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Make Sure The Price Is Right When Selling Your Home

Corey Burr is Senior VP of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

Selling your home is often an emotional experience, especially if you’ve lived in it for an extended period of time. For a variety of reasons, sellers are often deeply attached to the place they’ve called home for years.

That is wonderful, but it’s critically important that you don’t let your emotions completely take over your thought process when pricing the home for sale. Here are some steps that will greatly improve your chances of making a quick sale.

Make sure the price is right.

In a highly competitive market with very low housing inventory, pricing your home fairly can pay big dividends. It can generate high buyer interest and potentially attract multiple offers. The ensuing bidding war can often drive the final offer well above the listing price. So how do you determine the appropriate price? You can start by stepping back in order to objectively and thoroughly assess the current state of the market.

This involves research and some number-crunching. To get an accurate comp, you must focus on properties with similar characteristics to your home. If your house is showing a little wear and tear, comparing it with a newly built home around the corner serves little or no purpose.

Don’t fall into the trap of overpricing your home.

We are definitely in a seller’s market. A recent Redfin Housing Report found that 36% of homes for sale sold above the list price, and the number of homes on the market was down nearly 50% year over year. In this environment, it may be tempting to price high, but this can work against you if your home doesn’t sell quickly. If a property sits on the market for more than a month, there’s a good chance that it won’t sell at its current price. Don’t wait too long to reduce the price or you may be in for an expensive and painful ordeal.

Don’t sell your house short.

Pricing a home too low can also cost you in the end. Every seller’s life situation is different. Someone who has already bought another house and is reluctant to carry two mortgages will undoubtedly want to close the deal as quickly as possible by setting a low price. This approach can be risky. Some prospective buyers will assume that this falls into the “too good to be true” category, especially in a hot market. It can raise doubts in their minds. They might think to themselves, “There must be something wrong with the house.” For sellers, discipline and patience will usually pay off. Impatience and desperation on such a large transaction rarely do.

Rely on an expert.

Reputable and experienced agents with intimate knowledge of the area are invaluable when you are trying to determine the right price for your home. They can help you objectively evaluate the market and prevent you from overpricing or underpricing your house. You want someone who is going to offer honest opinions and steer you in the right direction. It’s important to take the time to find an agent who you feel you can trust completely. Do your due diligence and interview several agents before making a decision. Ask friends and family members for their recommendations.

If you prepare and then follow a well-thought-out strategy before putting your home on the market, you will greatly increase the likelihood of achieving a successful outcome. Your positive memories of the house won’t be marred by a long and costly sales process.


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