Pricing is fairly easy in a strong buyer’s market. Same with a strong seller’s market. In the market we’ve had for the past couple of years, it almost didn’t matter what price you put on a house — you were likely to get more than whatever you were asking.
In a fluctuating market like the one we’re in now, it is more critical than ever not to over-price your house.
So, what factors do you use when determing price?
- Consider comparables. What have other homes in your neighborhood sold for recently? How do they compare to yours in terms of size, upkeep, and amenities?
- Consider competition. How many other houses are for sale in your area? Are you competing against new homes?
- Consider your contingencies. Do you have special concerns that would affect the price you’ll receive? For example, do you need to be able to move in four months?
- Get an appraisal. For a few hundred dollars, a qualified appraiser can give you an estimate of your home’s value. Be sure to ask for a market-value appraisal. To locate appraisers in your area, contact The Appraisal Institute or ask your REALTOR® for some recommendations.
- Ask a lender. Since most buyers will need a mortgage, it’s important that a home’s sale price be in line with a lender’s estimate of its value.
- Be accurate. Studies show that homes priced more than 3 percent over the correct price take longer to sell.
- Know what you’ll take. It’s critical to know what price you’ll accept before beginning a negotiation with a buyer.
© 2006 Susan Pruden.