Pricing Leavenworth Houses : The Life of a Leavenworth Real Estate Agent

One of the tasks we spend quite of bit of time on during the week is pricing homes or building lots for Leavenworth home owners.  Some homeowners call us curious about the state of the market and others are serious about getting their house on the market.

We provide a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)  free of charge to any Leavenworth area property owner considering selling their property.  For some property owners, an appraisal by a licensed appraiser might be more appropriate. (For example, a divorce or an estate).

What is market value?

Market Value is the estimated amount for which a property should exchange on the date of valuation between an educated buyer and a reasonably motivated seller in an arms-length transaction after proper marketing wherein the parties had each acted knowledgeably, prudently, and without undue influence . (from Wikipedia)

There are three methods to find the value of real property.

  • Sales Approach (use recent sales of comparable properties)
  • Cost Approach (how much would it cost to build this property)
  • Income Approach (how much income does this property produce)

The sales approach is the most used for residential property, though the cost approach is helpful for newer properties and as a "gut check" when a property seems overpriced. (Ask yourself - can I build the same house myself for less money?)

How do we come up with value?

What is a CMA?

A CMA is not an appraisal and does not conform to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) used by licensed appraisers.  One of the biggest differences between an appraisal and a CMA is that we use houses that are currently listed for sale. This is important data.  If there is a similar house or condo for sale and it's not selling, the value of your property is likely to be less than the listed price of the property for sale.

We also use our knowledge of offers that were submitted by buyers but not accepted by the seller.

For example, in 2007 we received multiple offers for a property that was listed at $1,300,000. The offers we received were both at $1,000,000.  If the seller had accepted an offer it would be clear what the market value was, but since they did not we at least knew a price range. The house had a market value between $1,300,000 and $1,000,000.

We spend a few days writing a report that explains our research and we attach comparable sales to this report.  A CMA is not something that a computer can just spit out.  It is a bit of an art and we put serious consideration in every CMA we prepare.

What Happens Next?

Sellers have many different reactions to our reports. In a market where prices have been going down for a few years, most sellers are disappointed in our price.

  • Some sellers decide not to sell in the current market. Often this is the wisest choice.
  • Some sellers ask us to list their home at the current market value.
  • Some sellers choose to work with another agent who will list their house at a higher price.

At the end of July 2011, there are 213 homes on the market in Leavenworth. This is more than 2.5 years of supply. This is an extreme buyers market and we recommend that only those sellers who are very serious and motivated should list their home.



This is part of a series of posts about how we spend our time as real estate agents.

Previous posts include:

Previewing Leavenworth Houses


Geordie - Excellent post! Thank you for spelling out what Fair Market Value is for the non-Realtor. I recently had some neighbors tell me that some listed homes in my neighborhood are under priced. Are they really? No, the neighbors WISH they were under priced, because then their home would be worth more. A good CMA, which it sounds like you provide to your clients, isn't based on wishes and hopes and false calculations. It's based on solid data and research, and professional market knowledge. I like how you liken it to being a bit of an art, because it is. A lot of nuances come into play when pricing a property.

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Allyson and Geordie Romer

Leavenworth real estate agents - Allyson and Geordie Romer

For over a decade, Allyson and Geordie have been serving clients in the Leavenworth-area real estate market. Together, they work tirelessly to stay on top of the regional market and present the most relevant opportunities to their clientele.

When not in the office, they can be found exploring the endless recreation opportunities of the area in all of its seasons.




Geordie provided excellent real estate representation! We appreciated his detailed knowledge of the market, his up front and honest approach, and his negotiation skills.
As reviewed on Zillow  – 

- Laura Anderson



As “west siders” looking for a getaway near Leavenworth, Geordie provided insight … his knowledge of design features important in a “snowy winter wonderland” was appreciated. Thanks Geordie!
As reviewed on Zillow  –

- Jean Stern



Geordie made this somewhat complicated transition easier for us…going above and beyond to help us work through issues that came up during the sale of our parents home. We appreciated his knowledge, attentiveness to details and his willing spirit.
Our family is grateful for Geordie!
As reviewed on Zillow  – 

- Terry Foster



Geordie was great in every way. We have been looking in the Leavenworth area for some time, and Geordie was absolutely the best for local knowledge, history and depth on neighborhoods, developments and the local market trends. He was very quick to respond (even when he was on his vacation) and worked very diligently to get all of our questions answered in a very timely fashion. We would recommend him highly to anyone looking to buy or sell a home. Very friendly, and helped us navigate all of the local options before we made an offer on the property that we purchased. Thank you, Geordie!

As reviewed on Zillow  – 

- Ryan Olsen



It was such a pleasure to work with Geordie and his wife, Allyson on our cabin purchase. They showed us a variety of locations, listened to what we wanted and helped us find the perfect match. Everything was smooth and not stressful, just relaxed and easy. We would definitely recommend Geordie and use him again if the need arises!

As reviewed on Zillow  – 

- Cammie Schlosser


Moving to Leavenworth?

Are you looking for a cabin or a condo in Leavenworth that your family can use as a home base when climbing, skiing or hiking around Leavenworth or Lake Wenatchee?

Maybe you rent a house here and have decided to stay, surprised how a summer of rafting somehow turned into seven years.

Maybe it’s time to escape the hustle of the big city (and its rain) and move to Leavenworth with its four seasons.

Maybe you bought a condo years ago, don’t seem to use as much, and it’s time to sell.

Whatever your motivation, we are here to help. If you are buying a home, the best place to start is with our Homebuyer’s Guide to Leavenworth.