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Fischer: Debunking more exaggerated real estate legends

By Jen Fischer - | Oct 1, 2021

Jen Fischer

As we continue the conversation this week surrounding Urban Legends, humor me for a minute while I tell a true tale of fear and terror that occurred no more than 25 years ago; in other words, I was a full-on adult and there was no excuse for my naivety.

It happened one evening when my sister had popped in for a visit after work. She was my 3-year-old daughter’s favorite person in the world, and the feeling was mutual, so I was under no illusion she was coming over to see me. However, this time was different. She immediately informed me about the existence of a small, hidden neighborhood located right in the heart of our capital city which housed evil gnomes that did not like visitors and would, at the very least, throw fruit at any cars that would dare to pass through and hunt and kill anyone who trespassed on foot. She told me that a group of her coworkers had witnessed this that very day during their lunch hour. She said they had parked the car to walk around, to prove the incredulous nature of the story, when they were approached by an angry, small man resembling a hobbit who began chasing them down with a knife. As it was nearing Halloween, just as it is now, I volunteered to go with her that very moment so she could prove it.

As we approached the village-like neighborhood, we entered through two dilapidated pillars to a tiny road with large, overhanging trees hiding the entrance. There was a small human-size cage in the front of the first, which was admittedly unsettling, and then several smaller cages surrounding the property. As we continued driving slowly and quietly down the lane, we noted a few smaller, unkempt log homes leading to a dead end. Lamp posts with cement blocks etched with engraved sayings abounded throughout the property. Sayings such as “Drink to me only with thine eyes and I will pledge with mine” and “The night has a thousand eyes” lent an air of tenability to the incredulous nature of the story. When I sensed movement from an overgrown bush on the side of the path, I instructed my sister to high tail it out of there immediately.

Since that time, I have learned all about “Allen Park.” Established in the 1930s by Dr. George Allen and his wife on 13th East along Emigration Creek in Salt Lake City. It started as a bird sanctuary and eventually grew to house small craftsman-built cabin homes used for rentals and built in exchange for free medical care. Hobbitville was a myth. Which brings us to … real estate myths, part II.

Myth 3: Due to lack of inventory, overpricing a home is better than underpricing. Although we have had a lack of inventory, overpricing a home will simply result in no showings and no offers. Many buyers have been educated on the fact that they may need to come in with a higher than ask price offer to win a bid. If the home is already priced too high, there is no point in looking since adding several thousand dollars to an overpriced home still doesn’t make sense — yes, even in this market.

If the home is priced where it needs to be, there is a much higher likelihood of the home coming in with multiple offers and the price escalating above ask anyway. If a home is still active after a few weeks in this market, it is likely price that is the cause.

Myth 4: It is more cost efficient to find a home that is “off market” or not listed. While it is true that almost everything is for sale at the right price, it is not true that the price will be right. When approaching a homeowner who is not motivated enough to sell to have listed their property in the first place, what would make them want to move? Only a high sales price. There is also the question of where the seller will go. It lands in a pile of negotiating that generally turns out much better for the seller than the buyer.

It is my vote that we squash all these myths and live for a reality where Allen Park is simply that … a delightful, historical park.

Jen Fischer is an associate broker and Realtor. She can be reached at 801-645-2134 or jen@jen-fischer.com.

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