Doug Van Etten

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October 4, 2012
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Real estate Q&A

Well, I think most local Realtors will agree that prices have bottomed out and any uptick in prices so far is localized to a particular property, neighborhood, house style or part of town. So, if for you a good deal is the best possible price, I suggest you act now. The corollary to that is interest rates are still at rock bottom lows. Combining the low and the low, you get what I might call a good deal on any property that sells in our current home sales market.If you are referring to the pricing on any particular property, there are a number of factors you may want to look at for that good deal. How long has it been on the market? What else in the area or style has sold since the house you might be considering came up for sale? A less than perfect tool, but a tool nonetheless, is price per square foot. I would not compare square foot price of a ranch to a two-story or a 1920s house to a 1990s house, but if you are comparing like kind, this tool can give you a pretty good idea if a house is priced in the ballpark for what it is. Once you are comfortable and the seller's asking price or list price is reasonable, look again at the recent sales of other similar homes. What was their list-price-to-sold-price ratio? There are two ways to look at this: What is the sales price compared to the current list price of other sold homes? Or, what is the sales price compared to the original list price of comparables? The first of these two methods is most commonly used by Realtors and I will show you a bar graph below that lets you look at that ratio. These statistics are for core area Grand Junction houses, priced $100,000-$200,000, with three bedrooms and a two-car garage, that have sold in 2012.Using the data you can see if a house has been on the market 90-120 days which is about average for this price range to sell; and, when these homes did sell, they did so on average for 98.5% to over 100% of their asking price.In looking for your good deal on a home, you now have some tools to help you assess whether you consider something a good deal. That term, "good deal," is highly subjective and varies with each person's definition and in some instances, how many homes you have written purchase offers on that someone else ended up buying because they considered a little higher price than you did, still a "good deal."Keep in mind: Many of the other possible buyers out there are looking for a good deal, too. If a few properties have passed you by because you did not think they were a good deal, be aware that prices will probably go up, interest rates have little or no more room to go down and as the economy improves both locally and nationally as is predicted for 2013, yesterday's missed opportunity may not come your way again.Doug Van Etten is an associate broker with Keller Williams Colorado West Realty and is also the founder/organizer of the Real Estate Investors Network (REIN). Van Etten has been helping homebuyers, sellers and investors with their real estate needs since 1992. Contact Van Etten at or 970-433-4312. For information on the REIN,

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The Post Independent Updated Oct 4, 2012 04:07PM Published Oct 4, 2012 04:06PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.