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Why so many property listings advertised as ‘bargains’ sell above the asking price

(Source: marketwatch.com)

In Tuscon, Ariz., when a home listing is described as a “bargain,” that’s a pretty clear indication that the price is in fact a steal. But in Cape Coral, Fla. that’s far from the case.

A new report from real-estate website Trulia examined how often listings advertised as a bargain were, indeed, bargains. The analysis had some good news for people in one of the country’s most competitive housing markets: Homebuyers had the best shot of finding truthful listings in San Jose, Calif.

In the Silicon Valley city, more than 86% of “bargain” listings were actually priced below the home’s estimated value. Other cities with popular housing markets, such as San Francisco and Seattle, also had a high percentage of true bargains.

‘It’s likely that in typically faster-moving, more-expensive West Coast markets, some sellers may intentionally advertise a low offering price in order to stand out or attract more attention from buyer.’

But even in cities where listings were mostly truthful, a seemingly good deal isn’t always what it appears to be. Roughly three-quarters of homes in the Bay Area of California, which includes San Francisco and San Jose, sold above their original list price.

“It’s likely that in typically faster-moving, more-expensive West Coast markets, some sellers may intentionally advertise a low offering price in order to stand out or attract more attention from buyers, understanding or expecting that homes typically sell for above asking price anyway,” Trulia found.

Metro Share of listings priced below value Average discount Share of homes selling above asking Average difference between sales and listing prices San Jose, Calif. 86.2% 9.5% 74.6% 8.5% San Francisco, Calif. 83.2% 10.5% 76.5% 11% Camden, N.J. 78.8% 21.1% 16.4% -6.9% Newark, N.J. 77.7% 11.5% 25.2% -4.1% Pittsburgh, Penn. 74% 11.2% 15.8% -7.1% Allentown, Penn. 72% 14.1% 20.2% -5% Portland, Ore. 71.8% 3.8% 34.2% -1.6% Lake County, Ill. 71.1% 9.3% 15.5% -6.1% Seattle, Wash. 70.1% 3.9% 50% 2.1% Dayton, Ohio 69.50% 9% 20.2% -4.8%

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Finding a listing advertising a bargain can be something of a fool’s errand, regardless of whether it’s truthful, according to Trulia.

Camden, N.J., had the highest share of listings that described the homes as being bargains, at 7.1% of total listings. Luckily for those shopping for a discount, 78.8% of the “bargain” listings were indeed priced lower than the home’s estimated value.

Meanwhile, Cape Coral had the fourth highest share of homes advertised as bargains, but just 36.5% of those properties had a list price below the home’s value.

Metro Share of listings advertised as ‘bargains’ Share of ‘bargain’ listings priced lower than value Camden, N.J. 7.1% 78.8% Bridgeport, Ct. 6.7% 56.6% Lake County, Ill. 6.1% 71.1% Cape Coral, Fla. 5.8% 36.5% Tucson, Ariz. 5.5% 64.6% North Port-Sarasota, Fla. 5% 42.2% Hartford, Conn. 4.8% 42.4% Philadelphia, Pa. 4.7% 58.2% Newark, N.J. 4.6% 77.7% Phoenix, Ariz. 4.5% 53.1%

More Info: marketwatch.com

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