Pricing Your Home to Sell

If you’re in the market to sell your home, you probably feel you can’t catch a break. With the boost from the recent homebuyer tax credit gone, anyone who decides or is forced to put a house up for sale enters a market where houses often linger a full six months — even a year — without any bites.   Put part of the blame on stiff competition: Foreclosures and short sales, which accounted for 39% of sales in February, sell for about 15% less than conventional homes.

Fortunately, there is one glimmer of good news. Bargain hunters, too, know that home prices are down some 32% from their peak. In a recent CNNMoney survey, three-quarters said that it was a good time to buy a home. But translating that interest into an actual sale can require some extreme measures.

It’s not enough to show buyers your house is a deal: You have to convince them it’s a total steal. That means pricing it right!  

Think you can always drop the price if your home doesn’t sell? Bigger mistake.  The first 30 days on the market are the most important.  That’s when your place attracts the most attention and gets the most showings. The result: You often end up with less than you would have if you priced it right to begin with. So get aggressive right out of the gate.

In normal times, listings of similar properties in your area would give you a good sense of what your home might sell for. Today there’s a big gap between what sellers want and what buyers are willing to pay.

Instead, figure out what you can realistically expect to get by asking your realtor to show you what houses similar to yours have sold for in the past three to six months. If more than a couple of the comparable properties were foreclosures or short sales, look closely at the photos and descriptions of those former listings. Distressed homes should be included in your comps if they are in move-in condition.

Once you have a handle on your likely sale price, list your home a bit beneath that.  You don’t have to undercut by much to attract attention, because that price will probably still be about 10% or 15% below what other homes are listed for. Even if you’re competing with lots of foreclosures and short sales, your price should generate enough interest to attract more than one bidder, pushing up the final price to where it should be.

Contact Mark Lackey today (404-886-8789) with Atlanta Housing Source to find out how he and his team can assist you with all of your real estate needs – whether buying or selling in DeKalb, Gwinnett, Cobb, Forsyth, North Fulton, or Henry.

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