This is a question that I will sometimes ask sellers in our market. Often when I go out on a listing appointment the sellers have met with other agents.
The sellers almost always have an idea of some of the market conditions and place a value on their property that they keep as a secret as long as they can. Sellers seem to want to wait and see which of the agents that they are interviewing will outbid their perceived value.
This actually worked to sellers advantage a couple of years ago, but these days it's a recipe for disaster. I always show up to the listing appointment with a price that is printed in the comparative market analysis. I know that many agents don't do this because they tend to roll over when they find out what that secret price that the seller has is. I realize that my preprinted price is a estimate without an interior view initially, but my price is not in stone either (many times I will know the home from a prior listing or sale). I have found recently that even a price range may not be the best thing for the sellers. Sellers almost always want to go to the top of a suggested range. The higher you start on the price, the more the sellers will feel like they are giving up when they really get to the price that they should have started at in the beginning.
The price needs to be set based upon the comparable properties, neighborhood location, street appeal etc. just to get it shown these days in our market. The first sale that you have to make is to the Big Bear Real Estate agents. If your home is overpriced in the Big Bear Real Estate Market, you will blend in with the other 1000 or so that are also overpriced. Most of the time homes in our market that have interior upgrades will not necessarily sell for more than the other homes without these upgrades, they will just sell sooner. If the market is moving down as it is currently that can mean thousands to a seller. Obviously there are exceptions, but in the current Big Bear Real Estate market it is a mistake to try to buy or sell the highest price home in the neighborhood.
So, once I get this number out of the seller... I sometimes have to ask, when do you want me to start telling you the truth? If I wait to tell you the truth 90 days from now, how much does that cost? What sign do you want to see in front of your house 90 days from now, JUST REDUCED or SOLD!