It's a tough time to be a homeowner trying to sell.
Home sellers who want a quick home sale, say to move for a job or transition to a more affordable place, need to be very price sensitive, especially if they live in average or underperforming areas (like those hit hard by foreclosures).
The best thing, is to price a home appropriately to begin with. Try to resist the urge to overestimate your home's value; you want to avoid having your house sit for several months while you lower the price again and again. The more you do this, the more people will wonder what's wrong with your place.
Here's how to figure out a fair home value:
1. Don't make it personal
The second you decide to put a house on the market, stop referring to it as "my home, It's a property," or at the very least, "the house." This will help you to get some emotional distance as a home seller. You can view the place with the objectivity that potential buyers have and think about pricing, and the home's value, in a realistic way.
2. Follow the comps
"Comps" are the price tags on homes, comparable to a seller's, that have sold or have gone pending. While open houses will tell what home sellers are asking, the comps tell you what they're actually getting, and therefore what the true home values are in your neighborhood. The comparison of those two numbers can itself be instructive. Your Realtor can give you local comps.Realtors won't list a sold price until the deal has closed.
Comps also tell you how long comparable houses sit on the market. If local properties are moving in less than a month, you're in a robust market and can price more aggressively. Thirty to 60 days means a good but not great market; more than 90 days means you're in a slow market and you've got your work cut out for you.
3. Do a test run
Watch what happens during the first week or two that your property is on the market. If people look but don't make offers, you probably priced it a little too high. If no one even comes to look, you aren't in the right ballpark. In either case bring the price down.
How much do you cut? Look at the latest comps and set a price that sits on the low end of them, or lower.
4. Make your house a good deal
If homes in a certain market are selling for about $300,000, don't hesitate to put yours on the market for $275,000. you want to make it look like a really good deal so people are curious enough to come out and look. Generating interes. its not uncommon for homebuyers who think they've spotted a good deal to bid the house up a little, bringing it closer to what the seller who lists at $300,000 might wind up having to come down to.
In a few select markets, trying to sell your home for too much might mean sitting on it for a lot longer than you prefer, but in most markets, it might mean not selling at all, experts say. As long as it's a buyers' market, getting the price right, and correcting pricing mistakes quickly, is one of the most important things that a home seller can do to attract a buyer and get to that closing date fast.
Homes that sell quickly are homes that are cleaned up, staged well and priced correctly.