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How to price your home to sell

Once you have decided to sell your home, one of the biggest decisions to make is your sales price. It can be a tricky process, so take the time to thoroughly understand and strategically plan what the sales price really means.

An overpriced home is one of the worst mistakes a seller can make, for several reasons. While an inflated price can discourage buyers who like the home and would otherwise make an offer, it can also create the perception that the offers – even those good for the market – are exceedingly low. An overpriced home will also often sit on the market longer than it deserves, a signal to buyers low offers are acceptable because you are motivated to sell.

Pricing your home strategically within the current market conditions will only help you get the maximum return on the sale of your home. Here are eight tips on how to price your home to sell:

Consult a real estate agent. A qualified listing agent is an expert who will know your area, the current market conditions, trends, and comparable properties. Consult several agents until you find one you are comfortable working with, and who understands marketing your home and negotiation strategies.

Do your research on the current local market. Your home is worth exactly what the current market will pay for it. Keep an eye on trends to know where the market is going, not where it’s at, by looking month-to-month and year-to-year trends. The most recent local sales are the best current barometer.

Get a comparative marketing analysis. Listing agents will offer you a free home walkthrough and a comparative marketing analysis (CMA) of your home in the local market. A CMA will offer a comparison of carefully selected local properties and an analysis of current market conditions to determine what makes your house unique.

Pay attention to condition and staging. What does your house look like right now? The two factors a seller can control are pricing and condition. The small details of your house matter to a buyer. Consider investing in both basic and more involved upgrades to target areas of your home – kitchen and baths – to add value that can improve your bottom line returns.

The right price strategy. Utilize strategic pricing on where the market is going to price ahead of the curve. A highly competitive price in current market conditions will attract more traffic, buyers, and offers and can create a multiple-offer situation to push up the price. A property attracts the most interest when it is first listed, and According to the National Association of Realtors, far more buyers purchase property at 10 percent of asking price (78 percent) than at even 10 percent above it (1 percent).

Get your home appraised and inspected. Hire a licensed home inspector to uncover problems ahead of time so that they won’t blindside potential buyers, which makes your home more marketable and attractive to buyers. Hire an appraiser for another educated and impartial opinion on what your home is worth.

Be realistic and not sentimental. Once you have narrowed down the potential target price of your home, put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Research what else is selling locally at that price. Often sellers are too emotionally attached to their home to be objective. Think like a buyer and prepare to be rational.

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