The Price is Right
Home buying and selling is like a game of The Price is Right. Whether you are buying or selling, in order to win, you want to get as close to the market value of the home, without going over. If you are a buyer and you go over, you lose money by overpaying, and if your offer is too low, you may be outbid and lose out on the home of your dreams. If you are a seller and you price your home too low, you loose money someone would have been happy to pay, and if you overprice your home, your response may be poor, qualified buyers may simply pass on visiting your home, and your listing will go stale.
In a healthy market like Portland consistently is, it is crucial to get the price right. More often than not, the reason a house doesn't sell is not that weird smelling tree in the backyard, or the neighbor who asked the potential buyers if they were Republicans, or how many upgrades you didn't complete, it is the PRICE. And unlike overpriced pants at Macy's, a "30% off" sign on your home's "For Sale" sign will NOT attract more buyers. Having to constantly reduce the price on your home because you risked overpricing it initially will only scream to buyers that there is something wrong with the house, even if there isn't!
So what should you do? That's right -- Hire a fantastic Real Estate Broker!
As a buyer, you need an agent who knows the local market well. That means knowing what recent sales look like, what buyers in the region are looking for and how fast homes are moving in that particular neighborhood. An agent that is confident in these areas will be able to advise you on what to offer to get you the home you want and at the same time can protect you from overpaying.
If you are a seller, the first step is to interview a few brokers. The most important things to look for in a broker are how knowledgeable they are about the market where your house is located, and how they advise you on pricing your home and their rationale for that price. The majority of agents will bring a comparative market analysis, or CMA, with them to the listing presentation. Simply put, a comparative market analysis is an estimate of a home's value based on recent sales of similar homes in the area. A competent agent will know how to choose the best homes to compare to your home and will add current listings and pending sales as well. They should be able to interpret all this data and together with you, the seller, come up with a number that is right for you AND the market. Accurate and defensible knowledge on this point is essential when determining the price for your property, much more so than impressive sales numbers from the broker's agency.
Beyond the ability to correctly price your home, you as the seller should also assess how much confidence and enthusiasm they have around selling your home, what their marketing plan is for your home, and of course, whether they were able to establish good rapport with you because they will be part of your life and conversations for a number of weeks!
If you'd would like a FREE CMA on your home click here and contact me. Thats right! I would love to provide you with a free CMA and set an appointment if you decide it is the right time to sell your property.