How to Price Your House to Sell Fast

In today's market, it is more important than ever to price your house well, so how do you come up with the price? From years of buying and selling houses sellers have disclosed to me the different ways that they have determined their asking price.
By: Delinda Harrelson
June 6, 2009 - PRLog -- How do you price your home to sell fast! -by Delinda Harrelson

In today's market, it is more important than ever to price your house well, so how do you come up with the price? From years of buying and  selling houses sellers have disclosed to me the different ways that they have  determined their asking price. In this  article, I explore the different ways people come up with their prices and  comment on what seems to work and not work.

The number one thing I hear is "that's what I want". It  sounds like a good answer, right? Unfortunately, most of the time, the price is  so far off from what they can get for it, that is a disservice to not inform  them of the current market value. I realize that most of these folks have  absolutely no experience buying or selling houses. Their property may have been  inherited. The property may be the only  one purchase experience under their belt and they do not understand that that  pricing strategy doesn't work. It would be like trying to sell a 2000 Honda  Accord for 1 million dollars because that is what I want. If I went into a  dealer and told him I wanted 1 million dollars for my Honda, do you think he  would give it to me, just because I want it? Of course he wouldn't, so why is  anyone going to give a seller what they want if the house is not worth it? Yes,  we all have a number in our head, but please make the number be based on logic  and not on greed. Get an appraiser and real estate agent to give you their opinion.  You can shop the competition to see where you should price yours, but even with  that there is still some caution to be taken on that pricing strategy.

The second most common thing I hear is, "well my neighbor  has his listed for x and mine is better, so I want y". Just because your  neighbor has his listed does not mean he will get it. If you look at the 5 % of  houses that sell out of the 95% that don't sell, he probably won't get it. I  look at the price of sold houses, not listed. This is crucial to help you  gather information to come up with a price. The key is to look at the sold  houses in your neighborhood first, and then look outside of the zip. If nothing  is selling in your neighborhood, people may be getting better deals elsewhere.  My zip code used to be the fastest selling zip code, but when the market  turned, and builders were giving better deals in other zip codes, our sales  plummeted. It was like the Gold Rush...people abandoned land and their homesteads  in hopes of going to find gold because it was the best deal at the time. Even  if you use this information above, you still have to make sure you are  comparing apples with apples. This leads us to our next pricing strategy.

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Sellers seldom seem to compare apples to apples. What does  that mean? It means that if a three  bedroom house sold for a certain amount, the seller thinks he should get the  same amount for his two bedroom house. I know some agents will divide the sale  amount in the neighborhood by the total square feet to try to get a price per  square foot for the two bedroom house. The problem I have seen over and over is  that most people want the most house they can buy. Studies have shown that  three bedroom, two bath houses are more in demand than any other type of house.  Why is a buyer going to pay you $10,000 less for your house, when for a slight  increase in payment, they can have the three bedroom house. If you have a two  bedroom house, I recommend making sure it is priced a lot lower than a three  bedroom. Yes, there are single people that want them, but for a whole lot less  than a three bedroom. There is a reason that more three bedroom  houses sell than two bedrooms, same with 2 bathrooms opposed to 1 bathroom. To be blunt, when it comes to single family  homes, one and two bedrooms are a dying  breed, difficult to sell, and do not command a lot of money, even if it is in  excellent condition. Some sellers price their home based on the condition. This  is our next touchy subject.

It is very hard for sellers to not be biased. They don't see  all of the little issues with their house that a buyer sees when looking at the  house. The scuff marks on the floor, the crammed closets, the toothbrush on the  countertop, the torn screen, are just some examples of things buyers pick up  on. The only thing I can link this too is weight gain. It is really hard to see  the weight creeping up on you when you see yourself every day. The same is true  about your house. You will never notice all of the little things that tell  buyers the house is not immaculate and is neglected. I can't tell you how many  times sellers tell me there is nothing wrong with their house. They really  believe it, only to be shocked when a home inspector comes back with a twenty  page report that scares the crap out of the buyer. Now you have to do damage  control: fix everything on the report, discount the property more, or lose your  buyer and deal with another fun process of people tromping in and out of your  house looking at all of your personal items (maybe even stealing them). Sellers get defensive about these inspections  reports and say , "I don't care, I won't fix it", in this market you will lose  the buyer because there are tons of people that will do anything to sell their  house. So, please be brutally honest with the condition of your house and price  it correctly.

Do your own research! Another area that frustrates me is  that I see agents price your outdated house that based on the price of a house  totally renovated. Even if your house is decorated nicely, buyers still love  new. They love new cabinets, new paint, new mirrors, new vanities, and anything  else they can get new. They especially love new carpet, so they don't have to  worry about finding your dirty toenails. If you are in a neighborhood that is  in high demand, maybe you can get close to the price of the renovated home. The  real question is "How many neighborhoods are really like that today?" Don't  just list your house based on the price someone else gives you. Gather as much  data about your competitors to make an educated guess. Be flexible in pricing  dropping if no one is looking at it. If you are not willing to try different  pricing, don't list it. I see houses with the same price for over two years.  Come on, if that doesn't speak volumes, I don't know what does.

There are lots of  other ways people come up with their house values, but for now, I think we have  covered enough for you to chew on. Our next article will focus on why  appraisals aren't always your key to pricing your home.

View more articles by Delinda Harrelson of Home Solutions Group, Inc.with house selling tips from

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We buy houses from people in almost any area, condition or price range in North Carolina. We specialize in finding creative solutions to real estate problems that others won’t touch.

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