Now we'll look at a few more mistakes sellers make pricing their home and how you can avoid disappointment:
How Much 'They' Got for an Identical Home Doesn't Matter
Did the homebuilder who built your home build several hundred just like it? Don't make the mistake of pricing yours just as Mr. and Mrs. Jones did -- particularly if the Joneses live in another area of the city or state. Local pressures on the market will adjust the price of your home above or below the price of theirs. It's better to price yours against local homes with similar features and amenities than price exactly as an identical home in another market.
Price Your (New) Agent Sets Doesn't Matter
Good Realtors have on-the-ground expertise and, obviously, will want to sell your home for the highest possible price. However, even great Realtors aren't magicians. Expect to adjust your price.
If you're tempted to switch to another agent because your home is unsold, a word of caution: An unscrupulous agent may tell you she can list your home for more money while knowing full well that the market won't accept the price you want. This is just a ploy to get your listing. Do you really want to upset the Realtor who has already put in time and effort selling your home?
Your 'Could've' Price from 18 Months Ago Doesn't Matter
Convinced you "could've" sold for a particular amount? Don't lament an offer you refused months ago. The market moves. If you insist on a specific price you might need to sit out from the market awhile until prices or inflation rise to meet your expectations.
Your Financial Picture Doesn't Matter
Have you set your price with one of these excuses? "I need X to move into a new house"; "I need X for this place because the mortgage is paid in full"; or simply, "I need X because I'm broke/flush with cash"? The seller doesn't care. If you've set the wrong price no amount of justification can or will affect price.
But, I Have Memories Here!
So What Should I Do to Price a Home Accurately?
To set an accurate price for your home, start with the following:
- Research the prices of similar homes in your hyper-local market -- your neighborhood and street. (Search here.)
- Enlist the advice of a real estate professional who knows your immediate area.
- Remember that you'll probably overestimate what the market will bear, even in boom times, because you're emotionally attached.
- Determine if you can wait for the "right" price. Be prepared to wait out the market if you're unhappy with the price range for similar homes. Similarly, be realistic and flexible on price if you need to sell sooner than later.