Pricing Your Home
If you are considering selling your home you will naturally want to get the highest possible price and, you will want to sell it in a relatively short period of time. Unfortunately, these goals are nearly always in conflict with each other.
Imagine a homeowner is consulting with their real estate agent about the listing price for their home. The agent suggests that a careful analysis of the current market data indicates $200,000 to $210,000 would likely produce a sale in a reasonable period of time. The owner prices the home at $210,000.
The first buyer who looks at the home offers $205,000. When the seller receives the offer, he comments that he thinks he priced the home too low and counters for full price. The counter-offer is rejected and the home stays on the market. At the end of the first month when, based on market conditions, the home should be under contract to sell, no other offers have been made. It may be human nature for the homeowner to think the home was priced too low when an offer is received so quickly. In reality, the home was very likely priced correctly.
Typically, when a home is initially listed for sale, there is increased competition (real or perceived) among buyers waiting for the "right" home to come on the market. The home typically sells for a higher price when one of the first offers is accepted, if it is priced properly. There is a reason the saying, “Your first offer is your best offer” has endured in the real estate industry for many years!
There may be stories of sellers who turned down the first offer and ended up receiving a better offer that would net more money. However, many real estate professionals say the first scenario occurs more frequently.
The wisdom of experience advises owners to find a real estate professional that they trust and in whom they have confidence. Allow that professional to become familiar with your home and compare it to similar homes in the market that have sold recently and ones currently on the market. They can then determine the demand for homes in the area compared to the inventory. Select a price based on facts and the advice of your experienced real estate professional.
Finally, be satisfied if your home sells quickly near the price you listed it for so that you can move on to the next steps in your life. You have effectively balanced the goals of the best price and a quick sale!