Home sellers naturally want to sell their home quickly and for the highest possible amount. The key is the asking price. Here are 10 tips to help you price it right.
No. 1: Consider the comps. "Comps" are comparable homes in your neighborhood that were for sale, recently sold or are currently for sale. Comps are the most important factor in pricing your home.
Consider comps in conjunction with local market conditions, including the supply of for-sale homes relative to buyer demand, says Allyson Bernard, owner of Real Estate Professionals of Connecticut in Danbury."Less inventory means you can probably push the envelope a little bit on (pricing) your home, but we're not in a market where you can double your price or increase it 30 or 40 percent above what the comps are showing," Bernard says. No. 2: Check out the competition. Visiting currently for-sale comps can help you compare them to your home. "At a minimum, you need to know what location they're in and what curb appeal they have," Bernard says. "If there are open houses, go through. Just be honest with whomever is at the property. Say you're working with another Realtor and contemplating putting your home on the market. Ask whether it would be OK to walk though." Read: How to get top dollar for your home No. 3: Price to appraise. Sold comps should get extra weight, says Jean Bourne-Pirovic, a Realtor with Long & Foster Real Estate in Silver Spring, Md., because your sales price will be subject to an appraisal, unless your buyer agrees to pay cash or waives any appraisal contingency. The appraisal of your home will be based on sale prices of sold comps. If the appraisal doesn't support your agreed-upon sale price, the deal might not close. No. 4: Don't pay for an appraisal. Though the buyer's appraisal will be important, you don't need to obtain a separate prior appraisal to price your home. Instead, Bernard says, you should be able to rely on your Realtor for the information you'll need. No. 5: Rule out square footage. It's OK to consider price per square foot "as a general statement," but this calculation shouldn't be a primary or decisive factor because it's nearly impossible to compare two homes on this basis alone, says Gary Rogers, broker/owner of RE/MAX On The Charles in Waltham, Mass. Read: 5 signs your neighbor will sabotage your home sale For example, one house might have a buyer-preferred floor plan while another might have chopped-up rooms, yet both could be the same size. Price per square foot can be somewhat more helpful to compare condominiums in the same complex.