It seems like things are getting tougher and tougher in the world of real estate. More and more "for sales" are popping up, interest rates have creeped up a bit, the buyer tax credit is nearing its end, and short sales and foreclosures continue to spatter the inventory. And yet, it is still difficult for some to accept that no one is immune from the rippling effects of these conditions.
Those of us who are in the business of residential real estate sales hear it all the time. "I need to net this amount of money, so I need to price my house here." If only it worked that way. But it doesn't. It simply doesn't.
In this complicated market, prices continue to drop. In our area, we rarely see a home sell for its assessed value anymore, much less fair market value. So if a seller is selling within a couple of years of buying and has made minimal improvements, if any, chances are they will not be making a profit. No matter what is wanted or "needed" to net from the sale, the buyer will determine what the home's value is.
Remember that today's buyers are pretty savvy -- they know what you paid. They know what the assessed and fair market values are. They know what comparable homes in the neighborhood have sold for. And they know that home values have fallen over the past few years and unfortunately continue to do so.
If your goal really is to sell your house, you must price it appropriately. A buyer doesn't care how much you need or want to walk away with at the closing table. So price it to sell, not to sit.