With inventory low and demand high, it’s easy for sellers to feel they can ask any price they want and still attract a – if not multiple – buyer(s).
But the truth is, what you ask for your home STILL needs to be appropriate. We haven’t reached the frenzy of the early 2000’s, thank goodness, and your home is still a commodity that will trade where the market is trading.
As a real estate broker, I never want my clients to “leave money on the table” but I also don’t want them to over-price and repel buyers. So how to find that “sweet spot”?
Here are a few tips for setting the optimum sale price.
START WITH STATS – Take a look at the cold, hard truth of YOUR market by studying the numbers. We all know that real estate is local, so don’t be seduced (or discouraged) by headlines that make sweeping generalizations. Ask your agent to share with you what’s happening in your backyard, going no further back that 12 months – though looking at 4-6 months back would be even better. Look at what’s closed in the recent past – not just what’s currently on the market at a price that’s appealing to you as a SELLER. If the home is still on the market after months with no price adjustment, that home is priced incorrectly, and you can learn from it.
UNDERSTAND YOUR COMPETITION – We all think that our home is “better” than our neighbor’s and should be worth more. Take a look at what’s actually IN your neighbor’s home by touring comparable homes currently for sale, as if you were the buyer. What would stand out? What would detract? How do those home’s amenities compare with yours? Things like detached vs. attached garages, new roof, mechanicals and windows, and updated vs. outdated kitchens and baths make a huge difference in the market value of a home.
MAKE YOUR HOME STAND OUT – Declutter, declutter, declutter. Need I say it again? This is the first step to getting your home market ready. Your prospective buyers need to see the space, the walls, the countertops – not your stuff. That’s not what they’re buying. You’ll have to get rid of the excess when you move anyhow, so do it before you go on the market. Then get to work cleaning and repairing. Every buyer will want to do some work to their newly purchased home, but a home that looks immaculately cared for will command a higher price that one that looks as though its new owners will have to spend much time, energy and money getting it move-in ready.
DETACH EMOTIONALLY – Again, we all think our home is “better” than our competition and are quick to point out the custom paint in the powder room or the vintage stained glass windows you found at the flea market and installed on the landing. Remember that you won’t get back, dollar for dollar, everything you have put into the home – the return on that investment is the time you spend enjoying it. Understand that the market value of your home is dictated by what’s currently going on in the housing market and what a buyer will pay for it – the emotional value you place on the home is considerably higher but irrelevant when for sale.
Keep these key factors in mind when working with your agent to get to the right marketing price for your home, and a successful sale will follow.