How Much Should Your House Sell For?
How much should you sell your house for? Experienced Realtors all agree - the
most common mistake made by first time home sellers is setting their asking price
too high. An asking price that's too high can not only damage your chances of
making a fast sale, it can also have a permanent impact on the eventual selling
price. Houses that linger on the market are often assumed to have hidden problems,
and many buyers won't even look at a house that's been listed for more than a few
months. To avoid putting a stigma on your house, take the following steps to price
it right in the first place.
Enlist A Good Realtor To Handle The Sale - And Take Her Advice
Selling houses is your Realtor's business. He or she will have easy access to the
selling prices of houses in your area that are comparable to yours. In addition,
her experience will have given her a 'feel' for the right price that can't be
duplicated by a few hours or days of research. If the Realtor's suggestion is
completely out of line with the price you think is reasonable, talk to a few more
Realtors. If they tell you the same thing, believe them.
There are several things to keep in mind regarding property pricing.
The most important factor in the price that you can expect for your house is the average price being paid
for other houses in your area. If your house was appraised for $350,000, but the most
that any house in your neighborhood has sold for is $275,000, then the chances of your
selling at the appraised price will be very slim. In general, trying to sell the 'nicest
house in the neighborhood' is going to mean settling for less than you think it should
What's a reasonable margin? Even a few percentage points can make a difference. Typically,
houses priced 10% above the average price paid for a home in their neighborhood have a
good chance of selling quickly, close to the asking price. At 15% above the average
selling price, sales drop off sharply, and most sellers end up re-pricing or removing
their houses from the market.
You can get a reasonably good estimate of the worth of your house from its tax assessment
value. Most buyers will accept that as an 'official' estimate. If you've made significant
changes to your property since your last assessment, you might consider paying for the
services of a professional appraiser to give you a clear estimate of the value of your house.
Remember, though, that even if that estimate is higher than the surrounding homes, you'll
still have a hard time selling it at that price.
Think Of Your Sales Price As A 'Range'
Rather than settling on a single target price, set a range for yourself. Your floor price
is the absolute least that you'll accept. Your asking price is a few thousand dollars more
than you expect to get. That will give you room to negotiate with a buyer within a comfortable range.