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The Don’ts of Setting the Asking Price for Your Home for Sale

Home sellers hear again and again that pricing their home correctly is probably the single most important factor that gets your home sold. Here are a few don’ts to keep in mind as you try to determine the right price for the property you are selling.

DON’T skip a professional appraisal–You may have done a lot of research on your own and believe you have a good idea of what your for sale by owner home is worth but a professional appraisal will let you know for sure how right you are. Many Realtors, ourselves included, will perform one free and with no further obligation.

A professional pricing opinion is a great negotiating tool. It’s harder for a bargain hunting buyer to argue with a real estate professional’s opinion and it will arm you with a tool to demonstrate that your price is in line with the rest of the market.

DON’T try out a higher price–Some sellers decide to “try out” a slightly inflated price just to see if anybody will “bite”. This is rarely a good idea. Most savvy buyers will see right through that ploy and will happily wait for you to swallow both your pride and your price hike if they even decide to continue to consider purchasing your property at all.

DON’T mistake home décor for an amenity–You see it every once in a while in real estate ads, both placed by real estate brokers and for sale by owner sellers. That line that says “designer curtains” or “designer wallpaper”. Which is great for the seller, but it is no reason to inflate the price. Home décor reflects the homeowner’s personal taste, a buyer may not even like it! Base your selling price on actual fixed amenities, not your decorating handiwork.

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There are a few possible exceptions to all of this though. Granite countertops in fabulous shape, for example, may warrant a SLIGHT increase, especially if many similar homes don’t have them. Some ‘green’ innovations may be slight price uppers too. However, check the comps and consult with your Realtor before factoring such things in to your final asking price figure.

DON’T be too proud to seek help–Yes, you love your home. Yes, you have a good idea of how much you want it sold for. But listen to your Realtor’s advice on an asking price. They know the market intimately – both past and present – and they know a lot about how home buyers minds work. So even if the advice you are being given does not quite tally with what you had in mind hear them out before making a rash pricing decision you may very well come to regret.

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