Become an expert in the housing micromarket

Gary Sandler

Last week in this column, I detailed some indicators that reflect the changes taking place in the local real estate market. In the mix, some sellers are receiving a lower percentage of the asking price, both the inventory of homes for sale and the number of days it takes to sell a home are increasing, and new purchase contracts are being signed. It included statistics that indicated no.

The Las Cruces Association of Realtors reported on August 8 that the most troubling statistic is that the median July sales price was 2.1% lower than the median June sales price. The one-month decline is not necessarily indicative of that trend, but is consistent with price declines reported elsewhere in the country.

So what should sellers do? The answer depends on the property type, location and condition. Sellers can easily figure out how to price properties when trends are apparent. In a rising market, a common strategy is to lead the market by a few thousand dollars so that the value catches up with the asking price. In 2005, when the annual rate of increase was approaching 20%, a local Las Cruces realtor added to the description of the home for sale that the price would “increase by $1,000 per month until sold.”

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