The Hidden Snags of Selling Kenai River Real Estate

When it comes to selling Kenai River real estate agents are faced with the task of addressing the often unrealistic expectation of the sellers. Too often Kenai River homeowners believe the real estate tales instead of asking for the facts. In this post we will explore a few common misconceptions regarding Kenai River Real Estate. Hopefully this will help our sellers avoid getting caught on a snag.
Soldotna Real Estate For Sale

Kenai River Real Estate Snag #1: The best time to market my home is during the summer.

The numbers don’t add up! In fact over half of the Kenai River real estate sold when the ground was frozen. It is true that May and June are the busiest months with 6 of the 17 recent sales. But 7 of the sales happened before May and only 4 Kenai River homes sold after June.

1st Quarter Sales 5

2nd Quarter Sales 10

3rd Quarter Sales 3

4th Quarter Sales 1

The best time to sell a Kenai River home is starting January 15 after Christmas vacation travel. The bulk of the action happens before the fish start to run. Kenai River home buyers spend a lot of money to live on the river and want to be able to fish. They understand the seasons and plan their shopping around it.

Kenai River Real Estate Snag # 2: The average days on market is 75 days.

On average it takes about 151 days for a Kenai River Home to sell. That does not include the number of expired or cancelled listings. On average it takes two years to sell a river home. Well priced homes in good condition can sell in as little as ten days. Others sit on the market for up to five years while the homeowners fish for a buyer. Year after year they list during the summer and fall off in the winter. When they finally sell you only see the last listing. Not the years or numerous price reductions.

Kenai River Real Estate Snag # 3: People want to spend top dollar to live on the Kenai River.

Over half of the recent Kenai River homes sales were less than $400,000. The Kenai River real estate market is composed of vacation home market, local folks and lodges. Kenai River homes that do sell above $400,000 are contemporary, feature rich homes with upgraded amenities and are in excellent condition. None were fixer uppers and some included furniture, fixtures and equipment.

In the last twelve months 17 river properties closed or are pending.

  • $999,000 to $900,000 – 2 Sales
  • $899,000 to $700,000 – 0 Sales
  • $699,000 to $600,000 – 2 Sales
  • $599,000 to $500,000 – 3 Sales
  • $499,000 to $400,000 – 0 Sales
  • $399,000 to $300,000 – 6 Sales
  • $299,000 to $200,000 – 2 Sales
  • $199,000 to $150,000 – 2 Sales, they have a view of or access to the Kenai River

Kenai River Real Estate Snag #4: It doesn’t matter if I overprice my home. Someone will make an offer.

Home buyers in Kenai and Soldotna don’t negotiate, they buy. It is hard to explain but generally most buyers have an expectation of value and price based upon their research online. Buyers have more information about the sales history and comparable sales than at any point in the history of real estate in this country. They are aggressively comparison shopping homes. Most homes sells for about 97% of asking price.  There were roughly 48 active Kenai River listings and only seventeen sold. The buyers could be picky.

Kenai River Real Estate Snag #5: Buyers want to be on the Kenai River so badly that they will overlook the fact that my house is junk.

At the time I wrote this article there were forty eight Kenai River homes listed for sale. In the last 12 months only 17 actually sold or pended. So we have a 2.8 year supply of Kenai River real estate. Buyers want a quality asset. Kenai River real estate is often an investment or second home. They do not want to buy someone else’s problem. And with a 2.8 year supply of Kenai River Homes they don’t have to settle for subpar properties with construction defects or deferred maintenance.


All experienced fishermen know the difference between fishing and catching. Unfortunately many of our local homeowners choose to go fishing instead of selling their Kenai River home. They spend years fishing for buyers before realizing that they are not getting any bites. Only after adjusting the price and condition do most finally land a sale.


The Kenai River real estate market is in flux. The low returns for Kenai King Salmon has not helped the sale of high dollar river homes. Most fish charter companies have a very hard time booking Red Salmon only charters. Consequently the Kenai River lodges suffer as well.


This is further complicated by sellers setting their pricing and expectation at a very different level than the expectations of buyers, particularly those from the lower 48.  At the same time, buyers are often not familiar with the cost of maintaining the river bank on the Kenai River and are surprised by the continuing regulation and accompanying maintenance.


As with all important decisions, knowledge is power. If you have questions on the value of your Kenai River home or are considering buying call us today to get the real story. 907 252 2743


Bronco and Dublin Episode 4: The buying process

  Bronco and Dublin going through the buying process in Kenai Alaska. They love to teach people what it takes to buy a home in Alaska.  They get to meet with a lender from Kenai Alaska and also a home inspector.


  1. bill lamberton says

    With all of your statistics: day on market, limited number of sales, quality of properties, fishing challenges, how can you claim properties sell at 97% of asking price? I have seen some quotes as low as 88% of asking price. Who is correct?

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