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Set the Right Price and Sell It on Your Terms

By Jeff Kessler on Oct 12, 2010

Starting with the perfectly obvious, if you want to sell your home, in the Austin Texas Area, you have to set the price. You can set any price you like, and many will tell you to shoot for the moon. You can always come down if you have to. That turns out, though, to be a very poor strategy. The higher your price, the longer it will take you to sell.

Even if you are feeling the pressure to get a lot of cash out of your home to get into a better place, it may be advisable to drop the price a little in order to make the deal go through without unnecessary delay -- and since dropping your price after you have been on the market too long is deadly to your chances for a good sale, that leaves only one other time to do it: at the outset. We will consider not only the value of your time, but also the deleterious effects of sitting unsold too long on the market.

Pricing With Precision
The key to a quick transaction is to price your home just below other similar homes on the market in your neighborhood. If you are working with a Realtor, the agent will be able to provide you with a comparative analysis and tell you what prices other homes like yours have brought. Setting a good price point is an asset a Realtor can bring to get the process going in the right direction.

Quick Deal Versus Higher Price
If you are buying a consumer item to use in your home, you would not likely spend too much time making a decision between an item available for sale nearby and one that costs less but had to be brought in from far away. Your time is an asset in its own right, and that is true for the time you will spend finding the perfect buyer, or rather having that buyer find your home. Looking at it this way puts the matter into a new light. Another disadvantage, if the market is slow (a buyer's market), is that if you have to cut your price after a time of inactivity it communicates the idea to buyers that you might be in a vulnerable position. They will respond -- with unattractive eagerness -- to any indications that you are in an unfavorable or weak position.

The Market Really Makes the Timing Decision -- Take Advantage of It
If, after looking at the case for not going for the maximum possible price you are still stuck on getting top dollar, you will probably just have to wait until you can get that optimum price; in other words, you have to pay attention market conditions. Now might not be the right time to be selling, so you may have to give some on the "Sell it quickly" theme -- but even so, when the market makes a move, you might need to go quickly. This could mean having to sell your home before you decide on another.

Unless you have relatives or friends with whom you can stay awhile, you may defeat your purpose in gaining extra money on the sale by having to move into short term rental housing until you find another place. Sometimes the buyers might give you a little time, especially if they are able to stay where they are a little longer. In most cases, though, as soon as they know the loan has been approved they will be anxious to close pretty quickly.

Condition and Upkeep Has a Big Impact on Not Only the Price but Also the Speed of Sale
An important thing sellers sometimes inadequately consider when setting their price is whether their home is in the same condition as other homes that sold for an attractive price. All too frequently, a seller will see a home sell for an attractive asking price on their block and come to the conclusion that theirs should be sold for the same figure, failing to observe features or necessary repairs that would make a difference. If this happens you may be successful in pricing it to sell quickly by offsetting the price of any repairs that will be left to the new homeowner. This would result in a lower selling price but, offsetting it, less hassle for you.

You have to decide, after all, what is your work and involvement worth? Serious work such as loose joists, roofing, and heating/air conditioning units may not be eligible for this kind of treatment, although you can get away with it for things that only affect the way things look. Things such as putting in fresh plants, replacing old gutters, and fresh new paint can sometimes be skipped as long as it is known to the buyers they will be doing some physical work in exchange for that great competitive price break you're giving them. Many buyers go out of their way to look for just such opportunities, since they like to see themselves as being adept at trading their own effort and skills for money in their pocket -- and you can put this to work in your favor, but only if you price it to sell.

Considering the expense of spinning your wheels and your home sitting for too long a time on the market, both in terms of foregone money and time not to mention the inevitable loss of your home's advantage in being fresh and new in the listings, the really smart move is to price it right from the start and sell it quickly.

This article was presented by Automated Homefinder, Colorado's Denver real estate specialists.


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