"... Your home is your castle--even when it's for sale..."
Let's say your terms are competitive: your timing's clearly set. Now, what about your asking price? Without question, price is your most important sales tool. Here's why:
The period of best opportunity for selling a home at a reasonable price is the first four weeks after it is put on the market. Buyers who have seen most available listings are waiting for just the right house to come on the market. If your house is priced right from the beginning, you are in the best position to attract the maximum number of buyers able to pay the price your home is worth - and to sell your home within your timetable.
- If your house is under priced, you may be swamped with lookers and perhaps get many offers. But you could lose thousands on one of your family's largest investments.
- If your house is overpriced, lookers are apt to be few and far between, with little chance of any offers to pay your unrealistic price. You may lower your price later, but by that time you will have missed many of the most interested buyers.
Arriving at an asking price involves up-to-the-minute research and experienced judgment. Besides enlisting my help in checking out the current real estate market conditions and financing trends, the basic steps include:
- Measuring your home against similar neighborhood homes that have recently been sold or are currently on the market.
- Determine what features make your house stand out among others currently on the market. After all, buyers are comparison shoppers. Weighing the spending of a reasonable amount of money on cosmetic fix-ups that might enhance the marketability of your house and earn the highest possible sale price.
The right price is usually within 5% of market value (a constantly changing factor) and usually results in a fair-dollar sale within a reasonable amount of time. As we say, "price sells."
A price more than 5% over market value may have these results:
- Buyers may resist inspecting your home because they can find better values elsewhere. (Overpriced houses tend to sell the competition first.)
- Potential buyers who can't afford the price don't bother to look--or to make offers.
- A buyer willing to pay an over market price may have difficulty getting financing. Lenders may not approve a loan if the appraisal is lower than the contract price. (The delay from a failed sale can mean missing out on the critical first 30-day marketing period.)
- Your unsold home will begin to get "stale," as the marketplace assumes there is "something wrong" with the house.
- To make up for lost time you might be inclined to lower the price below competing houses in order to move it.
Setting a price below market value usually isn't preferable because you may be losing money. If time is more important than money and you need a faster-than-average sale, you may consider setting a bargain price to attract the greatest number of prospects. Market value delivers the optimum number of prospects at the best price for a quick sale.
When you're ready to sell your home, take advantage of my real estate expertise to help you price your home to sell.
Only a professional market analysis can give you the accurate, reliable foundation you need to price your home right. When you ask me to make a fair-market analysis of your home, here is what I do:
- Evaluate your home's location and lot size; your home's age, size and condition; the number of bedrooms, baths, total rooms; the kinds of extra feature you have (such as improvements, built-ins, garage, tool shed, spa).
- Examine the condition and appearance of your homes exterior and interior. I can help you determine what repairs or refurbishing may be needed to sell your home at its best price.
- Review the assessed value of your home, its previous sale prices, your maintenance and utility costs and your local taxes.
- Compare your home with similar area properties currently for sale or recently sold.
- Note current real estate market conditions with a practiced eye; also current interests rates and lenders' criteria.