Selling your home? Martha’s Vineyard realtors offer advice…


Lesley Heidt and Courtney Marek, Sandpiper Realty

“If the goal is to sell, appropriate pricing (validated by sold comparables) is key. In this inventory-saturated market, buyers want the assurance that they are getting a good value and if that can’t be substantiated, they will simply move on to the next property on their list.”

Art Smadbeck, Priestley Smadbeck & Mone

“Sellers should look at the market they are competing in and acquire a good sense of the market value of their property. They should then be pricing their property to be the best value among all the properties for sale of that type of property.”

Vera Thornton Della Russo, Hob Knob Realty

Alan Schweikert, Ocean Park Realty

“Although the market has been strengthening and the pendulum on the Vineyard over this past year has been shifting, slightly, towards the seller, it is still a buyers’ market.

When you list your house, listen to your agent on pricing. If you don’t like what you hear, ask another agent, but do not arbitrarily make the price higher because you think you need more money or because in your opinion the house is undervalued.

So many times sellers set their own price and an offer comes in somewhere in the price range suggested by the agent, and it gets rejected by the seller. This is unfortunate for all involved; buyer, seller, and agent. Now the property ends up languishing on the market for several months with few showings, and the seller starts wondering why the house is not selling.

Even if a buyer comes along and meets your high expectations, the deal is usually subject to a bank mortgage, and you will lose the deal in the middle of the transaction when the buyer’s bank has the house appraised and it fails to meet the price. This is the classic situation on the Island and the reason why the average house may take a year to sell. Sellers, first make sure you want to sell, list with an agent you respect and trust, and sell your house at fair market value and get on with your life!”

Susan Cahoon, Homes on Martha’s Vineyard

“If you have to sell, price your home competitively. Buyers are educated. They know what your house should sell for. You don’t want to be “chasing down the market,” which means you haven’t adjusted the price of your home to reflect what is happening in your marketplace. Know your competition and think about what it costs you (in real dollars) to maintain a higher price. If it takes six months to sell, what did that cost you, and would you have been better off to reduce your price in order to avoid those costs?

Selling is an emotional thing; recognize that and cut yourself some slack about how you’re feeling. You will feel better when you accept that offer and begin to plan for the future.”

Bill LeRoyer, Harborside Realty

“Don’t over-price your home. In today’s market, buyers are motivated by price. Because of the larger than normal inventory, buyers will not consider a house that is not priced correctly.”