Selling your home? Make sure
the price is right
You've decided it's time
to move on. Your house is too small, or the kids have grown and you're going to
Whatever your reason for selling, the key to selling
your home within a reasonable amount of time could very well be the price tag
you hang on it -- whether you're in a buyer's market or a seller's market, and
whether you use an agent or sell it yourself.
correct asking price is the most important step in the process of selling your
home," says William F. Supple Jr., author of "How
to Sell Your Own Home" and publisher of "Picket Fences," a
monthly magazine for homeowners.
Homes that are overpriced
don't sell, says Supple. And, they scare away potential buyers.
buyers look at houses in ranges," explains Supple. Set a price that's too
high and they'll think that your house is too steep for their wallet and they
won't even bother to take a look at it.
"Buyers are immersed
in the market. They've seen lots of properties and probably know the reasonable
price ranges for properties they are interested in."
if your selling strategy is to set an unrealistically high price in hopes that
someone will bite, rethink you strategy. "Homes that are overpriced will
generate no offers, no negotiations, no sale," says Supple.
it will do, however, is drive potential buyers into the arms of the competition
-- other, similar houses that are on the market at more realistic prices, which
means that your property could sit unsold for a long period. Homes that
are on the market too long become "shopworn," leading agents and buyers
to conclude that something must be wrong with the property.
your price too low, on the other hand, and you'll leave a pile of money on the
table. But price it right and it should sell quickly regardless of market conditions.
Who has not seen a TV ad featuring a couple boasting about how they sold their
home in three days with the help of some for-sale-by-owner service? That may sound
nice, but those are classic cases of homes that were underpriced.
how can you figure out the right asking price? Fortunately there are resources
available to you that will help you determine the fair market value -- the FMV
-- for your home, which is what a buyer is willing to pay you and you, the seller,
are willing to accept.
One of them is a comparative market
analysis. It's a written analysis that compares your house to others like it in
your area that sold recently or are on the market in your neighborhood.
comparative market analysis will give you give you factual information about the
houses: Number of bedrooms and baths, square footage, such amenities as fireplaces
and swimming pools, as well as the listing prices and the sold prices. Getting
a comparative market analysis for your home is very easy. All you have to do is
call a real estate agent, even if you are planning to sell your home on your own.
The agent will happily come to your home and generate a comparative market analysis
and suggested listing price for you in the hope of getting the listing eventually.