Pricing your home to sell is an intimidating process—doing it right can make or break your home sale. You want to obtain the best possible price on your home, but you don’t want it to sit on the market for long. While your real estate agent can guide you in the right direction, you, as the property seller, will have the last word on the listing price.
So when you are considering putting your home on the market, here are a few tips to keep in mind when figuring out how much to ask for your house.
1. Tidying Up Adds Value
If you go above and beyond to make your home looks neat and clean, your selling price will reflect it. To get a fair price for your home, make sure the floor coverings are spotless, the landscaping is well-maintained, and the entire space is de-cluttered.
A few other ideas to make your home look more inviting include adding space and light, boosting curb appeal, converting an extra room into a home office or study, color-coordinating appliances in the kitchen, and create a spa-like feel to the bathrooms. A quick online search can help you with more suggestions.
Stick to your comparables. If every house on the market in your neighborhood has granite countertops, this amenity will already be considered in the fair price you list. In case your property doesn’t measure up, you will have to subtract the differences from the fair market value price. However, if your home features amenities like heated floors or a basement sauna, you will have room to grow your asking price.
Remember to stay rational and realistic to ensure the price you ask for your home is in the sweet spot of efficiency—alongside padding your wallet; you can also close the deal without a lengthy stay on the market or price reductions.
2. Price Ahead of the Curve
Consider this scenario—prices are decreasing in your local market. You decide on a listing price for your house based on today’s fair value. But a little while down the line (sometimes only days!), your home is found to be overpriced. This means you are behind the curve. Even if you cut the price based on the market value at that point, you will still be behind the curve again, and prices keep fluctuating.
Additionally, cutting the asking price is an indicator of desperation that makes buyers wonder what’s wrong with the house.
The goal is to find a price that’s aligned with the fluctuating market and with competing houses for sale.
3. Understand the Market
The real estate market fluctuates drastically, usually determined by how many sellers there are vs. how many buyers.
When there are a lot of sellers and not very many buyers, that’s called a buyer’s market. It means there’s lots of inventory for people to choose from and not a lot of competition. This drives home values down.
On the contrary, when there are a lot of buyers and not as many homes for sale, competition can be fierce. Houses tend to sell much more quickly and for higher prices. This is called a seller’s market.
To get the highest return on your investment from your house, consider listing in a seller’s market.
4. Think Like a Buyer
Have you heard the term ‘sentimental value?’ As the word ‘value’ suggests, the memories your households add to its price, but only if you are thinking like a seller. If you think like a buyer, these memories don’t mean anything to you.
When you are pricing your home, it is essential that you think like a buyer and not a homeowner with attachments. Be prepared to be rational. For instance, when going through a menu of comparables, imagine the house you would buy if you were looking at them as an outsider.
You might be tempted to rely on the marketing strategy of the 99 rule. The convenience store knows that a $2.99 gallon of milk might as well be priced at $3. But, consumers continue to see $2.99 to be less expensive than milk, even though there’s only a penny difference. You may consider the round numbers that are near your home’s value and pricing just below these estimates. But there’s a catch.
If a buyer is searching for properties online at a range of $200,000-$300,000 and your price is $199,999, you won’t even show up in that search. You’ll have missed a perfect opportunity to be at the attractively low end of someone’s budget.
5. Use Online Calculators, But Don’t Rely on Them
Quick, easy, and free, online calculators are great to decide whether or not it’s a good time to sell your house. A little bit of tapping around can help you find a starting price range for your home based on the market statistics. However, online estimates vary widely, so make sure you get at least five prices and avoid any that seem too high or lower than the rest.
These calculators are only a start. They collect general data like the square footage, baths, beds, and neighborhood comparables.
Online home valuation calculators lack the personal factor; they don’t do a walk-through, so they won’t know if your house is situated right next to the highway or if your home is better than similar houses in the neighborhood. So, consider these values as just estimates. Once you have a general idea about price, consult with a real estate agent as the next step.
Need Help? Call on to the Professionals
If you find this entire process a challenge, call on a real estate agent who can help you get a good idea about pricing your home. Most agents offer a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for free.
Instead of providing an overblown value to entice potential buyers, the right real estate agent will impartially give you the best pricing estimate for your home. They will also offer you tips on what areas you might want to focus on to improve the value of your home.
Trust your real estate agent to guide you through the pricing process.
Have Questions? Ask Jana!
Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Jana Jeanette a call at 803-524-2473 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale.