When I call Jeff and Marjorie last week to tell them we had a full price offer, I expected to hear screams of joy. I had already played it out in my mind. I could just picture them high-fiving each other and doing a happy dance.
Instead, there was total silence on the other end of the phone. “Hello… hello… are you guys still there?”
“Well, I’m wondering…” Marjorie finally said. “Do you think we listed our home too low? I mean, an offer already – after just two showings?”
If a home is priced right, it will sell right away. Whether you sell your home in a seller’s market or a buyer’s market, you have a short window of opportunity to sell your home at its highest and best possible price.
This is the most important piece of the puzzle. Your home simply must be priced properly or it will not sell. And of course it is subject to the scrutiny of the appraiser once you get an accepted offer. If it doesn’t appraise for the contract price, then you have problems.
Every home has a story. Does your Realtor know it?
When you are interviewing Realtors for the important job of selling your home, make sure she knows your area, your subdivision, like the back of her hand. Ask her to provide a list of the homes she has listed and/or SOLD in your neighborhood in the past year. Why is that important? A Realtor who has earned experience and expertise in your marketplace likely knows the “story” behind all or most recent sales. She may know the reason why the home two doors down sold for much less than the other comparable sales. She will know whether that particular home was listed and sold much lower because it had very dated carpeting or smoke odors or they needed to move quickly or face foreclosure.
If she doesn’t know the story behind the sale, a great Realtor will take the time to call each and every Listing Realtor in your neighborhood and ask a lot of questions. Did the home show well? Was the lot private? Tell me about all the special amenities of this home I may not have seen in the listing that will help me understand why your listing sold for $10,000 more than the other competitors in the neighborhood.
Many Realtors just do a “rip and run” market analysis, grabbing 3 active listings, 3 recent sales and 3 expired listings that are similar in age, square footage, lot size, etc. That just won’t cut it in today’s real estate world.
Make sure the Realtor of choice is someone who has really done her homework. As she sits down with you to discuss each competitive listing, each sale that most closely compares to yours, and discuss the listings that never sold, it will start to paint a picture. It will become very clear to you how your home should be priced in order to sell at its very highest and best.
The moral of this story: it pays to find an experienced Realtor who knows how to price your home right – not too high – not too low – but just right. Right pricing will result at a sale at or near full price in that all-important 30 days or less window of opportunity. In fact, in a Seller’s market, you may even get multiple bids for your home. It does not mean your home was underpriced. Your Realtor found the price that made the buyers take notice and choose your home over the home around the corner.