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Ask a Principal Broker: Pricing Expectations


by Catherine Fisher, Managing Principal Broker of Town & Country Realty

I am often asked how a seller should price a home for sale. There are many factors that go into the pricing of a home – the property itself and its features, location, current available inventory, current demand, comparable past sales, likely price point, marketing strategy, the seller’s timeline and more. Fortunately, this is where the expertise of your Broker is invaluable. They will be able to give you a range they feel is appropriate for the aforementioned considerations. There are a few basics to keep in mind, so start here:

Do look at your house and property with a critical eye about what a potential buyer might see. We all have things about our homes that we do not notice anymore. I personally have a 2-foot piece of trim missing in my kitchen. It has been that way for ages and I do not even see it anymore. (Although, I am going to have it fixed because it is not very attractive, now that I am thinking about it!) So, look through your home and see what you have overlooked in the past. Really assess what is good and bad about your house.

Do not assume that because your neighbor or friend got a certain price for their house, you will too. Houses are different, even if they are the exact same layout. Flooring, countertops, construction materials, color choices, condition of windows and roof plus other features can be different. The way the house sits on the lot, the location or size of the lot, even the color of the front door might appeal to a buyer differently than it does to you.

Do not expect to get a certain price just because you need it. Over the years, I have been told by various sellers that they needed a certain price for a house because they owed too much. Or, they wanted to be able to buy up and needed to get a certain amount for down payment on the next house. Or, they have put $X into the house on upgrades and they wanted to get the same amount back as the cost of the upgrades. These do not affect what the house will be priced at and ultimately sell for.

And most importantly, do not rely on the Zillow Estimate, called a Zestimate. This price is based upon an algorithm. While it is sometimes very accurate, often it is completely inaccurate and sellers run the risk or either over pricing or under pricing their house. These estimates do not take into account many features of your home or your neighbor’s home. Instead, Zillow assumes all houses are basically the same. This is very effective in large cities with large subdivisions but much less effective in smaller towns with smaller neighborhoods. Amazingly, the owner of Zillow’s own house had a Zestimate more that 25% off of the actual selling price!

Do work with a professional, experienced real estate broker to create an individualized marketing and pricing plan for your specific property and needs. The broker will take into account all of the market data, your needs and the property specifics to build a strategy to get the most for your house, in the timeline that works for you as easily as possible!

Call Town & Country Realty in Corvallis at 541-757-1781 or in Albany at 541-924-5616 today so we can help you move towards your goals. You will be glad you did!

Town & Country Realty – providing the place you love to come home to since 1951.