You’ve lived in your home for several years, but now you’re planning a move to a place that better fits your lifestyle. Time to sell your current property, but for how much?
You may tell yourself that you need, even deserve, a certain amount of profit from your home. After all, you’ve kept it up, made some upgrades, and you should be able to get at least as much as yours neighbors did recently, right?
As hard as it might be, you have to let go of any emotional attachments you may have about your home. You have to look at it like a buyer would—like a product in a market. What would someone pay for a home like yours in this market? It’s really not guess work, and a Realtor can help you figure out how much to ask.
Start with a comparative market analysis
Ask your Realtor to give you a comparative market analysis (CMA) for your home. You’ll see what similar homes are listed for in your community. You’ll also see homes with sales pending. Most importantly the CMA will show you how much similar homes in your area sold for in the last six months. That tells you the direction prices are going and at what price your home would likely appraise.
Realtors can interpret the CMA for you in more detail. They can tell you why a home may have sold for more or less than another. They know the dollar value of different features and upgrades and which are most important to buyers. Realtors also know the neighborhood and how home prices can change from area to area.
Time flies—away with your best offer
You might think “I’ll be patient and wait for the price I want,” but a newly listed home will get its most traffic and activity within the first three to four weeks on the market. Buyers and their agents are watching for new listings.
Most people search online for homes within a certain price range. If your home is priced too high, buyers may not even see it. Or, they may pass it by because it’s more than they can afford. Your home may sit for weeks with few showings and no offers, increasing your market time and forcing you to lower the price. By that time, a number of buyers may already found another property.
Ask your Realtor about average time on market in your area. If your home is on the market far longer, buyers may wonder if there’s something wrong with it. Or, they may believe you are now desperate and they can get it for a steal.