The most crucial question for most homeowners trying to sell their house for the first time is how much they should list it for to attract buyers without losing any money as a result. The good news is that it’s a seller’s market out there right now due to the high demand from buyers. That means that the buyer can’t successfully lowball you into dropping your asking price to the point where your margins are negatively affected.
How to determine home prices?
Every agent will tell you to do your Comparative Market Analysis first. You can do this online by researching not just the average prices of the properties in your neighborhood, but also the homes most similar to yours. For the most part, the average selling price in the past three or four months would be a good determinant to come up with an accurate pricing for your home.
If there are open houses in your neighborhood, you can also drop by and ask the agent some questions to give you an idea of what the buyers are looking for.
Once you get a good idea of the real property prices in your neighborhood, you can test the market by listing your house at 5% over the prevailing market price. Chances are, the buyers will ask for a discount and you can just slash off the 5% and get your original price. If someone is willing to pay 5% more you’re still not losing out.
Be objective and fair
The worst thing you can do is to factor in your emotional attachment to the property. Understandably, nobody can put a price on the sentimental value, but the brutal truth is that buyers don’t care about whether or not you built that porch with your own hands. They are looking to save some money. In fact if you start telling a potential buyer about the work you did yourself, it may prompt them to find something wrong with the work and ask you to cut the price based on that.
The first two weeks after listing will be crucial. If nobody expresses interest, it probably means that your price is too high.
Should I get an agent or not?
Some homeowners cut out the middleman in the hope of maximizing their take-home pay. Getting an agent can help you attract more buyers and hopefully a higher selling price.
An agent will know how to price your home. They can help you deal with the sometimes overwhelming process of selling your home.
If you try to sell the house yourself, it may sit on the market for a while. The longer it stays on market, the less attractive it’s going to be. You are battling against perception because people will always expect that something must be wrong with the property if nobody is making an offer as the days and weeks slip by.
In addition to this, you may fork out about $500 for an appraisal of your home. If you have an agent, you get instant feedback on why nobody’s expressing interest instead of second-guessing why your house remains available even after a few months.
Getting the right price is crucial to getting the most value out of your home. Most people think that they will lose money by hiring an agent but it’s actually the other way around, especially for first-time sellers.