Q: Real estate agents in our area are pricing hundreds of thousands of properties at less than comparable sales. We live in an expensive pocket of suburban homes known as good schools. The almighty seller agent we appointed to be our listing broker, efficiently priced our house for sale. In need of updating, the property is located on a busy street that feeds the neighborhood, and the price reflects this inescapable fact. After our home was listed for sale, three remodeled homes in the interior of the neighborhood were put on the market at or below our list price. My husband has a stroke. We priced our house based on the facts.
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We’ve learned that strikingly low-priced real estate is a rare but deliberate approach. The goal in our area is that seller’s agents can later brag that they sold a property worth $250,000, $350,000, or more at list price after receiving a ridiculously high number of offers. In the meantime, our listing–not the sale–appears to be overstated based on condition and location. Is a significant 5%-10% reduction in home prices based on similar sales acceptable behavior by trade associations and the state property department?
A: In some areas, Affordable Bay Area listings have received over-priced bids for a home in each of these categories: United States, California, and Santa Clara County. For example, according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the median home price in America for the second quarter of 2021 is $374,900. The California Association of Realtors reports that the median price in July 2021 for an existing single-family home in California was $811,170 and in Santa Clara County it was $1,670,000.
I have written about this questionable practice of intentionally pricing properties too low. It is a practice that displeases most beginners and veterans in the real estate community. I’ve heard complaints from disgruntled potential homebuyers who knew something was wrong despite being new to home shopping. Conversely, many neighborhoods have residents who know seller agents who price properties far below comparable sales.
Once again, I consulted a real estate attorney who cautioned me against providing a legal opinion as a realtor. As always, real estate attorneys tell me the concern is the possibility of entering the arena of false advertising. Present the issues in Section 1. California Business and Professional Law. False advertising in general 17500 BPC Here.
Even worse, open house hosts inform potential homebuyers that the property will sell at a predetermined price well above the advertised price. This kind of first visit dialogue with potential homebuyers is the worst kind of first impression.
Questions? Real estate broker Pat Kabwish is a certified real estate brokerage director and advocate for consumer protection throughout his career. 408-245-7700, Pat@SiliconValleyBroker.com DRE # 00979413 SiliconValleyBroker.com YouTube.com/PatKapowich