OC Housing Report

Reduce and Net Less

For sellers who must reduce their asking price to achieve a  successful outcome, they likely will net less at the closing table.  Carefully pricing a home allows sellers to walk away with the most money possible and achieve success quickly. 

For professional track sprinters, getting out of the starting blocks quickly, fast, and first is often the difference in a race. There is plenty of preparation and training to be that runner that is the fastest off the blocks. The initial lunge is crucial and is an advantage that often propels the athlete with the best start across the finish line with arms raised high in the air. 

Similarly, when a home initially comes on the market, pricing a home accurately is the difference between a seller raising their arms in celebration within the first few weeks versus taking months to sell and likely for much less. In today’s market, values are slowly declining. The longer a seller takes to properly price their home and secure a successful outcome, the more money they will ultimately lose. 

One of the most crucial steps in being able to sell quickly, open escrow, and obtain the highest possible net proceeds from the sale of a home is to carefully arrive at its Fair Market Value. In every price range, homes sit without success, leaving these sellers wondering what in the world they are doing wrong. 37% of all homes in Orange County have been on the market for over two months, and 44% have reduced their asking price at least once. Throwing a price out there just to test the market is not a wise strategy. Instead, carefully, and methodically pricing a home is vital to cashing in on the Golden Opportunity, the first few weeks after coming on the market. It would be better to spend several hours coming up with an extremely accurate price than to waste weeks, or even months of precious market time. 

Due to the high interest rate environment, the market is lining up in favor of buyers during the negotiation process. Buyers do not want to overpay; they are unwilling to stretch. Accurate pricing is fundamental regardless of the temperature of housing, especially in a declining market. Throwing a price out there just to test the market is not a wise strategy. Ultimately, when asking prices of homes must be reduced in order to secure offers to purchase, it not only takes longer to sell, but sellers also sell for less. On average, the net proceeds check at the close of escrow is less if a price reduction is required. 

It is very telling to look at the sales price to last list price ratio. This refers to the final list price prior to opening escrow. These are averages, meaning there are exceptions, but the overall trend is stunning. In Orange County, 57% of all closed sales in October did not reduce the asking price at all. The sales price to last list price ratio for these homes was 99.0%, meaning, on average, a home sold within 1% of the asking price. A home listed at $1 million sold for $990,000, just $10,000 below the asking price. 15% of all closed sales reduced their asking prices between 1% and 4%. The sales to last list price ratio for these homes was 97.5%, and, on average, it took 43 days to open escrow. A home that reduced their list price to $1 million sold for $975,000, a considerable $15,000 less than homeowners with no reduction. For homes that reduced their asking prices by 5% or more, an astonishing 26% of closed sales in October, the sales to last list price ratio was 96.4%, after being on the market for a couple of months. A home that finally reduced their price to $1 million sold for $964,000. Everybody would agree that closing at $990,000 is a whole lot better than $964,000, a mind-blowing $26,000 better.








Excerpt taken from an article by Steven Thomas.

About the Author

Tim Morissette, also known in the community as Mr. Foothill Ranch, offers over 46 years of real estate experience which has given him an established reputation and unmatched market knowledge. He is joined by his wife, Michele and sons Matt and Jeff, as they continue to offer personal service with an emphasis on achieving his clients’ real estate goals.  This unique combination of traits has led to his proven track record of referral and repeat business. This can be witnessed by the trust of homeowners in Foothill Ranch where he has sold twice as many homes and represented three times more buyers than the next-leading real estate agent for the last 26 years.

As residents of Foothill Ranch since 1994, Tim and Michele are actively involved in the community by fundraising for Foothill Ranch Library, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Cancer Society, Homes for Habitat, Relay for Life, South County Outreach, and the local church and schools. Tim enjoys sponsoring community-wide garage sales, paper shredding and e-waste recycling event, an Easter egg hunt, & a Meet Santa Event.

Tim and Michele are dedicated to their family of four sons, daughter-in-laws, and grandchildren. As a family, they enjoy many outdoor activities which include camping, spearfishing, mountain climbing and exploring the miles of hiking and equestrian trails in Foothill Ranch and the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park. Tim and his sons are also avid snowboarders and enjoy mountain biking and lobster diving. Family is a top priority in the Morissette household. They look forward to helping more families achieve their dreams of homeownership.