Believe it or Not, Not Everything Sells in a Strong Market

By MICHAEL EDLEN | Special to the Palisadian-Post

Many homeowners are wondering if now is a good time to sell or if waiting might get them even higher prices. Some have assumed that, since everything seems to them to be selling rapidly, it is easy to get top dollar.

Prices of homes in the Palisades did reach all-time high levels by mid-2019, and many buyers remain frustrated in their efforts to buy a home here. However, prices have gone down about 5% in the last several months. Fewer buyers are able to afford the home of their dreams, even though interest rates are still near all-time-low levels.

A big question to consider is the side of the market that no one ever pays attention to: those homes which are listed for sale but never get sold in the current market period. The assumption that it is easy to sell any home and get top dollar proves to be a false idea, as may be seen by looking at last year’s record of what has happened with all of the Palisades listings on the market.

There were 210 homes sold in 2019, an average of 18 per month, which is 7% lower than was the case in 2018. However, the surprising observation that can be made is that through 2019, 120 homes did NOT sell at all.

Thirty-five are still on the market, three were leased, and the majority simply expired or was taken off of the market. That means that nearly 35% of the homeowners who tried to sell have not been successful. In 2018 that level was at 24%.

A close examination of the approximately 120 homes that did not sell or lease in 2019 shows that both their median and average list prices were significantly higher than the 210 homes which were sold.

There are other factors that contribute to so many homes not selling, and a careful analysis could be made to try to discover which of those factors were most significant.

Many of these non-successful listings may not have been sufficiently prepared before photography was done. Others may not have been as well-marketed as they could have been, and of course, it would have made a great difference if the owners were not fully committed to selling at that time and therefore set their list price unreasonably high.

One conclusion that we can come to from this set of observations is that everything does not sell even in such a strong market as we have had. As the market begins to adjust to a lowering of buyer demand and affordability, it may become increasingly more difficult to sell, especially in the higher price ranges.

As of January 30th, the median average Palisades home list price was $5 million, whereas the actual median sale price was $3.1 million. With such a great difference, it is not surprising that about one-third of the homes here do not sell at all.

Michael Edlen has tracked local home sales statistics for over 30 years of selling $1.5 billion. He has been ranked in the top ½% of all agents in the country and is available for confidential consultation at 310-230-7373 or