Price Your House for Sale Right to Sell It Fast
By Deane Alban
Whether you plan on working with a real estate agent or are going to sell your house FSBO, "for sale by owner", you may be concerned about how to price your home for sale. It's a decision that can cost you a lot of money and waste a lot of time if not done correctly.
Here are four ways to get the information you need to evaluate your home's value and decide on an asking price.
1. On-line "Guesstimate" Sites
There are a many popular websites where you can get a free "guesstimate" on the value of your house. I've compared the numbers on several of the most popular ones against houses I've recently sold or had appraised and found they were anywhere from spot on to 40% off!
I think you should consider these sites as a place to start when selling your house, but you need definitely need more accurate information than they can provide.
2. Comparative Market Analysis
If you are working with an agent, they can get you a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). This will give you a range of their best estimated prices, but there is no "magic formula". You still should do some research yourself so you can intelligently analyze the information they will give you.
It will ultimately be up to you to decide on the actual price. I wouldn't recommend blindly accepting a number they push for either. I've seen agents be way off. And after all, who knows your neighborhood better than you? You know things that don't "show up on paper" that can affect house values.
If you are selling your house yourself, you can get a CMA free online (also called a home valuation or valuation report). However, this will alert agents that you are trying to sell your own house and they will try to get you to list with them. There is no free lunch.
If you'd rather avoid the hassle of having agents call you, you can buy a valuation report online for around $30. You will receive a computer-generated opinion of what price you should sell your house.
If you are still feeling unsure about how to price your home for sale, you might want to consider having a professional appraisal done. It will cost $300 - $400. This is the "gold standard" of pricing methods. An appraiser will compare your house with 3 - 5 houses that have sold recently in your immediate area that are most like your house. Then they adjust your house's value up and down according to how your house compares to the other houses.
A benefit of this method is being able to show the buyer the appraisal. They can be assured they are getting a fair deal when they buy your house.
4. Field Research
Before deciding on your asking price, I highly recommend you do a little "field research". You need to actually see some comparable houses that have sold recently and some that are currently for sale in your neighborhood. You need to check out your competition!
Look at houses that have sold recently. Take your reports and drive by the comparable houses that you found on your Internet searches or are listed on your CMA, valuation report, or appraisal. Look at houses currently for sale. Next weekend, get online or grab your local newspaper and make a list of open houses in your area. Map them out and go to as many as you can.
Now you've seen your competition. Rate your house on the following compared to other houses that have sold or are currently for sale in your price range. Take into account everything you see that might affect your opinion of your house's value. How does your house rate compared to others houses in your area and price range on such variables as curb appeal, location, condition, features, landscaping, upgrades, and view? Adjust your price accordingly.
Now that you know the best ways to price your house for sale you should have a realistic idea of what your asking price should be. You can proceed with selling your own house with confidence knowing you are asking the right price.
Deane Alban is an experienced real estate investor and author of "The Truth About FSBO - Complete Selling System". "The Truth About FSBO" gives homeowners a step-by-step system to sell for sale by owner the RIGHT way. Visit TruthAboutFSBO.com to receive an eye-opening free report, "Revealed: The REAL Reasons Houses Don't Sell" which will save you time, money, and frustration when selling your house.