Foreclosure Pricing – Real or Pretend?

Excerpt from one of my favorite Real Estate bloggers, Kris Berg in San Diego:

wheelofWe are finding ourselves spending a whole lot of time explaining lender pricing methods to buyers. This week we saw another bank-owned listing priced a full 20% below one active listing and two in escrow – all identical homes within two blocks of the perpetrator. Now, one can argue this is a brilliant strategy for ensuring a speedy-quick sale, and one might even argue that the price will tend to float toward something more in line with true values. Both arguments are valid, but is blatant and gross under-pricing moving toward an ethical gray area? And, what about an agent’s fiduciary responsibilities? Lenders are clients, if not people, too, and pricing a property using a dreidel could be considered negligent. Finally, there is the confusion among buyers that this causes.

Pretend prices – This is what the prices we see attached to many of the foreclosure homes on the market actually are. Most of these homes are knee-deep in offers numbering double-digits before the sun goes down on the first day of showings. Unfortunately, this is a difficult concept to explain to buyers. “Yes, the home is priced exactly at the amount for which you are approved and, no, you cannot buy it.” This is a bitter, even seemingly incredulous message to swallow, and so often a buyer will need to go through the exercise once or twice before they take my word for it.

There is a bigger issue  . . . the one of uber-low pretend prices becoming a popular “lead generation” tool for the agents representing the listings. In a world where buyers are doing their own searches, a too-good-to-be-true carrot can sure make that phone ring. And it leaves the rest of us who use real numbers with a lot of explaining to do.

Read the whole post at the San Diego Home Blog  – Kris’s writing is pretty good, by the way.

This is happening here too. Buyers call me excitedly about a home they have seen in their real-estate-search-engine-of-choice, supposedly in their price range – “Wow! Can we go see this one NOW???” Sure. If you can get past the hordes of other buyers waving offers. You can make an offer, too . . . and let me show you the “escalation clause” addendum, because you are going to need it.

No such thing as a free lunch.

Kim Hannemann, Real Estate Consultant/Realtor®, Samson Realty
Cell: 703-861-9234 • Fax: 703-896-5055 • Email:

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4 Responses to Foreclosure Pricing – Real or Pretend?

  1. […] Vi­ew­ o­ri­gi­n­a­l­ po­st­ here: Fo­r­eclo­s­ur­e Pr­icin­g­ – R­eal o­r­ Pr&#… […]

  2. Chris says:

    I’m not quite sure if pricing anything via the dreidel method is a sound financial choice. I mean, there is no “10% discount” side on a dreidel . . . you’re pretty much all in, all out, or halfsies. Last time I checked, selling a house at 50% off on a whim wasn’t a good sell 🙂

  3. Yeah, I agree, but apparently the banks and agents doing short sales and foreclosures think it works just fine.

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