Search Triangle Area Homes for Sale

Patricia "Patty" Gillespie

Seller Secrets


When it comes to selling your house, you probably want to get the most money you can in the least amount of time, with the least amount of hassle.

To help you create the best pricing strategy, we've compiled research and advice from leading experts to give you the very best answers to the most common pricing issues and questions.


 How Buyers Search for Homes



Even the best houses on the market still face the issue of getting buyers' attention to show them that it's better. And that comes down to price, because that's how buyers search for homes.

Today almost 90% of buyers use the internet to search for homes. And the majority of agents use the internet to notify their clients of the best homes.


On The Market Vs. In The Market



Just being on the market is not the same as being in the market.

To get a sense of this, let's look at a graph of houses on the market at any point in time. Here we have two criteria, price and condition. Taken together, price and condition equal value. The level of value determines where the house can be found in the graph.


 Showings and Offers



So how do you know if your home is in the market or out of it? It's really as simple as showings and offers.

If you think you've priced your house right, and you haven't had any showings, the market is telling you that you're "out" of the market.


Proving House Value



To sell, your house has to prove its value to three people: the buyer's agent, whose job it is to scout for the best homes in the buyer's price range, the buyer, who selects from these homes, and the lender, who decides whether the home is actually worth the price.

Your real estate professional will take all this into consideration when helping you set the list price. To do this, your agent will create what is commonly referred to as a Comparative Market Analysis, or CMA.


 Market Value



If someone bought stock two years ago for $100 a share, and that same stock is now trading at $75 a share, no one would expect a buyer to pay $100 a share just because that's what the stockholder paid.

The same is true of real estate. The value of a house does not depend on how much you paid for it. Nor does it depend on what your neighbor says their home sold for, or how much you may have invested in home improvements that please you.



 Repairs and Improvements?



If you're thinking about making repairs to your home before selling, talk to your agent about which repairs are necessary and which might not be.

If you've made significant improvements to your home to make it into your dream, you probably already know that you're not going to get full-value for these improvements at resale.



 Appraised Value?



An appraisal can be ordered for many reasons. For instance, a bank will order an appraisal of a house before they agree to refinance a loan. An appraisal may tell a lender the replacement value of a home or whether the loan is a good business decision for the bank. It can be ordered to help dispute a property tax increase or to prove replacement value of a property to an insurance company.

But an appraisal won't help you determine the best price to get the house sold for one simple fact: an appraisal tells you what the lenders or the county thinks your house is worth, but they don't tell you what a buyer will think it's worth. A buyer will base their opinion of what the home is worth on their agent's comparative market analysis, not an appraiser's report.



 The Cost of "Testing" a High Price



Many sellers like the idea of pricing the house high at first to test the waters. This strategy certainly helps to sell houses. Unfortunately, the irony is that the house that sells won't be yours. That's because pricing your house high only provides a high comparable for other houses for sale in your area.

And don't be fooled by all the showings you've been getting at a higher price points. The fact is that many buyers' agents will actually show your house to clients with the aim of showing what a steal the house down the street really is. For those buyers, seeing is believing.


Negotiating Room?



Some sellers like the idea of showing they are flexible and willing to negotiate.

But pricing the house too high means running the risk of getting no offers. And then it won't matter if you're willing to negotiate if there's no one to negotiate with.


 Reducing the Price?



Some unsuccessful sellers try to "test the waters" by pricing the house to high with the hopes that they'll find a buyer who's willing to pay more than the house is worth.

The worst mistake a seller can make is thinking that there is no harm in price reductions later on. This is a classic pitfall that can lead to actually getting less for the house than it was worth to begin with.


Pricing Ahead of the Curve

Real estate markets change all the time. You want to make sure that you're pricing the house ahead of the curve -- no matter what the market.  

 The Cost for Relying on Compassionate Buyers



If you are falling behind on your mortgage payments, you may be faced with the sudden need to sell your house. You should know that you're not alone. Millions of homeowners across the nation face the prospect of a foreclosure or short sale.

And while the most compassionate buyers may understand your situation, their lenders won't, and will only lend for the current market value of the house.

If you need to sell your house quickly, your best bet is to price the house to sell.




Staging a house is a bit different from improvements made over the years.

The focus of staging is to declutter and depersonalize the house so that potential buyers can readily imagine themselves living there.

This might mean some landscape improvements to enhance curb appeal, putting some furniture in storage, moving items so that there is a clear path into each room, taking down the family photos and re-painting as necessary.



 Your Next Step



Selling your house is one of the biggest decisions you'll ever make. And you don't want to go into it alone. You wouldn't perform surgery on yourself, so why would you sell your house without the help of a professional.

Your real estate agent has provided this video because they care and want to help. Now that you have more information, you'll want to put that information into action.


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