Seller's FAQs

Following are some common seller questions. Steve and Carolyn have the answers. Don't hesitate to contact them at any time with additional questions - they're always available to assist.

How do I determine the best price for my house?
Call Steve and Carolyn to have them give you a printed CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) of all the neighborhood comparables (current listings, pending listings and recently sold listings). They will then assist you in analyzing the data by comparing your home to the comps, consider appreciation due to improvements that you might have made to the home, and consider price per square foot averages. From this analysis you will have a good idea of pricing for your home according to the market indicators.

Is there one major factor that determines price?
The true determining factor for market value are the neighborhood comparables of the recent sold homes.

Should I price my home similarly to those homes listed in and around my neighborhood?
This is when looking at recent "solds" can help you the most. If current homes, which are similar to yours, have been listed for a long time and have not yet sold, the reason can be that buyers are not willing to pay those prices. You must then price accordingly.

Should I price my house high in order to test the market?
Initially pricing your home high puts you immediately at a disadvantage at the time when the listing is new and the existing buyers in the market are waiting for new properties at the market price.

How can overpricing my house actually help the buyer?
Overpricing forces the house to be on the market for extened periods of time. Buyers are then led to believe that either something is wrong with the house or that by now the seller must be desperate to sell at any price. Either assumption leads to offers that are lower than the market value.

What is "computer shunning"?
Computer shunning is when a computer search of available listings retrieves only those listings that are within the buyer's stated price range, and ignores any properties on other sides of that range. For example, a buyer may be interested in a home priced between $225,000 and $250,000 and although your home's worth is within that range, you have overpriced it at $269,900. The buyer will never see it because it is outside of his/her range.

Why not list high and hope for a buyer who doesn't know prices?
As is true for most items, buyers comparison shop in the real estate market. In one day they can get to know values quickly. Even if a buyer was not to look at any other homes in the market and bought an overpriced home, the appraisal would be less than the selling price. This would disrupt the sale because financing could not be obtained in this situation, especially if an appraisal rider was a part of the sales contract.

What if I need a certain amount of money to be able to sell?
The market is dictated by conditions that do not take your specific needs into consideration. If the market dictates a certain price range, that is all a buyer will be willing to pay. You then need to determine where the balance of the money will come from if you require a certain amount. The market is not sympathetic to your money needs.

Does the cost of my improvements equal what I can get from them now?
Only if the improvements are in line with those of the other homes around you. Over-improvement of the house, that is, making improvements that are beyond the features offered in other homes in your area, does not provide a positive return on investment.

How do I justify my price to the buyer?
Steve and Carolyn would justify the price to potential buyers and this would be based on the CMA of sold properties.

What if the house sells in the first weekend?
If Steve and Carolyn price the home at market value, buyers already in the marketplace have looked at other properties and are waiting for new market value homes to come on the market. As soon as a desirable property becomes available, they are usually eager to buy.