If Realtors would tape this to their wall and use this information with all their listings there would be less heart ache on the market. This is so important for people to understand, we are still in a falling market, the rules that applied last year will not work now.
This advice is so right on that I had to reblog so hopefully more Realtors could see it.
Advice for Sellers: The One Question You Must Ask Your REALTOR®
If you are thinking about putting your home on the market (or maybe you already have your home on the market), there is one question you must ask your REALTOR® or any agents that you are interviewing for the job:
What do you think my home will sell for?
Notice I didn't say,"What should I list my house for?" but "How much will it sell for?" You will get (hopefully) an honest opinion of the most likely price for your house. It may not be what you want to hear, but you will be saving yourself a lot of grief and aggravation in the process if you approach it from a realistic viewpoint. A REALTOR® who knows your market will have a good idea of what you will get for your house, and that's where you should list your house.
Why? The greatest disservice an agent can do is to lead you with false hope in order to get the listing. When you price your home over market value, you will not sell it, you run the risk of having no one look at it, and the listing will expire unsold unless you price it correctly.
"Well," you say, "let's start high and leave room for negotiation." You won't get to negotiation because you won't have a contract, and you won't have a contract because people won't even look at your house. It's better to start with a realistic price to get buyers in the door.
"But," you say, "someone can always make an offer and we will consider where to go from there." WRONG! By overpricing your house, buyers are already thinking you are inflexible. Some may take the bait, but most will move on to something they can afford from the get-go. In addition, when your home is overpriced, it will stay on the MLS a long time; the longer the time, the more stigma it will amass. The first thing people will say after seeing that it has been languishing on the market for six months is "What's wrong with the house?"
"We can't afford to sell it for less than this amount," you say, "so we will have to hope that there is someone out there who will pay what we want for this house." This is so unlikely, but even if one person HAD to have your house and was willing to overpay for it, the house won't appraise and then you will have the appraisal nail in the coffin. The buyers (who HAD to have it) are now going to renegotiate the contract.
"Well," you say, "if it doesn't sell, we will just take it off the market and try again next year." If you aren't serious about selling your house this year at the right price, then wait until you are serious about selling your house. Many of our market areas have high inventories now, and the situation will improve if the non-serious sellers take their homes off the market.
Only you can decide if you are ready to sell, but if you are, price your house to sell. Find a REALTOR® who knows your area, will give you an honest answer about the market value of your home, and will do everything possible to help you get to the next step in your life. You will be on your way, sooner rather than later or never.
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Peggy Chirico, REALTOR®
Serving the Greater Hartford Area
Prudential CT Realty
If you are buying or selling a home in Hartford County or Tolland County, please call me, email me, or visit my website. I would be happy to help you with your home search or provide a market analysis for your home.
Find your dream home now!