List Price

Sellers may determine the list price, but buyers have the final word. Your home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it, and that may be less than what your next-door neighbor got for his property two weeks ago. Your real estate agent will most likely print out a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), which averages the recent sale price of similar homes near you and suggests a reasonable list price. You can choose to ignore that at your peril.

If you insist on listing it significantly higher than the suggested list price, it may sit for weeks or months with few showings. I can tell you from experience that the longer it’s on the market, the lower the offers will be. Prospective buyers have an innate suspicion that there’s something wrong if the house hasn’t sold after months of showings, particularly in a hot market.

If your property is unique in some significant way, your real estate agent may have a hard time finding comparable sales–it’s much bigger than surrounding homes, has significantly more land, is newer, or has a number of useful and attractive customized features. If this is the case, you might consider hiring a property appraiser to come and evaluate the property for you. You can then feel justified listing the property for a higher amount than the rest of the listed properties in your area.

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