A nationwide survey by California-based real estate research firm MarketGain reports that almost half of all homeowners think their homes should be priced 10% to 20% higher than their sales agents have recommended. At the same time, the survey of 700 realtors across the country said that 60% of homebuyers say that asking prices are too high. I have always maintained that the market reveals where pricing should be, and that a look at recent sales data is the best indicator of pricing levels. Are homeowners indeed asking too much and are buyers right in thinking they are?

A review of MLS sales data for residential property on Anna Maria Island reveals that MarketGain’s findings are on the money. Between January 1 and April 15 this year, 43 residences sold on the Island. The average sales price was 84% lower than the list price; the median sale price of $607,500 was 82% lower than the
list price. Buyers are indeed showing us that sellers are asking about 15% more than they should be.

I like to remind sellers that real estate sales agents don’t pull prices out of their hats; they look at sales data, just as I have, to determine market value. I believe that sellers who listen to their agent’s market evaluation won’t spend the 292 days it takes on average so far this year to market a house. By bringing the price in tune to the market, I know sellers will sell sooner and buyers will change their thinking. Price is everything.

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