It’s true, nearly every home I have ever listed, sold, purchased, or previewed has had some unique feature that the seller is proud of and is convinced that it adds additional value, above what current market conditions will allow. Recently, a homeowner was convinced that her butterfly garden added $20,000 in value to her home, regardless that market data contradicted her.
Sure, no one wants to leave money on the table when it comes to selling their home, and no one wants to price themselves out of the market either, so how do you know what’s a fair price to ask for your home when it’s time to sell?
Trust your real estate agent
The first step is to find an agent that you trust. Your real estate agent should have local market expertise and experience. Your REALTOR’S® job is to help you find the happy medium between getting the highest price with the biggest payoff and being competitive in the market place without you regretting putting your home on the market.
Follow these four simple steps and at the end of the day you should feel confident and comfortable with the decisions you’ve made.
Data tells the story
The internet is both a blessing and a curse to the sales process. Understandably, consumers are self-educating themselves on the process and values. As a result, many times there will be conflicts in what the consumer has figured out and believes they know and what their agent is telling them.
The key is to remember that all real estate is local and their REALTOR® should be too. I preach this over and over again and I can’t emphasize how important it is to work with someone who not only has local connections and is respected in their community but someone who knows what is going on locally.
Local conditions and nuances have a huge impact on pricing that just cannot be interpreted correctly by automated valuations found everywhere online these days. A local real estate expert will not only arrive at a suggested list price but will be able to share the data and reasoning behind their thought process. As a local area expert, your seasoned real estate agent should be able to address any questions you’ll raise and walk you through the math and the process of arriving at the suggest list price.
Confidence in your agent is as critical to a successful sale as your REALTORS’® confidence in you, your home and a fair market price.
Preview the comps
If there is any doubt after analyzing the data on paper, then take the time to have your agent preview the homes with you that yours will be competing with for attention in the MLS, across the internet and for other agents bringing their clients to preview.
While looking at the on-market competition for the price point the seller believes their home is worth, take the time to take into consideration the special features and nuances that push each home to the higher price point.
Then walk through your home with your agent and compare your features and nuances to those priced at the higher price point. Discuss the upgrades and renovations found in the higher priced homes comparing them to your own. What about the nuances like which school the kids will go to, how close are parks, shopping, and freeway access – all issues that make each home unique.
Do you want a bidding war?
Every home seller dreams of multiple offers on their home, increasing the final sale price up well over the asking fair market value. The question is what are you willing to do to accomplish this lofty goal?
There are a couple of things you can do, besides pricing the home below fair market value. The first is to have your home professionally staged. Remember, you are moving and you’re going to be packing everything you own, so start early. A professional stager will use what they can of your furnishing and accessories and will also have their own to bring in to showcase your home in the most desirable fashion.
The key is to de-clutter and increase both curb appeal and walk-through appeal. The truth is that when a home is staged properly, anyone who wants to buy real estate will see it in its best showcase and will perceive it being worth more than a home that has not been given a visual boost.
The other step to achieving the most offers on your home and the highest possible price is to really focus on key points that may otherwise go unnoticed. Are there energy saving features? Showcase them with before and after utility bills. Do the closets have organizers? Then showcase them with sparsely stocked shelves – never cram your closets or other storage areas when selling your home