Why hasn’t my condo sold? | SummitDaily.com
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Why hasn’t my condo sold?

JOAN MILLER
special to the daily

I read a few articles this winter that in spite of sales numbers dropping, prices are up. As a seller, after your property has sat on the market for months, you naturally start to question things. Is the property getting enough exposure? Is the price right? Is the realtor really on my side?

Given that over 80 percent of buyers start their search on the Web, the best exposure will come from being in the multiple listing service (MLS), on multiple national and local websites and by using the best photos and text. Backing that up with ads in the local paper during our busy selling season, periodic open houses and a good real estate office and you have all the exposure you need to sell. If your agent has kept you informed, kept your ads, flyers, and web pages updated, and promptly responds to your calls, you are getting the service you deserve. If not, find another real estate agent. If you still haven’t sold, the only issue left is price.

While most articles and ads you see talk about Summit County “averages” you need to keep in mind that even in the county, each market is different. I specialize in Breckenridge sales and separate those from the rest of the county. I also use medians, not averages, and price per square foot not sale price, which is easily distorted by a few especially large or small sales. I also separate existing sales from new construction and apply a moving average trend line to each chart. By applying more sophisticated analysis we can get a more accurate picture of the market.

Based on MLS data through June 29, starting in Q1-08, sales dropped, inventory ballooned, and prices fell. Median price has fallen from a peak of nearly $530,000 in Q4-08 to under $360,000 in the latest quarter, a 32 percent drop. Amazing as that sounds, because the number of sales are so low (at just about half the Q2-08 level), it does not tell the full story. You need to look at the change in price per square foot, which is not affected by one or two especially large or small sales, unlike median price, which can vary wildly in a small sample size. That actually peaked in Q2-08 at $534/sf and has now slipped to $425/sf, a 20 percent drop. Had you been following that, not average prices; you would have seen the decline starting six months earlier.

At the same time, the average days on market (ADOM) has climbed from under 100 days to nearly 200, while sales have dropped by half and inventory ballooned to over 400. On all charts, the moving average trend lines, shown in black, are pointing in negative directions. That is why sellers are having a hard time selling, and why buyers have more opportunities than ever.

When will the trends change direction? History tells us that neither booms nor busts last forever. In Breckenridge, over the last 25 years or so, dips in the market have been relatively short lived, followed by the return of steady appreciation.

As a seller you need to understand that only one out of eight condos sold in the last quarter. To be in the group that sells, your condo can’t be priced like all the other comparable units. Your price will have to be a screaming great value. Being priced just as good as the others won’t get it sold.

Joan Miller is a broker associate at RE/MAX Properties of the Summit who specializes in a technical approach to real estate sales in Breckenridge. She publishes a monthly newsletter on her website at http://www.JoanInBreck.com, or can be contacted at JoanInBreck@comcast.net, (970) 333-4203.


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