Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Temptation of Your Neighbor's List Price

for-sale-in-childrens-blocks.jpgIf you're trying to sell your home in the metro Phoenix area, or even if you're just thinking about it, you'll run up against what I call The Temptation of Your Neighbor's List Price.

You'll look around your neighborhood at the many For Sale signs. You'll secretly skulk down there under the cover of darkness and pull a flyer out of the Info Tube. Don't worry, you're not the only neighbor scurrying through the dark to grab a flyer and ogle the pictures of your neighbor's home's insides. Everybody does it. It's one of the dirty secrets of suburbia.

In any case, you're going to look at all those flyers with their shiny pictures and bulleted feature lists. And you'll shout to your spouse (or your pet), "Jones is asking that?! And Bill down the street is asking what?! Bill's got a lousy backyard. And Jones doesn't have the built-in garage cabinets like I put in. Those cost a fortune! If these guys are asking X, then I could ask Y."

Your Y is always bigger than your neighbor's X. The Temptation has arrived. (And I realize that my X and Y sentence could sound a little pervy, if you're reading it out of context. Hmm. Moving on...)

You must resist the Temptation of Your Neighbor's List Price. Please go back and re-read that sentence about X and Y. Focus on the verb.

The key to your neighbor's list price is that they're asking for X. They are not necessarily getting X. In all likelihood, our current strong buyer's market will cause your neighbor to take significantly less than X, or take his home off the market.

Do not give in to the Temptation. Do not assume your home is the only one in the city that has lost a little bit of value over 2007. We're all in the same boat. Some of us just imagine we're on a luxury yacht, while a few brave sellers are recognizing the truth - it's just a boat. What's that old saying? A rising tide lifts all boats. And a correcting market lowers all housing values. Don't worry about what your neighbors are asking. They're probably asking their teenagers not to smoke and drink and drive too fast too. But you don't see that happening now do ya?