The time might come when you decide it’s time to put your current home on the market, make a sale and move on. There’s a lot to think about in any sale, but one thing you literally cannot afford to get wrong is the price. Price too high, and you’ll be stuck where you are for a lot longer than you had planned. Price too low and while the sale will be quick and painless, you might potentially miss out on a new car or thousands worth of other treats that could have made a massive difference to your life.
You might think that it’s always a good idea to ask an expert and go with what they say. We’ll come to that in the tips but, as with anything, it always pays to do your own research too. Try these 10 tips to settle on the right value that strikes a balance between sale speed and maximising profits.
1. Start with an Online Calculator
Unless you’re an experienced salesperson, the chances are you’re starting the pricing process from scratch. It therefore makes a lot of sense to take advantage of anything that’s free and easy. For pricing up a home, that means online calculators. We have to say that they’re not going to be entirely accurate and you should only use the results as a guide, but as the most convenient option, it’s worth a try.
They are often generic, and take into account size, number of bedrooms and other homes in the area. Naturally, they cannot consider any nuances or unique features of the home. However, they will give you a price idea, and might even dictate whether or not now is a great time to sell after all.
2. Ask the Experts
We recommend calculators even with their lack of nuance because they’re free and convenient. Also free, but not quite as convenient, are estate agents and realtors. They will come to your home and appraise it for free in the hope of getting your business in the future. One of them undoubtedly will, but for the time being, you’re most concerned with a realistic price.
One crucial point is never to settle for just one. While two or more individuals may be experts in their fields, they won’t always agree. If they do, that means you know exactly what to expect by way of price. If one is higher than another, that gives a good idea of what you can expect if you’re willing to wait for the perfect sale.
3. Approach The House Like a Buyer
You might be tempted to add sentimental value into your pricing estimates, or there might be something your home has that others don’t. However, you need to consider how valuable this is to the buyer. For sentimentality, it’s all but worthless. For added features, it all depends how much use they might get out of it. Don’t set your prices too high based on what aren’t really saleable assets.
4. Consider Local Properties
Your home won’t be the only one on the market in a given area, and the internet means you’re free to look at other comparable homes – including inside if they were listed recently. See what they’re listed for and check older listings for real sale prices, and consider how much you can really expect to earn from your home.
5. Consider the Wider Market
There’s always local nuance to house prices, but you need to consider the overall market in your region or country too. In a recession, prices are down and there’s not a huge amount you can do about it. When times are good, prices are up. There’s nothing to say you can or cannot sell in either market, but you need to consider the impact it might have on your price and it should guide whether you decide to stick around for the time being.
6. Remain Rational
Unless you’re desperate to leave for reasons unrelated to money, you need to think about more than just getting as much as you can for your home. The buying and selling of houses can be an emotional process, so it makes plenty of sense to work on keeping your thoughts clear and to focus on realism over and above profit maximisation.
7. Plan Ahead
You might settle on a price today, but you need to consider what might happen if you don’t receive an offer this week. If prices are going up, you don’t want to sell yourself short in a few months when your home represents a bargain. If they’re going down, you don’t want to wait around to find that your home is unsellable at the current price. You can change it as often as you like, but you should aim to either price ahead or have a plan to modify it as times change.
8. Cut Costs Elsewhere
Saving money is just as good as earning it when it comes to house sales, so think about where you can cut costs and end up with more cash in your pocket. If you’re confident in marketing the property and selling it, you might consider a direct sale that bypasses agents and their commission.
9. Consider Pricing Low to Build Interest
There are enough knowledgeable people out there that can spot a bargain when they see one. You might consider pricing low with no real intention of selling at that price, merely to create a bidding war. It’s a risky strategy and nothing is guaranteed, but it’s worthy of consideration if you fancy yourself as someone that can close a deal when there’s competition.
10. Work Towards Your Ideal Value
If you have a price in mind but can’t, in a rational moment, justify it, consider what you can do to achieve it. Home improvements have a habit of adding more to the overall value than they cost. If you have time and a budget, think about what you could change to add the value you seek. This could be as much as an extension, or as simple as a fresh coat of paint. Crucially, you just need to avoid investing more than you’ll get back in the future, as you’re not exactly doing it for your own benefit.