Pricing Your Home to Sell
In today’s market, it seems as if only those who are serious about selling their homes should put their homes on the market. The time a home is on the market before it is sold has decreased by 19.8 percent from roughly 51 days in 2009 to 41 days today. The unsold inventory index provided by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® also decreased to 6.3 months in Feb. 2010, compared with 7.1 months in Feb. 2009 . This means it would take 6.3 months to sell all the homes on the market today at the current sales rate.
What does this mean for you as a seller?
It means buyers have some choices and time to evaluate their options. You may need to focus on flexibility, and educate yourself about your home’s value, the value of comparable homes in your neighborhood, and overall market activity where you live, when attempting to attract serious buyers and sell your home. Here are some important steps to consider:
Price Your Home
A home down the street from yours that is close in age and size may have sold in 2004 above its listing price, but this may be a very different market today. With homes staying on the market longer today before they are sold, the difference between the initial listing price and the final selling price has increased to 4.3 percent, compared to zero percent in 2005. (source: C.A.R.) You’ll want to remain flexible, as well as knowledgeable about the market in your area, and price your home accordingly. A REALTOR® can provide you with a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) for your home that will give you a current account of sales and listing activity in your area to help you determine a fair asking price. The CMA also may compare your home to those similar in age and size.
Market Your Home
In today’s market, it may not be enough to simply put up a “for sale” sign in your front yard. Brochures, fliers, postcards, and other marketing tools are being widely used, as well as many online home-buying search engines. Roughly 37 percent of all buyers first go to the Internet when they begin searching for a home (source: NAR). A REALTOR® also can provide access to a multiple listing service and utilize other online tools to help put your home in front of the largest number of buyers and their agents as possible.
If you are selling your home with the intention of buying a new one, you may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan before you put your home up for sale. This allows you to obtain a clear picture of your borrowing and buying power, ensures that you will be able to obtain financing to purchase your next home, and tells sellers you are a serious and qualified buyer.
The Value of Home Staging
Home staging can help your home stand out to buyers, resulting in a quicker sale and higher offers. Even small touches like removing family photos, diplomas, and other personal items make it easier for buyers to visualize themselves in your home. Before you put your home on the market, take an impartial look at your property, inside and out. Quick and inexpensive touch-ups that will give your house a polished look include fresh coats of neutral paint in the bedrooms; new cabinet knobs in the kitchen and bathrooms; and organized closets and cabinets.