Ask the Expert: How to Price Your Home to Sell

Setting a price for your home is nerve-racking. You want to get the most out of your investment, but you also want your home to sell quickly! We asked real estate expert Lynn Pineda to give us some tips on how to make sure your home is priced to sell. Here's what she had to say.

How To: Price Your Home to Sell (at a Price You Can Live With)

You’ve made the decision that you want to sell your home yet are unsure as to the right price to get your home sold.  Perhaps this is your first time selling a home and you have no idea how to go about getting the right price. Where do you begin? Or perhaps you’ve sold a home in the past and it was less than a pleasant experience as it seemed to take forever to get your home sold. Don’t worry. Today’s article on some key principles to price your home to sell rather a newbie seller or repeat seller.

Hire a real estate agent that is skilled at pricing homes

You’re likely asking yourself, "How am I supposed to know whether or not a real estate agent has any clue on pricing homes?!" As I’ve said before, don’t worry. I’m going to tell you how to know.

Do your research on any agent you’re considering hiring. You have to first Google the agent to make sure you can find information about them on the web. Once you have, go to their website and dig into the real estate articles that they’ve written.

If an agent is effective at pricing homes, they’ll have likely written an article or two on the subject.

Plus, they probably talk about how well they price homes in their “About” or “Home selling” pages.

When all else fails, you can just ask them: What is your list price to sales price ratio? It will be very high, preferably in the high 90s and as close to 100 percent as possible. That number shows you they know how to price homes for sale. Make sure they’re providing you with the initial list price, and not determining this ratio after repeated reductions.

In addition, while presenting their recommended list price, they should be highlighting comparable closed sales, pending sales, and homes actively for sale in order to understand how those homes compare to your home.

It’s not about the square footage

If only it were that easy. Simply taking the price that your neighbor’s home sold for and dividing it by the square footage of the home you’re selling, will not reveal your home’s selling price. Wouldn’t you love it if it were that easy?! It’s about so much more than your home’s square footage.

Tell me about your home’s interior. When I ask you that, I don’t mean for you to tell me all about the memories in your home, like the day Isabella took her first steps as a baby or the day Lucas received his acceptance letter to attend Harvard. These emotional memories do not have a price tag. (lump in your throat). I understand, believe me.

Our homes are filled with memories that last a lifetime, however, a prospective home buyer isn’t interested in your memories, but rather the memories that they will create in your home. With this in mind, there isn’t any value established to your memories. Instead, tell me about the features of your home that will appeal to a home buyer, such as any upgrades you’ve done.

As a home seller, you have to play an active part

Selling is an action, and you have to participate. While hiring a seasoned real estate agent is paramount, they’re not doing all the selling themselves, as they’re going to need your participation to achieve the ultimate home selling success: selling a home for top dollar and doing it fast. In fact, as defined by the dictionary, selling is about making something available to be bought. Notice the word “make”.

Just like you make your bed, you can “make” your home to be sold, so to speak.

Preparing your home for sale is one of the most important tasks that you must complete as a home seller. It involves making sure every aspect of your home is “sale ready”. At a minimum, it involves putting forth a little elbow grease. Get your home ready to be seen. If you’ve hired right, your real estate agent will likely be blasting your home over the internet for the 92%+ of buyers looking for a home to buy.

What really matters

As discussed, nothing is likely more important than the price you use to list your home for sale.  It will make all the difference between selling your home fast and for top dollar, or watching your home languish on the market. Hire a real estate agent who knows how to price a home for sale, ignore erroneous square foot calculations and know that you cannot simply be a bystander to getting the most money for your home sale. Grab ahold of these things discussed here on home pricing, and get ready to move forward to the next chapter of living in a new home.

Lynn Pineda has been selling homes for 11 years in Southeast Florida covering the areas of Coral Springs Real Estate to Boca Raton Florida Real Estate with Keller Williams Realty. Visit Lynn at her real estate website