Why Is Right Pricing So Important?

What is “right pricing” and why is it so important?

For me, “right pricing” is the research and analysis that goes into identifying a price range and a pricing strategy.

The end result is a specific price that will prompt offers. Too low and the house may sell quickly but at lower price resulting in a lower net at closing. Too high and the house may never sell without one of more price adjustments and then, like the too-low scenario, may generate less cash at closing.

My experience tells me that the right price must be within certain limits to attract offers, and those limits vary with the value of the property and amount of time it has been exposed to the market.

The penalty for overpricing is huge, both in days on market and net at closing, and not to mention the additional emotional stress and the negative impact it can have on many areas of life. No one expects to become the one to catch what I refer to as Seller Fatigue but it will materialize over time, and it can take as little as 30 days.

I dig into the details to be in a position to give my clients real numbers generated from my area of focus (i.e., the higher value resale Walton High School homes in just four elementary schools: East Side, Mount Bethel, Sope Creek and Timber Ridge). This effort is necessary because the MLS search and reporting capabilities don’t provide this micro market detail (which is so important for those in Walton) nor does the firm Keller Williams Realty hires to produce custom stats.

It is also important to understand that the MLS reporting does not always (in fact, most of the time) illustrate the real challenge facing sellers. My SDOM (Seller Days On Market) captures the full number of days the property has been exposed to the market which can be significantly different from the TDOM (Total Days On Market) reported by the MLS due to their restrictive guidelines.

Another must-know, but not reported, is the number of days that transpire from the last price change to when a listing goes under contract and ends with a sale. It is important to have this information as a guide when considering the timing of price changes.

In general, as house value increases, so does the amount of time it takes go under contract (aka, Binding Date). Also interesting is that the data reveals that listings go under contract in less time when the house was first listed for sale with the right price (i.e., price changes were not involved) compared to the elapsed time from the last price change to the Binding Date for those listings incurring price changes.

Price Change Impact 10-31-18 All Price Ranges

Picking the right price is simple, but not easy. The benefits are clearly in favor of getting the price right, right out of the gate! One can be lucky and guess the right price, or improve the odds by hiring a Realtor with hyperlocal market concentration and expertise…Brady Miller, 678-933-7780.

 

 

How Much Can I Expect My Home To Increase In Value?

My seller asked this question recently, and on another occasion I set out to see what the numbers would say about a house a client was about to purchase.

Since I concentrate on the higher value Walton High School homes in East Side, Mt Bethel, Sope Creek and Timber Ridge I used this market to illustrate the challenge.

As shown below the results are can vary widely depending on the start and end periods. Starting in an off month (such as January) and ending in a peak period (such as July) can set the wrong expectation.

  • May ’08 to August ’18:  29.0%
  • May ’08 to July ’18:  17.1%
  • May ’08 to June ’18:  9.1%
  • May ’08 to May ’18:  8.9%
  • May ’08 to April ’18:  0.3%

Walton Avg Sales Price May 2008 - Aug 2018

  • June ’08 to August ’18:  51.8%
  • June ’08 to July ’18:  37.7%
  • June ’08 to June ’18:  28.4%
  • June ’08 to May ’18:  28.1%
  • June ’08 to April ’18:  18.0%

Walton Avg Sales Price June 2008 - Aug 2018

Perhaps the answer is that your house is primarily a place to call home and secondarily an investment. The appreciation is what it is.

Call me when curious about the price of your home, and especially so if it falls in this area, $600,000+, and has not been previously listed as you only get one chance to truly be “new” inventory for buyers to consider.

 

When Is The Best Time To Sell?

This question is probably second only to, “How’s the market?”

I find most people are looking for a month or season. The typical response is usually not an answer but information that may already be known; i.e., higher prices in the peak season (spring/summer) mean more homes on the market, while lower prices in the off season (late summer/winter) are associated with less inventory and seemingly fewer buyers.

My reply is a 2-part answer and perhaps unexpected.

First, when to sell should be when you are ready, regardless of the time of year. Is there a life event driving the move? Do you have time to prepare the house? Is the social calendar full?

Second, when to sell should be within the first 2 to 3 weeks of putting the house on the market. It is rare for a house to look as pristine months later. Buyers intuitively know there is more room to negotiate months later. Owners develop what I refer to as “Seller’s Fatigue” which can lead to poor decisions.

Take a look at this chart showing the resale average sales price of single family detached Walton High School homes in East Side, Mount Bethel, Sope Creek and Timber Ridge. It identifies the two months for the past 10 years with the highest average sales prices. Two observations:

  • The customary seasonal low-price months (cool blue) offered some of the highest prices in 2008 – 2015.
  • Recent years have been consistent with the pattern usually expected; i.e., highest prices in the spring and early summer (hot red).

Walton Highest Months Avg Sale Price 2008 - 2018

Maybe the housing recession and early recovery had a role to play in this unexpected results and things are now more “normal” in this post-recovery period.

I can provide plenty of evidence to demonstrate the importance / benefits of being under contract sooner than later. And the number of sellers that do, without resorting to price reductions, may be surprising. Avoiding what I term as a “False Start” has a lot to do with starting at the right price.

Contact me when you have thoughts of selling, regardless of the time of year.

 

Walton High School Sales Price Record

The $720,521 average resale sales price last month for Walton High School homes in East Side, Mount Bethel, Sope Creek and Timber Ridge Elementary Schools breaks the $700k barrier for the first time as shown in the following chart which compares 2018 to the single highest month in 2008 – 2017.

Walton HS Avg Sales Price 2008 - 2018

School Search Matters

Real estate websites offer various search capabilities. Those used by agents are the most robust; however, many standard and semi-automated reporting aggregate data by city, county, or a region referred to as an “area”. Most consumers are limited to searching by map, zip, city or what some may term “neighborhood”. Who knows what goes into the algorithms of the online valuation models such as Zillow’s Zestimate.

The ability to search by school is invaluable because attendance lines don’t follow typical classifications or “natural” boundaries like roadways or rivers.

Here are examples of the dilemma faced when trying to get real estate market information for Walton High School in East Cobb.

  • County is too broad, as it is just 1 of 16 high schools in the Cobb County School District.
  • Zip is better but only about 40% of the homes in 30062, 30067 and 30068 are zoned for Walton
  • MLS Area is worse than using ZIP codes as only about 25% of the homes in Areas 81, 82 and 83 are assigned to Walton.

The Walton High School reputation is a major contributing factor to home prices. Being able to dissect the market by high school is key.

It is our commitment to the area and focus on the higher value Walton High School homes that enables us to personally produce the stats on MillerGroupRealty at the elementary school level for various price ranges.

Contact us when moving comes to mind. We promise you’ll be Moved By The Experience.

Stats 7-31-18 East Cobb High Schools Avg Sales Price

 

Walton High School Residential Real Estate Market Observations

Perhaps the best place to find residential resale information for higher value Walton High School homes is MillerGroupRealty.

Here are some takeaways as of July (raw data sourced from the First MLS system) for Walton homes in four elementary schools (East Side, Mt Bethel, Sope Creek and Timber Ridge). Unless otherwise noted, the information is based on resales (excludes new construction) of just single family detached homes (excludes condos/townhomes and lots/land).

  • Number of Active listings is below the levels reached in the summers of 2014 – 2017.
  • Number of new construction listings continues its decline (began June 2017).
  • The average sales price increase for Walton since July 2014 is about 18%, coincidentally about the same for the four major metro counties (Cobb, Dekalb, Fulton, Gwinnett).
  • The average Walton sales price was $625k compared to $426k for Pope, $433k for Lassiter, $406k for Wheeler and $286k for Sprayberry.
  • Higher value homes ($600k+) account for about 45% of all Active listings and Sold listings.
  • The July average sales price of $890k for Sope Creek consistently far surpasses the other elementary schools (under $600k).
  • Who has the most homes available for under $600k? East Side
  • Who has the most higher value ($600k+) homes available? Sope Creek

Contact us when you have thoughts of selling as we may well be your best choice for representation when the goal is to net more at closing, in less time. Our clients benefit most when we can apply our Best Home Marketing approach to selling and also be hyperlocal. We live where we work, and our website reflects this focus.

Where Is The Local Market Headed?

Your view of the market is likely influenced by personal experience buying or selling, conversations with friends going through the process, media news reports and/or hearsay.

Proclamations I often hear include:

  • There is a shortage of homes for sale, and it is getting worse
  • It is a seller’s market…no better time to sell
  • The luxury market is suffering
  • Prices have been driven too high too fast…a shift is coming

It is important to keep in mind that the real estate market is both location and price sensitive. With that said, what do these year-over-year charts have to say about the resale market for Walton High School homes in East Side, Mt Bethel, Sope Creek and Timber Ridge Elementary Schools priced in the $7 and $8 hundreds?

Walton 10 Yr July Resales $700s

Walton 10 Yr July Resales $800s

First, the numbers are relatively small as defined by this criteria and therefore challenging to accurately forecast a trend. With that said, the activity appears fairly consistent with 2008 and 2009 being the exceptions as explained by the housing market recession being in fully involved at that time. I believe the Walton High School portion of East Cobb is a bit buffered from the national and metro trends.

I’m often asked, “When is the best time to sell?” It seems the inquirer is looking for a seasonal answer; i.e., spring, summer, etc. In my opinion the best time to sell is when you are ready. And when you are ready please give us a call to schedule a conversation so that we can accurately assess your home given its condition relative to recent sales and pending listings that are deemed similar. Don’t rely solely on the county assessed value, online valuations like Zestimate, or the price of the house next door.

Be sure to visit our Miller Group Realty website for additional micro market stats for our core area and price range.