Martha's Vineyard Real Estate : Determining a Property's "Fair Price"
While the inventory of homes for sale on the Island may be starting to decline, it's still a buyer's market. We polled real estate brokers on how buyers and sellers seem to arrive at a property's "fair price." Their advice and observations:
- The buyer and seller together determine fair market value. Abby Rabinovitz of Tea Lane Associates reports that she is seeing a greater meeting of the minds between buyers and sellers today. "If the price is too high buyers will not respond and a property will sit on the market. On the other hand, if a buyer offers a price that is too far below value, a seller may prefer to wait." Fairly priced, according to Sheila Morse of Island Real Estate, is simple: "Both the seller and buyer are happy at the closing table." Julianna Flanders of Flanders Up-Island Real Estate adds: "Brokers would like things to sell at least at assessed value, but preferably higher."
- Fairly priced properties should sell in this market. Several brokers pointed out buyers and sellers view pricing differently. According to Neal Stiller of Cronig's Real Estate, "Typically sellers feel they are under-selling and buyers feel that they are over-paying. If a home is fairly priced then it should not be on the market for years. We are seeing some of the inventory currently on the market for over three years. Those are not fairly priced for this market. Recent comparable sales have to factor into establishing fair market value." Lisa Stewart of Lighthouse Properties agrees: "Buyers continue to be very value-conscious and are looking closely at comparable sales data and town assessments. They are very educated and less driven by emotion. Data shows clearly that when asking prices drop to where they need to be to attract buyers, they sell quickly and close to asking price." Art Smadbeck of Priestley Smadbeck & Mone applies this rule of thumb: "To a seller, "fairly priced" in a market such as this should mean a price targeted towards the middle of all similar properties on the market. To a buyer, it's the best value compared to all the similar properties on the market."