Sellers Beware ! It Is Still A Buyers Market…

Has the market stabilized?  Well, that question in itself is open to interpretation. If we are talking about the Finger Lakes, it is a whole different ballgame. There is an available inventory, but sales have fallen. So why are the sellers still commanding overpriced listings?    Trying to talk the sellers into being more realistic is a separate blog topic in itself.  I will tackle that one later.

Other agents have told me in the past ” Keuka Lake sells itself” .  Well a few years ago that may have been the truth.  With information so readily available to buyers, that statement is becoming less true.  And just like any other business, at some point, you meet your selling point head on.

Buyers can sort out information by property size, the square feet in the home, the amount of lakefront, sloping or flat, the age of the property, septic, public water, and the big one lately,  the taxes.  After all , we do live in New York State, the land of apples, wine and taxes.  The other old statement ” well you know there will always be so much lakefront” only carries so much weight. ( Oops, another old statement )

Add to the  mixture banks and appraisal companies.  The banks are dependant on appraisals and the appraisal companies are dependant on the banks.  One hand washed the other.  We all know what happened when the banks wanted the appraisals inflated, now we see them moving in the other direction.  Now they want the appraisal values kept down.

Everyone knows that the assessment rates should be based on real market value.  In New York State, the towns are and should be compliant with assessment rates being at 100% of market value.   Most towns have complied with this request, but you will still find a few hold outs here and there.  The States way to combat non-compliance is to cut the amount of funding they receive.  This has moved the process forward. 

So now you have seller John Smith that tells you he was offered $725,000 for his property in 2007.  You have run the com-parables for recent sales and his property comes falls into the $525,00 – $550,000 bracket.  In your mind you know once you verbally release these numbers from your lips, your listing presentation is done.  Well maybe not.  Yes, he will be disturbed by those numbers, but being the professional, you can reel him into reality.  Throw it back into his court.  He will be moving.  What is he expecting to pay for his new property?   Does he plan to pay what he would have three years ago?  Of course not, as you hear him give you all of the reasons he can purchase at a really “good” price.

Back to basics: If you are really serious about selling your property, your expectations on price must be what the market will bear and not want you want.  When you look at the properties that move quickly from being available to sold, it is not some super agent that was able to talk the buyer into the purchase, the property was priced right when the seller listed it.  In fact the agents I know, that I would call the fast talking car salesmen type, are having issues now.  Why?  The banks and the appraisals are not supporting the prices and so the deals are falling through. 

Before you sign the dotted line with the Realtor that is giving you the number you want to hear, think about this.  How long do you want your property on the market? How many people do you want to see being dragged through your home?

Instead go with the agent that has the lower more realistic number.  Then ask the agent to supply you with the supporting documentation.  You will sleep better and your home will sell quicker.

Information about Keuka Lake and the Finger Lakes area brought to you  by Mary St. George a leading lakefront specialist…


I believe that excellent lakefront real estate transactions are the result of careful planning, insightful strategy and professional marketing techniques.


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Mary St. George