Barbara's Blog - Your House Usually Isn't Worth As Much As You Think

Real Estate Agent

Here’s what you are thinking, you’re going to make a fortune when you sell your house right? Why? Because you have the best looking house on your block, you made some great modern upgrades and you have a great location.

And of course it is a seller’s market.  “Seller’s Market” those words gets people who are putting their homes on the market extremely excited. Sellers tend to think this means they can get top dollar for their homes. This isn’t always true, pinpointing the right selling price for you will help you get the best price for your home in the current market.

1. Choose the right agent

"Local agents have an inside track on what local buyers care about and what they will and will not spend. Talk to your agent about it, but don't forget to actually listen to and consider what your agent has to say," said Forbes. "If you don't trust what an agent is telling you about where you should list your home, talk to several agents -- if the consensus is a recommended list price range lower than what you had in mind, that's a sign you should reconsider."

The agent that wants to list your house at the highest price isn’t necessarily the best agent for you.

2. Get comps

Also known as comparables, can tell you what similar houses in your area are selling for. You can also find out selling trends and patterns in your area. It should not be used to see what the highest priced house sold for and price your house close to or over that amount.

According to Forbes (and common sense) buyers do not want to overpay for a house. Buyers also look at the pricing of similar houses and can tell if a house is overpriced. Let’s not forget about appraisers, they will also use comps in determining the value of a home. If a potential buyer’s appraiser finds that your house is overpriced it can terminate the sale or cause a long drawn out process.

Here’s the bottom line, listen to your agent who can get a lot of information on pricing, the current market and neighborhood information.

3. Listen to your agent

"Here's a real estate fact that every home seller should know: Buyers determine the right price for a property, not sellers," said the Washington Post. "The market price for a home is determined by what an able and willing buyer ultimately pays for it. There are certainly things that homeowners can do to influence buyers' perceptions of their home's value and hence increase the price buyers are willing to pay for it. But, ultimately, the buyers will set the price."


4. Do additional research

Whether it is through your agent or through the World Wide Web, real estate information is pretty easy to find these days. It’s important to understand the information you do gather and be able to make informed decisions on how to price your home.


5. Consider the consequences

"Making a mistake on price can cost sellers thousands of dollars…not by underpricing the value of the home, but by overpricing it," said NH Homes.

The danger of pricing your home too high means that you may be pricing your home outside or the majority of buyer’s price range meaning it can sit on the market for a very long time. The longer a house is on the market it loses the interest of buyers as being a new listing.

Another danger is in lowering the price after its initial listing. This can give buyers the impression that there is something wrong with the house and could mean low ball offers.

Pricing a home just right or even pricing it a bit lower than the market value can create interest in the house. This is the best way to get your home sold. Don’t worry that you may be leaving money on the table that pales in comparison to what you could lose if the house sits on the market for an extended period of time.

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