Conventional Wisdom, New Listings and Pricing

Last night I settled in to watch the final table of the World Series of Poker, thinking I was going to watch the same slick, pre-packaged production of years past. To my surprise, not only had I missed the first night of the final table on Sunday but last night’s action was being broadcast in near real-time.

Conventional wisdom would dictate this was a significant gamble on ESPN’s part; it’s widely accepted that poker on television only became popular once viewers were able to see the players’ cards since, without it, most people find themselves looking only for signs of an aneurysm from an overexcited player. I’ve played more than a little but even I started to fast-forward rather than try and guess along with the analysts while watching a German and a Czech, neither of whom said a dozen words total in five hours of heads up play.

Yet, by the end, I was slowing down and playing along. In spite of myself, I was enjoying the broadcast … maybe not as much as did the prior iterations, but enough to keep my interest well past midnight.

Conventional wisdom dictates real estate agents take the fourth quarter off from listing homes outside the Valley’s many retirement communities. There usually are too few buyers and too many properties to make the risk of an extended marketing period worth the slight chance of being rewarded with a sale.

But there are decidedly strange days. Take, for instance, the current inventory levels in Peoria and consider anything less than 120 days is considered to be a buyers’ market:

Inventory has been steadily declining rather than climbing as is typical of this year. And so it is that tomorrow I’ll be putting on the market a home with a pool in Peoria’s Westwing Mountain subdivision. Given how few homes with pools are for sale, I’m fairly confident that it will sell relatively soon. (Yes, I know … famous last words.)

Pricing always is more art than science but the falling bank owned inventory and more realistic pricing by the banks has made the process much easier. Buyers understand the risks of missing an appraisal more than they did in the past, but the lower inventory also gives a slight opportunity to be frisky within general guidelines set by the market averages.

Which is another way of saying the home’s going to priced well, with well meaning at market value. This isn’t a bargain hunter’s market.

There’s a chance not everything is going to work to plan … Martin Staczko, the least likely World Series of Poker finalist since Jerry Yang inexplicably won it all back in 2007, discovered that when he chased a flush that never came (a play I actually predicted – just ask any of the beagles.)

Still, I feel much better now than I ever had before putting a home on the market two weeks ahead of Thanksgiving.

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at