By Mark Lemmons I May 18, 2022
If you’re a homeowner looking to sell, you want to get the best price possible. Especially in a seller’s market like we have today, there is ample opportunity to get incredible value on your home sale. But, a seller’s market doesn’t guarantee getting top dollar. In fact, if you don’t price your home strategically, you could end up selling it for a lot less than it’s actually worth.
Here are 5 tips that will help you get top dollar on your home sale.
The most crucial time for your home listing is the first 10 days on the market. This is why you want to price your home competitively from day 1. If you price your home too high, buyers will not be interested because it is out of their price range. By the time you lower your price, those buyers will have found another home. Your home will sit on the market for longer than it should and any new prospective buyers will assume something is wrong with it. This drastically reduces interest in your home and makes it difficult to sell.
However, if you price your home correctly from the start, you are much more likely to sell faster and at a better price. Not only will this result in you getting a better price for your home, it will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. The longer your home sits on the market, the more work you and your agent will have to do to get it to sell. Ultimately, you may have to reduce your price much further than you would if it had been priced correctly at the beginning.
This begs the question: how do you price your home competitively?
The most objective price comes from the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) provided by your real estate agent. To get a CMA value, a real estate agent performs in-depth research on the home and surrounding area. Real estate agents can estimate the value of your home by evaluating similar ones that recently sold in the same area.
CMA’s are prepared using comparables that have sold within the past 6 months, but preferably in the past 3 months. They include at least 3 comparables, and the real estate agent examines each one in-depth to discover how it differs from the home being listed. Here are some of the factors that come into play in CMA’s:
Your real estate agent can make a professional recommendation on a competitive listing price based on objective information from the CMA.
Value Range Marketing (VRM) is another pricing strategy that sellers can use. VRM provides a range (for example, $250,000 – $275,000), instead of a fixed listing price (for example, $275,000). This strategy paves the way for negotiation and allows the market dynamics to ultimately dictate the sales price. This can seem like a risky move, but here are a few things to consider.
You will not only get offers at the bottom of the range. This is a common misconception about VRM. Sellers think that if they provide a range, they will only get offers at the lowest possible price. But, that is not the case. If a buyer sees the value of your property and wants to make a move quickly, they typically submit an offer well above the bottom value. Low-ball offers are risky for the buyer, because they take the chance of losing the property in a multiple-offer situation or getting a high counter-offer from the seller.
You are not obligated to accept an offer just because it’s in the range. Another common misconception is that if you provide a range value, you must accept any offer within the range. While the seller typically promises to respond in writing to any offers submitting in the range, the seller is in no way obligated to accept offers.
Your real estate agent is the best resource to determine whether or not Value Range Marketing is a good strategy to use.
Another way to get top dollar on your home sale is by using a pre-appraisal and pre-inspection. Typically, an appraisal and an inspection is ordered by the lender once the home is already under contract. But if you get a pre-inspection and pre-appraisal, it can help you and your agent price your home more strategically. A pre-inspection will reveal any potential issues down the road and give you an opportunity to address them or factor them in on the home price. A pre-appraisal also provides extra validity to your home price and will give you confidence in the list price of your home.
In home transactions, knowledge is power. Pre-inspections and pre-appraisal provide knowledge to the seller that they can leverage. Usually, a real estate agent’s CMA will be able to nail the amount a buyer is likely to pay for your home, which could save you up to $600 in appraisal expenses. But a pre-appraisal and pre-inspection gives you even more pricing and negotiating power.
In case you haven’t noticed, many of these tips require having a good real estate agent in your corner. This is my final tip. You need to have an experienced listing agent so that you price your home as competitively as possible. Make sure you’re working with an experienced seller’s agent with a proven track record of selling homes quickly and competitively. It is also important that your listing agent is familiar with your neighborhood and has sold homes in the area. This will ensure they understand the local housing needs, market conditions, and key selling points.
Representing sellers is also much different than representing buyers. Good real estate agents do both. But selling requires a marketing strategy that buying does not. Make sure your listing agent has a clear plan to market your home.
Let’s review the information we just covered. To get top dollar on your home sale, you should:
If you do these 5 things, I’m confident that you’ll sell your home at the best price possible.
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