Pricing a home to sell feels like a mix of science, strategy and luck. If you’re putting your house on the market, do you know what to realistically expect a buyer to pay? Here’s how to accurately crunch the numbers.
Avoid overpricing. We know it’s tempting to reach high, thinking that lowering the price later is worth the attempt to secure an inflated asking price. Experts agree sellers can lose valuable time and buyers’ interest if the home isn’t priced right to start with. And when you’re looking to purchase another home for yourself, you’ll want to prevent any delays. Keep in mind that more time on the market and frequent price drops will make potential buyers wonder if there’s a reason it hasn’t sold.
Drop the price if necessary. It’s possible that, even with the best intentions to price the home fairly, you might find your home is overpriced in the market. If you’re using an agent, he or she can advise you, but one sign of a home that’s priced too high is when no one comes to the open houses nor asks for a showing. If you have had a few showings but no offers, that’s another warning that the price might be holding buyers back. Reassess your asking price because it’s really not too late.
Use comparable sales. An experienced real estate agent will use a comparative market analysis to determine the right price for your home. It’s more detailed than simply checking out the prices of homes in your neighborhood and fitting yours into the ballpark. The comparison takes into account everything from age of the house and location to lot size, identical floor plans, and features or amenities.
Price competitively but be careful not to get lumped into “price banding.” That is, if several comparable homes are selling for around $280,000 to $295,000, and a group of other homes are somewhere between $315,000 and $325,000, a price of $305,000 might help your home stand out.
Calculate actual value instead of sentimental value. This is where you have to be objective. Place your emotional attachment to your beloved home aside to really see what your house is worth to a potential buyer.
Get noticed online. Consider the way potential buyers search for homes. A lot of their first looks are online and if they are checking out homes at specific prices they can afford, it makes sense to try to fit your home into those searched ranges. Buyers searching for homes between $305,000 and $325,000 won’t see yours if it’s priced above that.
Ready to sell? Winter isn’t a bad time to put your home on the market. Check out our tips for selling your home before the holidays.