Pricing your home correctly is one of the most important decisions you'll make while selling your home.
Choose a price that's too high, and your home could sit on the market for months — but if your listing price is too low, you may end up with major regrets.
The price you choose will depend on a variety of factors, notably:
- Your home's location
- How your local real estate market is trending
- Your home's unique features, such as luxury finishes or historic charm
- Recent sales of comparable homes
- Your specific goals, such as selling fast or getting the best possible price
Read on to discover 5 expert-recommended tips for establishing a list price you won't regret!
1. Connect With a Local Real Estate Agent
Choosing a listing price is a complex endeavor — and that's why we recommend entrusting this major decision to a qualified real estate professional.
A trustworthy real estate agent will know exactly how homes like yours are currently selling in your local market. They'll have access to reams of recent sales data, plus instincts that can only come from being immersed in the industry.
Plus, a realtor will know how the right listing price can help you achieve your goals. For example, a slightly below-market listing price may be ideal if you need to sell immediately. If you want to maximize your profit, a realtor can help you stage and photograph your home to present it in the best light.
And if you're lucky enough to end up in a bidding war between buyers, a realtor will handle all the negotiations so you can net the most cash from your home sale.
Our friends at Clever Real Estate make it simple to find top-rated real estate agents near you. Their nationwide network includes thousands of realtors from familiar brokerages like Keller Williams, RE/MAX, and Century21 — and their licensed concierge team will match you with agents who are a great fit for your goals.
Best of all, Clever's agent matching service is completely free, with no obligation or up front commitment.
2. Review a Competitive Market Analysis ("Comps")
Most real estate agents offer a free competitive market analysis, which you may know as "comps."
This research will tell you exactly how much similar homes have sold for recently, allowing you to make an informed decision about your own home's price.
Comps consider homes' essential features, such as:
- Total square footage
- Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Notable features, such as luxury finishes
- Yard size and landscaping
- Proximity to transportation or amenities
Buyers often request data about recently sold homes, so having comps on hand will help you back up your asking price.
3. Understand How Your Local Market Is Trending
Your home's sale price will always be influenced by local market trends.
If you're in a seller's market, you can expect hot competition among buyers that may drive your sale price up.
But if you're in a buyer's market, you should prepare yourself for buyers who shop around and negotiate for a favorable price or contingencies.
According to Zillow CEO Spencer Raskoff's book, Zillow Talk, overpricing your home presents a much bigger risk than underpricing it. Not only will you deter buyers from considering your home, but repeated price drops can seem like a red flag for buyers who wonder why your home's value seems so unstable.
4. Update Your Home's Zestimate
Today, it's common for buyers to begin their home search on popular websites like Zillow and Redfin. For better or worse, these websites will color their expectations of your home's value.
If your Zestimate is wildly different from an expert realtor's comps, there are steps you can take to correct the situation.
While you can't directly edit your home's Zestimate, you can update your home's profile. Adding more details or correcting inaccurate information can help Zillow correctly estimate your home's fair market value.
This step can help you avoid confusion or unreasonable negotiations over price later on.
» Learn More: How to Update Your Zestimate
5. Avoid "Emotional Pricing"
Finally, it's important to avoid what experts call "emotional pricing."
The truth is, home sales are rarely unemotional business transactions. Whether you're selling the home your grandparents built or the home where your child took her first steps, you'll be parting with a lifetime of memories. This perceived value can cause you to overprice your home.
Buyers, however, won't appreciate your emotional connection to your home — after all, they'll be envisioning their own future lives in your home.
Try not to feel insulted or slighted if your home isn't valued at the price you think it deserves. After all, you and your realtor have the same goal: To sell your home at a fair price and reasonable timeline.
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