Doug Van EttenYOUR JOURNEY HOMEGrand Junction Free Press Real Estate Columnist

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March 7, 2013
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Local real estate Q&A

A: Thanks for the question, one that I hear asked at my service club and many other places, too: Is now the time to sell? The most simple and straightforward answer to that is, when you NEED to sell is the best time to sell. You cannot control the global, national or even local economy; and you cannot control our local real estate market. So, rather than let that market control your life, make your profit or take your financial lumps and move on, if that is what you are ready to do.You paid $260,000 for the house and put down 20%, that's about $52,000. In six years of ownership you will have paid down at least $15,000 in principle; so let's say you owe about $193,000. Coincidentally, the average price Grand Valley-wide for homes sold over the past six months has been $192,500, while the median price has been $169,000. Those current numbers suggest you may be in a near break-even financial position. Without knowing the location, condition and other particulars about your home I cannot be more specific than that. To put your purchase and a sale now in perspective, in late 2007 when you bought: 1,210 homes sold in six months, for average and median prices of $258,750 and $229,900. In the most recent six months, 973 homes have sold for average and median prices of $192,500 and $169,000. These numbers would seem to indicate you bought right in the middle of the pack and you would now be pricing a little bit "up-market" based on today's sales prices. As far as whether it is a good time to sell based on the number of signs you are seeing or homes actually on the market: There are 668 homes for sale in the Grand Valley as of early March, 354 under contract, and 973 sold in the past six months. That means homes are selling at a rate of 162 per month. If not another home was listed for sale today, at the current absorption rate, it would take 4.1 months for the buyers to clear out or buy all the homes for sale. Here's the most simple response to your question: If you want to sell your home, the time is good. How is your location? How is the condition, which you can improve if you choose? And, how is your motivation; that is, do you want to SELL your home or do you want it to be FOR SALE? The sale of your home is ultimately governed by your motivation to sell and that motivation is reflected in how you price the home compared to the other similar properties buyers are looking at. Using my own listing inventory as an example, I have one listing that has been on the market since the first of the year and is not sold, while another property I listed last week already has an accepted purchase offer. Most comparisons of the two being similar, the seller's motivation, and that is reflected by pricing strategy, is the difference. 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 Mar 7, 2013 12:31PM Published Mar 7, 2013 12:29PM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.