It’s time to sell the house. Your move has been scheduled
and planned. You have a great house…better than the other
houses in the neighborhood you’re sure. You’ve
kept the home up nicely in the time you’ve lived there.
You know it will sell quickly and you will get an above-average
price for it. So how much will you ask for it?
Well, you should
price it high because buyers will always offer you less. You
should definitely list your house with the agent
who gives you the suggestion of listing it for the highest
price. And, since your house is better than your neighbors,
your house is worth more, right?
Now wait a minute! Did you say you actually wanted to SELL
your house? Last time I checked, there were more buyers at
the gas station with the lower price than at the one across
the street with the higher price. Same goes for houses. The
thing to understand is what “market value” means.
Market value is the probable price for which something will
In addition to not selling
quickly, homes that are overpriced get a reputation. Potential
buyers and real estate agents who
know a house has been for sale for months start to wonder what’s “wrong” with
it. Then, the sellers lower the price a little. Oooooh. Buyers
see both the time on the market and price reductions as signs
that the sellers are desperate and will take any ol’ offer
just to get rid of the house.
If more than one house
is for sale in the neighborhood, which do you think sells first? Okay,
hint…NOT the overpriced
one. Also, buyers who may be interested in moving to your neighborhood
may never see your house. When the buyers’ agent searches
for houses on the computer, they often use price range as a
search parameter. If your overpriced house falls out of this
range, it won’t be included in the list of homes that
the agent will show the buyers.
But, alas, some overpriced
houses receive overpriced offers. In order for a buyer to get
a house must be appraised.
This appraisal value must match the agreed upon sales price.
Many overpriced listings don’t appraise for enough and
the deal falls through for everybody.
So how do you make sure
your house isn’t overpriced?
First, ask your real estate agent to provide a Comparative
Market Analysis (or CMA). To create this document, the agent
researches similar homes that have recently sold in your immediate
area. You can price your home appropriately by looking at recent
sales prices, the average price per square foot, by taking
into consideration improvements, number of rooms, square footage
above and below ground, and by evaluating condition, among
other things. Beware…an agent who quotes you the highest
list price may be trying to “buy” your listing,
and may not have your best interest at heart. Make sure you
have as many facts as possible before choosing an agent and
your sales price.
When you select a real estate
agent, take their advice regarding price and how it relates
to the condition
of your home. You
may think your home is the best in the neighborhood, and
it may be, but let the agent help you make that determination.
Emotion often gets mixed up in the pricing decision, and
agent will know best how your home compares to others.
do yourself a favor. Price properly and go sell your home for
what it is worth…market value!
Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace