Sponsored: Real Estate Confidential: Selling versus asking prices

How do you know if your offer is too high or too low?

This house sold for about 8% less than its listing price.

Weekly chit-chat about new listings, sales or other insider info on the Martha’s Vineyard real estate market, by Fred Roven, Martha’s Vineyard Buyer Agents, appears each Friday in The Minute.

When I see any new property listed for sale in a market (such as ours on Martha’s Vineyard) with limited inventory and rising prices, many seem priced appropriately when compared to other properties currently on the market.  When a buyer asks what is an appropriate opening offer, I look at past sales. I assume the list price has some basis in reality (most times), that there is a reliable average price per square foot for the area, and town assessments offer a value that can be compared to each other in a given area.

Averaging those values gives me an indication of what the value of the home was three to six months ago, which is worth considering as an opening offer and certainly not an indication of what the property will eventually sell for. With prices rising, and the ratio of assessed value to selling price has jumped from below 100% to 125% and more,  so the true value is going to be higher than historic averages. I believe every property sells for its correct value in that moment in time, with many other factors to be considered: the urgency of seller or buyer, the time of year, the size of inventory and possibly even the weather. Just a moment in time and a moving target.

A reasonable way to give a buyer an idea where the market stands today, is to look at a few recent sales. I looked at my go to group for current market ideas which is 25% above and below the current average price of all sales for a 3 bedroom home on over a quarter acre of land, currently $1,000,000. Some items to look at when comparing sales are relationship of price reductions and days on market, reduction in sale price from then-current list price and the all-important property taxes which vary dramatically from town to town.

Starting in Edgartown, 162 Katama Road sold for $1,050,000. An antique 4 bedroom 2½ bathroom house with an oversized guest house; on the market for 559 days; originally listed for $1,575,000 and selling 10% below the current list price. Taxes are $4,169.

42 Meadow View Road in Oak Bluffs sold for $850,000. A newly renovated three-level contemporary included furnishings and is convenient to Farm Neck Golf and bike path; on the market for 150 days; originally listed for $865,000 and selling 1.7 % below the list price with no interim reductions. Taxes are $6,617.

401 Lambert’s Cove Road in West Tisbury sold for $1,000,000. A vintage home with laid-back casual elegance. The house and guest house have a total 7 bedrooms and 4½ bathrooms; on the market for 549 days; originally listed for $1,200,000 and selling 9% below the then current list price. Taxes are $4,707.

With limited sales in Chilmark, the rustic farmhouse at 16 Old Nursery Lane sold for $1,000,000. A charming 4 bedroom home on the site of a 10 acre 17th century homestead; on the market for 83 days; originally listed for $1,125,000 and selling 11% below the list price with no reductions. Taxes are $1,800.

Crafted by a boat builder, 79 Merry Farm Road sold for $1,173,200. A multi family property featuring a 30 x 60 apartment, workshop, guest house, boat shed, and post & beam barn; on the market for 31 days; originally listed for $1,200,000 and selling 2.25% below the current list price with no reductions. Taxes are $4,673.

Certainly not the least, 101 Memphremagog Avenue in the Makonikey neighborhood of Lambert’s Cove sold for $1,185,000. A 4 bedroom home sited on 7.5 acres of rolling hills including sunset views, a short walk to one of the association beaches and a widows walk with water views; on the market for 305 days; originally listed for $1,395,000, the selling price was 8.5% below the current list price with one reduction. Taxes are $10,791.

If you would like weekly updates of current sales plus properties new to market and price reductions, let me know at Martha’s Vineyard Buyer Agents.

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