We’ve all gotten those Zestimates telling us what our home is worth these days, but there is so much more to pricing a property than Zillow and Redfin.
So, let’s talk about what you need to think about when pricing your home for a successful sale.
The Problem With Taking Zillow’s Word for It
When big real estate sites generate estimates, they aren't working from a complete set of information. The site may be unaware of upgrades you have made to your home. Meanwhile, the algorithms are likely to treat all homes with the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms the same.
The truth is that not all 3-bed, 2.5-bath homes are created equal. There is much more nuance when it comes to the factors that impact a home's value. Even if two houses in the same area were built in the same year and have the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms, there are things the algorithm can’t assess that impact value, like:
- the condition of the home and its major systems
- interior renovations, such as a kitchen remodel
- whether the home is on a conforming or nonconforming lot
- what the zoning setbacks are and how they might impact future renovations
Why It Pays to Work With an Agent to Understand the Comps
"Comps" are similar properties recently sold in your area. Your agent can help you understand how the selling price of these properties is likely to impact your home sale.
Last fall’s market data is already old when it comes to using it as guidance for setting your listing price. Instead, your agent can help you look at recently sold properties and ones currently under agreement to get a clearer picture.
The Key to Success This Spring? Price Realistically, Not Aggressively
It may sound counterintuitive, but this spring being realistic—not overly aggressive—is more likely to drive up the price.
You don't want to be below the market, but you want to generate some excitement and hope among buyers. Don't imagine multiple offers when setting your number because even in this market, that isn't guaranteed. Knowing the most recent “under agreement” numbers will help you go out with a realistic listing price that you feel good about. If you end up getting more, all the better!
Remember, even though your buyer is unlikely to have a mortgage contingency in their offer, they will likely need to finance their home purchase. That means the house still has to appraise. While it's not your problem as the seller (if there is no mortgage contingency in the offer), it can make for a bumpier transaction.
Set a Showing and Offer a Review Strategy That Works in Your Favor
Once you have a number set, your agent can help you make a plan for showing your home and reviewing offers.
You want to show your home in a way that feels good to buyers. We're finding that giving buyers a chance to feel like they've had enough time to see the house can make a big difference. Consider whether 20-minute private showings are a better option than a free-for-all open house.
You'll also want to consider whether you will allow pre-inspections and if you plan to hold all offers until a specific date and then review them at once. All of these factors can contribute to buyers feeling confident in making their best offers and help ensure your transaction is drama-free.
The bottom line? You don't need to fix the things you would have if you listed a few years ago. Instead—as long as you get the price and plan right—you can list this spring and reap the benefits of this once-in-our-lifetime seller's market.
Interested in working with one of our experienced agents to sell your home this spring?
Get help from a Rutledge agent today.