In 2021, the U.S. housing market increased in value by a record-breaking $6.9 trillion. Not only did this new record double the previous one, but it put the total value of U.S. housing at a stunning $43.4 trillion.
If you want in on this red-hot housing market, there’s no time like the present. That being said, all real estate markets come with a catch for sellers:
You have to know how to price your home for sale.
You can list your house for anything you want. But there’s no guarantee that your house will get so much as a nibble. And when you’ve got a job in another state or you’re trying to purchase a new place, there’s nothing worse than being the one house languishing on the market while “sold” signs are popping up in your neighborhood like dandelions.
Luckily, this state of awkward financial limbo can be avoided with a little savvy and pricing know-how.
Ready for a crash course on home valuation and pricing? Keep reading to find out how you can price your home for sale, get offers, and be out of the real estate market in record time.
Do a Comparative Market Analysis
The truth about home pricing is that if you don’t have a fact-based and grounded understanding of your home value, your buyers will quickly bring you into reality. Fortunately, home sellers have a cheat sheet that they can use to figure out the value of a home — the rest of the neighborhood’s recent listings. Here’s how you can use your comparative market analysis to value your home:
1. Look For Similar Properties
We’ve all heard real estate professionals harp on about “Location, location, location!”. But when you’re trying to set an asking price, you want to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. For this reason, ideal comparison listings will be:
- Listed anywhere within the last 12 weeks
- Located close to your house
- Have more or less the same amount of square footage as your home — ideally 10 percent or less
Another feature you’ll want to pay special attention to is the age of your property. Older homes can be lovely and full of character, But if your neighbor’s house was built in 1980 while yours was built in 2003, that will directly lead to a difference in housing value.
Also, if your house has distinguishing features like a swimming pool or high ceilings, you should be aware of the fact that these details can also affect the value of your home.
2. Read the Pending, Active, and Sold Listings
National real estate statistics can tell you how well the market is doing in general. But the active listings in your area speak directly to the state of the market in your part of the world. For this reason, you’ll want to keep an eye on the local listings of comparable properties that seem to be doing well.
How are these sellers showcasing their homes? How much time have these listings spent on the market? Is the final sale price above or below the initial asking price?
They say that a picture tells a thousand words. Active local listings will often contain a thousand words while giving you the inside scoop on your local real estate market.
3. Review the Expired and Withdrawn Listings
If a listing has expired or been withdrawn, that usually means that it’s sat on the market for an extended period of time. Sometimes the problem is with the house — maybe it’s just not fully buyer ready. But in many cases, the asking price may have been a little too high for the market.
As you browse through the listing, you’ll want to be on the lookout for:
- Multiple price reductions
- Common price bands
- Signs of cheap marketing or deal-breaking problems with the house
In the same way that you’ll want to assess what sellers are doing right in your area, you’ll also want to browse the unsuccessful listings to get a sense of any current potential pricing pitfalls.
Getting Your House Ready for Sale
You’ve taken note of your home’s strengths and weaknesses. You’ve browsed your local real estate listings as if it’s your second job. And you’re still 100 percent convinced that you’re ready to sell your house.
Are there any steps you can take to ensure that you and the mortgage appraisal expert will be on the same page? It turns out that you may have more control over the offers you get than you think. Here are some simple ways to elevate your property value:
1. Make the Quick Fixes
Every house has this. Your home might have two or three.
You know what we’re talking about.
Those quirks you’ve learned to live with that would leave a buyer thinking, “This house might not be move-in ready.”.
Maybe your house has a few uncovered wall plugins. Perhaps the bathroom cabinet hinges under your sink are hanging a little loose.
Because these issues would take an hour or two to fix at most, it can be tempting to leave it to the buyer. However, taking that approach could prompt buyers to make lower offers. For this reason, quick home improvement projects can often have an outsized ROI when you’re getting ready to sell.
2. Up Your Curb Appeal
According to Realtor Magazine, homes that look good on the outside will often sell for an average of 7 percent more than their curb appeal-deficient counterparts. However, the numbers don’t stop there. If you happen to live in a sluggish real estate market, that premium can double to 14 percent.
How’s your grass? Are the front door and steps chipped or cracking? Would your front yard look better with lights or a pebble walkway?
Now’s the time to unleash your inner landscape architect.
3. Finish Your Renovations
You could have a set of property-changing blueprints rolled out on the table. And that completed kitchen and bathroom might even make your house the envy of your neighborhood. But in most cases, buyers will want to see the finished product before they make their home purchase.
Most buyers aren’t just buying a home. They’re purchasing a place to raise their families, lay down roots, or establish a daily routine around. When there’s sawdust everywhere and the floor has been torn off, it’s a lot more difficult for people to imagine themselves making those memories in your home.
So while you might get some interest if you list while in the middle of renovations, you’ll likely see a difference in the quality of your offers when the renovations are completed.
4. Evaluate Your House’s Strengths
You could be living in the smallest house on your street. Your basement could even be unfinished and the backyard could use some TLC. But even if that’s the case, your house still has selling features.
Maybe your school district is second to none. Perhaps your backyard is bigger than everyone else’s or the house is close to the local fire department, but not so close that you’re hearing sirens every hour.
Although it’s important to have an accurate and fact-based understanding of your property, you don’t want to overlook the reasons buyers might want to purchase your house. These are the features you’ll need to highlight during your listing.
Finding a Buyer-Attracting Price
With the comparative marketing analysis behind you and the house fixed up and ready to go, it’s time to start coming up with real numbers. To sell at a fair price, you need to get this part of the process right.
If you ask for too much, you might not get offers. But if you ask for too little, you could find yourself selling at the real estate equivalent of a fire sale price. Here are some tips and tricks you can use to get great offers at your preferred price:
1. Find the Right Price Band
Have you ever noticed how marathon runners will often run in a cluster for most of the race? It’s not necessarily an intentional thing, but it’s not unusual for housing prices to follow the same trend.
So let’s say that the houses in your neighborhood are valued between $280,000 and $350,000. On the high end, sellers might be upgrading their homes and asking for $360,000 to $375,000. And on the lower end, you could have a bunch of people setting their listings between $260,000 to $320,000.
You could take your comparative analysis to another level and stick with the herd. But you may stand out a little more by playing it down the middle and asking for $330,000 to $355,000. In this example, that price band is a wide-open opportunity to sell.
2. Price to Be Seen by More Online Buyers
According to the National Association of Realtors, 97 percent of homebuyers made use of the internet during their search for a new home. With more and more people relying on online ads, real estate websites, and aggregators to narrow down their searches, you’ll have to think very seriously about how you can attract more eyeballs to your listing.
For this reason, it may be a good idea to consider rounding down.
The buyer who’s set their price point at $300,000 to $350,000 might not see a listing set at $351,950. But with a small, simple tweak, you could be booking walkthroughs in record time. And if the $300,000-to-$350,000 crowd also happens to be out in full force, you might even be able to start a bidding war.
3. Understand the Psychology of Pricing
You’ve probably heard about “lucky numbers” before, right? Well, it turns out that there’s a science to choosing numbers that people like.
But you don’t have to take our word for it.
Researchers at MIT discovered that prices ending with the number $9 were often able to increase demand for products. And for retailers, this was especially true when customers were being offered new products.
The reason why $399,999 is more appealing than $402,734 might be hard to grasp. But here’s the bottom line:
If you’re pricing your home for sale, you may want to consider borrowing the old retail trick of using the number 9.
Here’s a Hassle-Free Way to Sell Your Home
At this point, we can all agree that pricing a home to sell is a process in itself. And, in addition to the price, there are other concerns, from your upgrades to the season, that can affect your ability to make a quick and easy sale.
One way that you can position your sale for success is to speak with a professional home purchase company. You’ll be working with buyers that are always interested in buying homes. And you won’t have to worry about staging, walkthroughs, or real estate agent commissions.
In short, it’s a win-win on all fronts. And no one would blame you for taking the time to explore the cash selling process.
Want to Sell Quickly? Learn How to Price Your Home for Sale
Even when in a hot seller’s market, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to sell your home at a profit. As a seller, it’s all too easy to make pricing mistakes that convince people to buy the house next door instead of yours.
Knowing how to price your home for sale isn’t just a useful skill for real estate professionals — it could be the difference between making a sale and being forced to withdraw your listing. But the good news is that anyone can learn how to do a home valuation.
Doing a comparative market analysis can ground your value estimates in reality. In addition, taking the time to make quick fixes to your house while reading up on buyer psychology can make your house significantly more attractive to homebuyers.
For some homeowners, however, this approach requires way too much time and effort. You may not be interested in hosting walkthroughs, cleaning up, and doing renovations in the hope of potentially selling your house. Fortunately, you can sidestep that whole song and dance by selling to us.
We’ll research your neighborhood. We’ll assess your property. And then, if you give us 14 days, we’ll put cold, hard cash in your bank account.
Interested? We’d love to hear from you! Request your free, no-obligation cash offer today.