A while ago, I wanted to sell my 1984 Corvette, with 36,000 miles, in excellent condition, for somewhere around $12,900. After all, I know what I paid for it and I wanted to break even.
After too many months, I sold the car for less than $10,000.
Many homeowners make the same mistake that I did. They set their list price based upon what they paid for their home, or what they want to get for their home, so they can move into another home.
But if a home is priced too high, some potential buyers won’t even look at it, others might walk away without making an offer, and some might never know the home is for sale.
When pricing a home, the simple truth is that a home is only worth what the market will bear. Too often, real estate agents go with the seller’s estimates (because they want to get the listing with the hopes of lowering the price).
Less often, agents refuse the listing, rather than overprice the home and have it sit around without any showings or offers.
All I can say is, sellers beware.
Don’t choose a real estate agent who suggests the highest price for your property. Instead, choose the Realtor who provides the best comparative market analysis (CMA) and explanation of how your home should be priced so that it sells. Look for a recommended price range that the agent will firmly stand behind.
The CMA should include sales prices for similar homes that sold in the past six months or so. It should also include prices for homes currently on the market that will be your competition, as well as homes that expired or were taken off the market because they did not sell.
Other data used to support the price range include: house features, lot size and location, days on market at various price points, and differences between list prices and sales prices on homes that have sold.
In addition to the CMA, you should rely on your real estate agent’s experience and expertise as relates to your local market area. That proven professional will be able to give you a good idea of who will want to buy your home and how you can best price your home against the competition.
Larry Stoller is a real estate consultant and advertising executive who loves living in Bluffton, helping real estate agents