Pricing your home can be
By Louise Bolger
SUN STAFF WRITER
I dont know about you, but I was never
any good at guessing the correct price when watching "The
Price Is Right." Im not even sure what a quart
of milk costs, so asking me to put a value on a pair of imported
Chinese vases would put me right over the edge.
Pricing your home for sale can be as challenging as figuring
out what the Chinese vases are worth. Property values are
changing practically on a daily basis, and if youre
not in the business, its going to be pretty hard to
know where to price your home without some help.
There has been a lot of advice written, some of it in this
column, about the things to do in getting your house ready
for sale. It certainly is important to freshen things up,
get rid of the clutter and send the animals to day care, but
the most important step in the process of selling your home
is to set the correct asking price.
Even in todays untamed real estate market, overpriced
properties dont sell. Homebuyers look at houses within
ranges. If the property is priced beyond the range appropriate
for it, you will lose buyers who just wont step up into
that range, feeling they cant afford it.
Resist the temptation to set an unrealistically high price
in hopes that someone will bite. Rethink your strategy
homes that are overpriced will not generate offers.
Buyers today are very knowledgeable and savvy when it comes
to understanding value. They have to be, since were
in a sellers market, and the only way for a buyer to
navigate through such a tough market is to completely understand
it. Buyers quickly become immersed in the market and will
know every property that has sold in the last six months and
every property that is on the market.
Overpricing will drive potential buyers straight into the
arms of your competition. Likewise, if you set your price
too low, you may be leaving a lot of money on the table, not
to mention the wrath of your neighbors. The people you see
in television commercials who boast of selling their homes
in three days are probably classic cases of homes that were
Do some Internet research on county web sites and check what
homes in your area have sold for recently. Also check public
sites listing properties for sale. This will give you a broad
range of comparable homes, but the only definitive way to
know is to have a real estate professional do a comparative
market analysis or hire an appraiser.
Local realtors have been inside most of the properties sold,
giving them crucial knowledge of the interior of comparable
homes. Appraisers will take a more scientific approach, comparing
age, square footage, number of rooms, etc. This cumulative
knowledge should help you determine the right asking price.
So when you get the call to "come on down" and sell
your home, make sure you have all the facts and figures. Pricing
too high or too low will not win the game, but pricing just
right might get you on the plane to Hawaii.