Finding The Balance In Today’s Market

Highlands Newspaper

August 5, 2010

Lynn Kimball, Owner/Broker

Signature Properties


I may not gain popularity by what I’m about to share, however, finding the balance in our current real estate market is imperative to success for both buyers and sellers.  As you well know, the real estate industry as a whole has suffered throughout our country.  It is important to note that the level of diminished prices and low number of property sales is relative to the LOCATION of the property.  For instance, prices in most of Florida have plunged 50% or more.  This is not so in all areas.  Some parts of our country have seen more severe declines, while others have dropped by a smaller margin.  Therefore, consideration of listing to sale price ratios should be based on the location and relative market value of the property.

It appears that the impact of the economy on Highlands is averaging about 25 to 30% off of previous SALE prices seen during the boom market.  Previous LISTING (or ASKING) prices are irrelevant because the upsurge created an atmosphere where many listings were simply priced out of the market from the start. There are exceptions both up and down.  In our local counties of Macon and Jackson, sales prices have historically been inconsistent with County Tax Appraisals, so this would not be the best data to use in determining property values.

As a Seller, how do you determine an asking price that will gain attention among the multitude of available properties for sale? Obtaining professional advice from an experienced REALTOR is a good start.  With access to Multiple Listing, an agent can extract properties which have sold recently, although there are not many.  Also you will find real estate sales from the boom market, but the percentage of decline should be taken into consideration. It is most important to understand current listing prices on comparable properties and price your property within the lower end of the competition.

As a Buyer, how do you know where to start when there is a myriad of asking prices on comparable properties?   A Realtor’s job is to know the best available properties in each price range.  By looking at several properties in your given range, you will gain some perspective on a good value.   Upon locating a property that meets your needs and desires, ask your REALTOR to provide you with the identical information I described above for the Seller. Some additional questions a Buyer might ask:

  1. Has the property been priced to reflect the current market value?
  2. Is the property listed at a price which reflects values during the boom market?
  3. Are there extenuating circumstances that may lead you to believe a property could be purchased below today’s market value, such as a bank foreclosure or short sale?

At this point you should be prepared to make an educated offer.

Whether buying or selling, knowledge of the facts will lead you closer to finding the balance for a successful outcome.

An experienced professional will be honored to apply for the position as your REALTOR and be grateful for the opportunity.  Signature Properties has been serving Highlands and Cashiers for over 25 years.  Signature agents have well over 150 years of combined experience.  For further information, you are invited to contact Signature Properties at 828-526-4101, email or visit our office located on HWY 64 East, 2 miles from downtown Highlands, across from Highlands Falls Country Club.  Please visit our new, user friendly website at

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