The Price Is Right – Your Best House Selling Strategy

House PricesYou’ve decluttered the garage and repainted the kitchen, bathroom and hallways. You took your realtor’s advice about improving your house’s curb appeal, and the grass has never looked greener. Yet your house still has a “For Sale” sign in front, and potential clients aren’t clamoring to see the inside. What’s the problem?

Probably the most common problem shared by many sellers in today’s real estate market is an inflated price. It’s easy to make the mistake of zealously setting an idealistic price. You know exactly what money you’ve spent as well as the many hours of weekend “sweat equity” over the years….but clinging to that less than practical figure can cost you in the long run.

What’s the best way to set a fair price? Savvy buyers have a comparable market analysis (CMA) conducted on the house (or houses) they are most interested in. As a seller, you should do the same so that you’re prepared to negotiate. A good realtor can walk you through this step. Another strategy is to know your competition – is there an open house that’s sounds similar to yours in the MLS? Check it out! Is that seller asking more or less than you? After visiting, you may discover that the other guy’s floor plan doesn’t compare favorably to yours. Or that family has incredible storage space that may be a huge draw for many clients.

What if I go too low? Talk to your real estate agent, but in many cases, a price that’s a little lower than your competition can be a terrific strategy. More than once, I’ve seen such a situation generate a bidding contest that brought the price up above the original asking price.

If the price is fair, shouldn’t I expect to get the asking price? The answer to that one is: it depends. In today’s market, many buyers are quick to make an offer that’s lower than what you’re asking. Don’t be intimidated by a back and forth discussion, and take your time to consider your options. If you notice “For Sale” signs around town with “Price Reduced” toppers on them, you may be in the middle of a rapidly declining market, and prices may need to be reset. A good realtor can advise you of your best plan in the current situation.

Of all the potential pitfalls of selling a home, pricing the house fairly is by far the most common one – and the one issue many clients are reluctant to discuss. Yet the right price can make the difference of selling now or much, much later.

If you’re looking to sell your home in the Chapel Hill/Durham area, contact Crazy Viv Olkin at She’s the REALTOR who can help you say “The price is right!” and sell your home sooner instead of later.