Pricing a home for sale is as much art as science, but there are a few truisms that never change.
- Fair market value attracts buyers, overpricing never does.
- The first two weeks of marketing are crucial.
- The market never lies, but it can change its mind.
Fair market value is what a willing buyer and a willing seller agree by contract is a fair price for the home. Values can be impacted by a wide range of reasons, but the two biggest are location and condition. Generally, fair market value can be estimated by considering the comparables – other similar homes that have sold or are currently for sale in the same area.
Sellers often view their homes as special, which tempts them to put a higher price on it, believing they can always come down later, but that’s a serious mistake.
Overpricing prevents the very buyers who are eligible to buy the home from ever seeing it. Most buyers shop by price range and look for the best value in that range.
Your best chance of selling your home is in the first two weeks of marketing. Your home is fresh and exciting to buyers and to their agents.
With a sign in the yard, full description and photos in the local Multiple Listing Service, distribution across the Internet, open houses, broker’s caravan, ads, and email blasts to your listing agent’s buyers, your home will get the greatest flurry of attention and interest in the first two weeks.
If you don’t get many showings or offers, you’ve probably overpriced your home, and it’s not comparing well to the competition. Since you can’t change the location, you’ll have to either improve the home’s condition or lower the price.
Consult with your agent and ask for feedback. Perhaps you can do a little more to spruce up your home’s curb appeal, or perhaps stage the interior to better advantage.
The market can always change its mind and give your home another chance, but by then you’ve lost precious time and perhaps allowed a stigma to cloud your home’s value.
Intelligent pricing isn’t about getting the most for your home – it’s about getting your home sold quickly at fair market value.