Doug Van EttenYOUR JOURNEY HOMEGrand Junction Free Press Real Estate Columnist

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April 5, 2012
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Local real estate Q&A: April 6, 2012

Q: I am getting ready to put my house up for sale but do not know how to price it. The only homes that have sold in my neighborhood in over a year were two foreclosures. Any advice will be helpful, please.A: Those pesky foreclosures may make buyers think your house is worth less if they just look at sales prices or price per square foot. That can be an initial marketing challenge, for sure.As for your determining an asking price, my first and strongest suggestion is to employ the services of a Realtor to show you data on the current "for sale" properties and recent sales of similar houses, even if they are not in your neighborhood. Do not go out and pay for an appraisal. The appraiser will look back as much as six months for comparable "sold" properties and that might not get you the best comparables. If you choose to list your home with a Realtor, even they cannot perfectly analyze the market and hit the price exactly right every time. Many realty companies bring their associates on a weekly market tour. These tours familiarize Realtors with new inventory in the housing market and they provide you, the homeowner/seller, with observations, comments and constructive feedback from one, two or three dozen professionals, all in one day. Among the comments they share will be the condition of the property and their opinions of the anticipated sales price. As long as you as a seller are willing to listen to the feedback, this can go a long way to helping get your home to the price where it will sell soonest.The other feedback Realtors interpret for homeowners is what showings or lack of showings of the house for sale may mean. Lots of showings, no purchase offer - price needs to be adjusted. Two, three, four weeks then months on the market with no showings, price is way too high. Buyers will not even go look at a home if the price is too far out of the range of others of that, size, style and with similar amenities.It may surprise you to know that homes in this area in 2008 were selling, on average, for 95-98% of their listed price; and, in today's market that list price to sales price ratio is still the same. What that means is, today buyers will make you a good offer for your home, when it is priced right compared to the other homes they are competing with.--------------------------Doug Van Etten is a local Realtor with Keller Williams Colorado West Realty. He is also founder and organizer of the Real Estate Investors Network of Western Colorado ( For information about buying or selling a home, investing in real estate or joining REIN, contact Doug at 970-433-4312 or

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The Post Independent Updated Apr 5, 2012 09:32PM Published Apr 5, 2012 09:31PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.