SELLING YOUR HOME?
Price right – sell fast!
You’ve made the decision to sell your home. There are lots of reasons to sell; you may have decided to move to a better neighborhood or to buy a larger home with more amenities. You may be downsizing your empty nest or have to sell because of personal circumstances. Regardless of your reason for selling, setting the right price is crucial in ensuring that you get the return on your original investment in your home
Who sets the price?
The price at which you list your home is determined by several factors including market trends, the condition of your home and it’s assessed value and a comparison with similar properties in your area. Your particular circumstances may also determine how you set your price.
Ask your agent! A real estate professional has the experience, skills and tools to assist
you in setting the price for your home. Take some time to choose the right agent; look for
a combination of expertise and commitment along with a personality that is compatible
Check with friends, acquaintances and your local real estate board for agents. Before
settling on an agent find out how many listings they have sold in the last year. Your best
ally is an agent with a good track record, whose properties sell quickly and who can
move even “hard to sell” properties. A good agent is not content to deal in statistics and
reports but wants to works with you to showcase the uniqueness of your home and your
A good real estate agent is not satisfied with simply knowing how much similar
properties have sold for; they will find out why they sold for that price and then work
with you to get the best value for your home.
Price is key to a timely sale.
Statistics show that the best opportunity for selling a home for the asking price occurs
during the first four weeks that the home is on the market. If your home is priced right it
should attract a number of buyers willing to pay your asking price.
The “right price” is typically within 5% of “market value” and usually results in a sale at
a fair price within a reasonable amount of time. A good rule of thumb is to price about
3% above market value. Setting the right price requires up-to-the-minute research into
current real estate market conditions and financing trends. Other important factors
include comparing your home with similar neighborhood homes on the market now or
recently sold and identifying the unique features that make your home stand out from the
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There are dangers in overpricing or under pricing your home. If you set the price too high
you will attract fewer potential buyers and miss out on serious offers. If your house
remains on the market too long you take the risk that buyers who are familiar with current
listings will assume that there is something wrong with the property. This makes it more
difficult to sell.
If you set the price too low you may attract many buyers and get lots of offers but you’ll
also lose thousands of dollars when you sell.
What are the risks of “Over Pricing”?
Pricing your home more than 5% over market value may have the following
• Buyers may pass up your home in favor of better values elsewhere – they won’t
even come for a look.
• People who can’t meet your price will not consider even making an offer.
• You may waste precious time when a buyer, making an offer at your over-market
price, fails to get financing. Lenders tend to reject loans if the offer is more that
the appraised value. While you are waiting for yet another offer to fail due to
financing, potential buyers are looking at other properties, not yours.
• If your home is listed too long the marketplace assumes that there is something
wrong with it.
• You may end up having to drop your price to BELOW that of comparable
properties in order to sell.
When does it make sense to “Under Price”.
Although you may lose money if you price your home below market value it may be
necessary if you are in a situation where you have to sell in a hurry, or are unwilling or
unable to make improvements which would warrant a higher price. The lower price
attracts more prospects and more offers and may result in a faster than average sale.
Preparation is key.
When you engage a real estate professional to sell your home they should immediately do
a market analysis in order to determine the appropriate asking price. At this point you
would be wise to have a professional inspection of your home to identify any repairs and
upgrades that may be required or that would increase the value of your home. Besides
providing useful information for you and the realtor an inspection will eliminate
unpleasant surprises when a buyer orders a home inspection of their own as a condition
of the sale.
The purpose of a market analysis is to assess your home itself and the market in which
you are selling. When suggesting a selling price the professionals will consider:
• the size, condition and location of your home
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• the lot size, number of rooms and their function, and special features like garages,
decks, sunrooms, hot-tubs, etc.
• the condition of the exterior and the interior, the foundation and grounds,
• the list price or sale price of other comparable properties. You and/or your realtor
should make a point of actually visiting comparable homes for sale to note their
condition and particular features in order to better understand the closing price.
• the assessed value of your home, its previous sale prices, costs of maintenance,
utilities and taxes
• improvements you have made
• the state of the market – in a seller’s market you can price on the high side; in a
buyer’s market you may have to set your price lower
After completing a market analysis your realtor will be able to advise you on minor or
major repairs and necessary upgrades that you should undertake in order to put your best
“foot” forward. Check out our “Home Makeovers” Special Report. Once you have seen
the market analysis you can decide whether to spend the time and money to upgrade or
set your price accordingly.
Whether or not you undertake major work you will increase the possibilities of selling at
your asking price if you make sure your home is orderly, both outside and inside,
spotless, uncluttered and welcoming to anyone who comes to look at it.
“Show me the money!!!!” – What’s your bottom line?
It’s important that you know exactly what you will walk away with if you sell your home
for your asking price. Before finalizing your selling price ask your realtor to calculate
what you can expect to realize from the sale after all the costs are deducted. By taking the
price of the average comparable home and subtracting what is owed on your mortgage
plus the closing costs and the realtor’s fee, as well as any planned repairs, home
warranties and other costs you will arrive at the amount that you can expect to clear from
If this amount doesn’t make you smile you should go back to square one with your realtor
and decide what you need to do to increase your selling price.