Pricing to Sell
Houses are a major financial investment, and it makes sense that when selling ours, we want to make as much profit as possible. If your neighborhood is improving quickly, or your job requires you to move to a more expensive city, you may already have a firm asking price in mind. However, your listing price can make or break your sale, so doing your research and getting professional advice will pay off. The objective is to find a price that the market will bear but won’t leave money on the table.
Your agent will pull comparable listings and sales of houses similar to yours, ideally that have sold within the last 90 days and are within about a mile of your own. This will help determine the current market environment and provide an initial price range. Comps can be misleading, however. The size, age, condition, and even side of the highway can all affect price. If you rely too much on what you heard the house down the street sold for, you lose objectivity. Even if you’ve made expensive improvements, they might not be a factor at all, if the buyer doesn’t share your taste. How much you value your home is not the same as what buyers are willing to pay for it.
You don’t want to overprice your home for another important factor: time. Your house should have offers within the first three weeks. After that, agent interest will wane and buyers will suspect there’s something wrong with your property. In the end, you may have to reduce the price to below market value to compete with better priced listings. However, houses priced slightly below market value often receive multiple offers, which will drive the final price up.
The asking price you set for your home significantly affects whether you will profit and by how much, and how long your home will sit on the market. Our knowledge of the overall market and what’s selling – or not selling – is invaluable in helping you determine how much to ask for.