Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pricing a critical step in today's market

When selling your house, establishing a price is probably one of the most important, yet difficult things to do.
One way or the other, $10 or $20 thousand is real money.

This is your house; you've put a lot of blood, sweat and tears in making this place a home. You've got more than just money invested in this place and you've worked hard on making it just right. So, when you're ready to sell, how do you put a price on all of that?
First, there are a few things that have nothing to do with the value of your house. The hard part of this is that they're usually things that can mean a lot to you, but in reality, they may not contribute to the value of your home.
Some, but not all, of what's irrelevant in the market value of your house, includes the following:

The assessed value-
The amount owed on the mortgage-
What the neighbor says-
The price of the house you want to buy-

So,what should you consider when putting s price on your house? The sales price of homes similar to yours is a good place to start. This gives you a pretty good indicator of the market value for yours. But, market value might not necessarily be the same number you select for your list price.

However, we are now in a buyer's market. The way you price your home will be a little bit different.
What usually happens to an overpriced house is that no one even comes to see it, and it just lingers on the market. Plus, no amount of advertising or market wizardry is going to get a buyer interested in a house that's unreasonably priced. Once the days on the market begin to pile up, the house becomes "stigmatized". Even after the seller begins to price reduce the home, it's often too late; now in the end, sellers usually take less for the house than they may have gotten if it were properly priced out of the gate.

Another important consideration in pricing your house is what's called "price point". If the buyer wants to spend something around $450,000, their agent will probably search the homes in the $400,000 to $500,000 range. But, if you put your house on the market at a number like $509,000, you don't even show up on the radar screen for that $450,000 buyer, and they might end up spending close to $500,000 for a home, missing your home.

How you price your house can have a greater impact than just about anything else you do to sell it, and if you get it wrong out of the box, it can be difficult to recover.
Work with your agent, and do your best to be as objective as possible. We know that's hard, since it's your home and your money. Everyone thinks "their" house is the best one on the block, and, to you, it may be. But, you're pricing the house for the market, not for you.

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