I hope you've had a great week, thus far.
If you've seen the Real Estate news from this week, we had some incredible news, with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) stating that "Pending home sales rose in July to the highest level in over two years and remain well above year-ago levels" (Up almost 2.5% from June 2012 to July 2012 and almost 2.5% from July 2011 to July 2012). With this fantastic news, we also heard from the Standard and Poors/Case-Shiller folks that Home prices are on the rise, showing, "positive annual growth rates for the first time since the summer of 2010", and also, this is the second consecutive month where "all 20 cities and both Composites recorded positive monthly gains."
So if you're selling a home, where do you even begin to price it? Emotions usually dictate the offer price that a seller will choose, as opposed to solid, fact-based reasoning. HomeGain.com ran a survey earlier this year that uncovered the following: "76 percent of homeowners believe their home is worth more than the list price recommended by their real estate agent."
"Homebuyers usually have a better grasp of current market value in the area where they're looking to buy than do sellers who own and live there", says Dian Hymer, a veteran real estate broker, author, and a nationally syndicated real estate columnist, in a recent story on the Inman News website. Hymer says that "Buyers look at a lot of new listings. They make offers, know what sells quickly and for how much, and what doesn't and why." HomeGain reported that "homebuyers still think sellers are overpricing their homes."
Hymer says that if a home lacks features from recent sales comparables ("comps"), "it's time to subtract value". She reminds us that a home is worth "what a buyer will pay for it given current market conditions", which may conflict with your opinion on price or what you are hoping for. With a spot-on comment on this dance, Hymer says that "Relying on emotion rather than logic when selecting a list price can lead to disappointing results."
As for timing, Hymer says that it's the "prime opportunity for selling a home" when it first hits the market, as there are buyers who wait for these new listings, and as she writes, these listings "receive the most showings and have the busiest open houses during the first couple of weeks they are on the market". With that rule in mind, that is the time to show off your home at an attractive list price, and she aptly says, "Listings that sell today are priced right for the market". Very simply, Buyers want to feel they are getting a good deal, and will not overpay in a market that is still dropping or struggling, and Hymer says that in areas of strong sales, "buyers may shy away from multiple-offer situations if they feel the recovery is fragile and that prices may slide further before stabilizing", thus, effectively, it seems they would step away from engaging in a bidding war.
As most of you are aware, real estate agents and appraisers use "Comps", or sales of similar homes in your area, to help establish a price range for offering/selling your home. Hymer says that if your home does not have a feature of a specific Comp (i.e. a remodeled kitchen), value is subtracted from the value of your home, and if your home has a feature that a specific Comp does not have (i.e. an easily accessible, level backyard), value is added to your potential sales price.
With that being said, we're all human, and emotions play a factor.
As Hymer says, "It's difficult for sellers to step back and take an attitude of detached interest in their home", and adds that it's "essential to do so if you want to sell successfully in this market.". She suggests selecting a "list price that undercuts the competition to drive buyers" (and offers?), to your home. She also says that if Comps show prices moving up, you can take a "more aggressive stance on pricing". "But don't list too high", cautions Hymer, who says that it's better to "stay in the range shown by the comparables and expose the house to the market before accepting offers", since the market will drive up the price if it's warranted.
As a final note, Hymer cautions us not to rely on rumors about home sale prices that circulate in the neighborhood, as they tend to get inflated when "passed from one person to another", and suggests that you, "Select your list price based on hard facts."
What are your thoughts on this? Have you sold a home before? Have you overpriced it? Did you underprice it? We'd love to hear about your experience, good or bad.
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Have a Great Weekend, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
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TAGS: #HomeSales #HomePrices #RealEstate #homebuyer #homeowner #salescomparables #Comps #Appraiser #NationalAssociationofRealtors #NAR