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How to price your home to get the highest sales price

July 29, 2008

There are really 5 main factors affecting a real estate sale and only 2 (or 3 if you include your choice in Realtor) that you, as the home seller control.

What are the 5 main factors affecting a home sale?

  1. Location (This is out of your control unless hire house movers. I just saw this on Flip this House!)
  2. Financing (Again, out of your control unless your name is Paulson or Bernanke.)
  3. Condition, aka Presentation/Staging (You guessed it! This is one within your control!)
  4. Price (Wow, you are smart. This is the 2nd one you really control, well the listing price NOT the sales price b/c that is up to the buyer.)
  5. Exposure, aka Marketing, Showing Ease (You control this to the extent that 1. you pick a savvy, experienced agent and 2. you help your agent expose the house by sharing the marketing website with the people you know b/c they may know someone, allowing a sign out front, letting her show the property easily, etc.)

As the home seller, you control the Price and the Condition, or Presentation. Your agent, if they are good, will give you all of the information you need to make informed choices but ultimately, it is your house and your decision whether you show it in its best light or not and whether you price it competitively or not.

Here are some tips from the Chronicle who took it from another newspaper, the Washington Post, (big surprise) on how to price your home for sale. These tips work in San Francisco, whether for a Bernal Heights home or a Mission condo.

  • Don't base the price on what you paid or what your neighbor got a few years ago.

  • Do examine the prices of homes for sale in your neighborhood, as well as the prices of comparable homes that have sold in the past three to six months.

  • Don't pick an agent simply because he or she suggested the highest price.

  • Do pick an agent who offers a thoughtful explanation for the price he or she is suggesting.

  • Don't go overboard with remodeling. Rarely can you recoup the cost.

  • Do make minor improvements so your home is in as good as or better shape than the competition.

  • Don't set your price based on emotional attachments and cherished memories.

  • Do ask your agent to reassess the competitive landscape every few weeks to make sure your asking price is in sync with the market.

  • Don't be stubborn. If weeks go by without any offers, the price probably does not reflect the value of the home. It's time to consider cutting the price.

  • Do be patient. You might have to wait longer for buyers to pull their money together now that lenders have toughened their standards.

For the full article, click here.

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