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Finding the right marketing price makes the selling process a faster and easier experience. Over pricing a house can be a big mistake. If a home is listed above market value, it will be disregarded by buyers. Even after the seller decides to drop the price to the market value because nobody is submitting offers, many potential buyers and their real estate agents pass it by because they figure if nobody has bought it yet, something must be wrong with it. Essentially, the longer a sign sits in front of a house and is listed in the multiple listing service, the less desirable it becomes. Under pricing, on the other hand, can cause you to lose precious equity, but if a house is marketed affectively with high exposure to the public, it is better to underprice a house than over price it. It can potentially create a situation where you quickly attract multiple offers from competing buyers trying to grab the best deals, which can drive the price up to what you were originally hoping to get. It can be really affective, but it can also backfire. This is why your best bet is to get the right price for your house.
How do agents find out what homes are worth?
Agents do a comparative market analysis that consists of retrieving information on at least three other houses in a given neighborhood that have recently sold. Any listings that have sold beyond 6 months tend to be inaccurate. The square footage is also taken into consideration, along with comparing the simularities between the seller's house and others in the area that have sold. Agents have access to the multiple listing service and can see listings from previous sales, which often contain photos of the interior and exterior of the properties, number of beds and baths, year built, amenities and much more. Agents show these comparables to clients so they can see for themselves how their market analysis came to its fruition.
Are there additional ways to determine what my house will sell for?
Look at houses that are currently listed on the market. You can drive around, or call an agent who can send you a list of active sales in a matter of minutes. You don't want to have the highest priced house in the neighborhood and go through the frustration of watching it sit on the market for a long period of time. Look at the square footage, condition and general desirability of other houses that are listed compared to yours. Your price should be comparable to them. Even more important, look at how many days they've been on the market. If a house has been on the market longer than most other homes for sale, it's probably priced too high.
What should I consider besides pricing?
Remember first impressions can make or break a deal. Look at your house from the front curb and see if you can make any quick changes. You would be surprised how often clients drive up to a house that was on their list to see, only to drive away after just a few seconds because there is no curb appeal. There are some easy and inexpensive ways to make improvements. Keep the front of the house free of too many vehicles. If you have space in the garage, park your cars inside. Make any interior changes that might be causing your house to look cluttered or in need of repairs. Quite often re-arranging and doing some clean up are enough to greatly affect the way people see your house. The last thing to consider is staging, which many experienced real estate agents can give some great advice on.
How can I market my house?
Just deciding to sell a property isn't enough. Consider what your house and neighborhood have that other cities don't have. What type of family do you believe would want to live there? Maybe you have a great house for investors, who like to buy small three bedroom houses close to the freeway, or you might live close ot a soccer park, or be within walking distance to the best Christian or Catholic school in the city. Marketing a house can be tricky and one great way is to have it listed in the MLS, where hundreds of real estate agents see the listing and tell their buyers about it. There is no better way to get exposure to bring more buyers, offers, and possibly even have people compete your house. You may think selling a house yourself will save money, but if you use an agent who knows how to market your property and list it at the right price, you are much more likely to get more offers and higher offers than if you sell it yourself.
How much will it cost me to have a current market analysis done on my house?
Almost all real estate agents will offer this service for free and under no obligation. When selecting an agent, always use one who works locally to where you live and understands the market trends in your neighborhood. Many agents only have access to listings in the specific area where they work, so they may not be able to access listings that are more than sixty miles away. If your house is out of their service range and if they can't get comparables, or list your house in the multiple listing service that is local to you, they are of little help.