the best and which ones are priced too high is very relevant if you are a buyer. This kind of knowledge can give you a substantial edge when it comes to negotiating to get the best possible price on your retirement home.
Sequim Homes Sold by Price
Sequim Homes Sold and Surprising Price Pattern
I love to put together charts like this one, because a visual aide can clearly present an entire story instantly, and with a little analysis, this information can be very helpful. This chart shows Sequim homes sold during the calendar year 2011 starting at $200,000. There were 97 homes sold for less than $200,000, and there were 99 homes sold from $200,000 to $300,000. Above $300,000 is where sales drop off dramatically. But it is in the price category of $400,000 to $500,000 where I saw a surprising pattern that was not found in any other price category.
Sequim Homes Sold Most Overpriced
We all know some Sequim homes are overpriced. That’s not front page news. (Of course, there are many Sequim homes in the MLS that are listed at incredibly reasonable prices, too.) If I do a search for Sequim homes that have been on the market for 270 plus days, I get a long list. Believe it or not, there are homes on the market as of today that have been on the market for 2,103 days, 1,178 days, 1,115 days, 1,092 days, 1,079 days, 1,009 days, 1,001, and over 100 that have been on the market for more than 270 days. It is a no-brainer that these homes with such long DOMs (Days on Market) are most likely overpriced.
I show homes in every price category, although the vast majority of my retired clients are looking at homes above $200,000. For several weeks I’ve been showing a lot of homes in the $400,000 to $500,000 price category, and I have been very surprised to find so many of these homes substantially overpriced. Nearly 50% of these homes have been overpriced, and several by as much as $75,000 to $150,000. Why? How could this price category be so dramatically overpriced?
I discussed this with my clients (Bert and Sally) while looking at these homes this week, and I think Bert hit the nail on the head. He suggested that homeowners who built or purchased their homes in the early 2000’s (or before) had homes with high assessed tax values, perhaps $600,000 or $675,000. These are people who built their dream homes with all the features they loved, and for years they would say things like, “It’s worth $600,000. You bet.” They had planned their homes for years, and they were proud of their homes, and they certainly were entitled to be proud. Now in this recession, they want to sell it for what they may have in it, or a little less, and that price may be $450,000. The problem is, it may only be worth $375,000 in this market, but they cannot mentally comprehend that. They are stuck at $600,000, so in their minds, they think they have reduced the price already by 25% or 30% to $450,000. That kind of thinking is getting them in trouble. It is the wrong way to think about selling a home in this market. (It is extremely difficult for a listing agent to be able to break through this mental barrier and help their clients, and in many cases it is simply impossible.)
Buyers are looking at Sequim homes and comparing floor plans, features, and the views. Then they compare the prices, and the single price category most outrageously overpriced is from $400,000 to $500,000. Unfortunately, the sellers don’t know this. They don’t realize their homes are grossly overpriced, and they haven’t seen this chart or the reasoning. Buyers are the ones doing all the due diligence on sites like this one. Sellers do not seem to be doing their due diligence on listing prices, marketing, and the reasons their homes have not sold. Far be it from me to try to educate all the owners of Sequim homes out there. That’s not my job. My job as a buyer’s agent is to help my clients, not other agents’ sellers.
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