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Just like you want to get a second opinion when you have a medical issue, it is a good idea to get a second opinion if you have a real estate issue. I have a real estate issue.  My house has been on the market 340 days.  The listing is about to have its first birthday.  This is not good.

I got a second opinion from another real estate agent this week. Not surprisingly, I was told the listing price is too high.  I was also told it has been a brutal summer in our market.  Lots of inventory, not many buyers.  Which might explain why I have had exactly one showing since April. The buyers aren’t out there.

And then there is the problem of the best comparable in our neighborhood which was sold in late May. It was a case where the seller had his house on the market for a long time at a fairly high price.  Apparently, it was an estate sale of sorts and the other parties decided it was time to close a deal.  After a twenty seven percent price reduction, the house was sold fairly quickly. Twenty seven percent! So this ridiculously low sale is going to make it impossible for my house to appraise anywhere near my list price.

According to my second opinion real estate agent, I am looking at least a twenty percent reduction on my sales price to get in the ballpark for the appraisal. This is the only house that has sold in our neighborhood in the last six months.  The other comps that appraisers will use will be out of our touristy, walk-to-everything neighborhood and will not help matters.

That is not even the worst part. I was actually considering making this huge price adjustment because I would still be able to afford the four bedroom, two bath, in-town 1850 Colonial, even with the big reduction.  I called my agent representing me as a buyer.  I told her what I wanted to make a contingent offer on the 1850 Colonial.  She called the other agent and then called me back to tell me that house went under agreement last week.  This was the worst part.  The house that I have been stalking, er, considering, for nearly a year is no longer an option for me.

Needless to say, these factors have caused me to restrategize my real estate plans. I am going to take my house off the market until one of several things happens.  First, a house sells in our neighborhood that would get me out of appraisal hell.  Second, my finding another property in the lower price range that I would want to live in.  Third, the market turns around.  If I find another house I can jump back in and relist quickly.  Meanwhile, I am taking a time out.

Yours, Merryweather

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