Doug Van EttenYOUR JOURNEY HOMEGrand Junction Free Press Real Estate Columnist

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February 21, 2013
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Real estate Q&A

A: In the Multiple Listing Service statistics that all Realtors have access to, your Realtor was likely referring to the Sold-to-List price ratio. I looked up sales information on your price category and homes in the range are selling for 98.5% to 99.15% of the listed price. That means if you and other potential buyers think $230,000 is a reasonable price for that home, to the point of making a purchase offer on it, chances are it will sell for 98-99% of that list price; or, $225,000 -$228,000, on average. Of course, there have to be higher and lower prices to determine an average. However at $200,000 your offer would be about 13% lower than the listed price. I would think a private seller would be very unlikely to accept or even be very interested in negotiating on a purchase offer that far off their listed price.It may very well be that $230,000 is too high a price for that house when it is compared to others of similar price, style, age, location or condition. In our housing market though, the seller will most likely have to adjust their price before you or other possible buyers consider it to be "competitively priced," thus in the price range that it can attract a purchase offer the seller is likely to negotiate on.An aside to that idea of the seller negotiating: I counsel both my buyer and seller clients that if a seller does not want to accept a purchase offer, to at least give the buyer a counter offer. The buyer can then show more of their hand, accepting the counter offer or coming back with a counter of their own. Again, I counsel the seller to accept or counter offer. In other words, go back and forth two times from each side, at a minimum, before either party considers the purchase offer to be unacceptable or dead.Since not every seller or buyer will heed that 2x-each suggestion, when you as a buyer or possible sellers reading this, accept or counter offer, realize that the Realtor can suggest a client hang in there for more negotiations but either party may just cut it off after the first round. Keep that in mind in making a first offer. To use the $230,000 house as an example, if you offer $220,000 I suggest you do so knowing you will be satisfied and buy it if the seller counters at $225,000.Good luck, I hope this helps you to understand a little more about the workings of the local buying and selling market; and, I hope you get the house that is right for you. By the way, if you think of it, send me an email after your eventual home purchase closes and let me know what the sold-to-list ratio was.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 Feb 21, 2013 02:51PM Published Feb 21, 2013 02:50PM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.