How to Price a Home for Sale in the Coachella Valley
If you are thinking of putting your Coachella Valley home or property up for sale determining how to price your home for sale is one of the most important factors in selling your home. If you list it too high you risk your home getting “stagnant” on the market or get mixed up with appraisal problems. If you list your home priced to low and you could loose out on thousands of dollars for you and your family. Well don’t fret, there are pricing strategies designed to maximize the sale price of your home.
How to Price Your Home Competitively in a Seller’s Market
In today’s crazy hot market setting the right price for your home is the single most important decision you will make when deciding to sell. Go too high, and you risk turning off buyers and you risk your property not appraising for loans. Go too low, and you could be leaving a significant amount of money on the table. One simple but powerful technique for pricing your home is to spend time looking at comparable homes. The only trouble with this technique is matching prices with a rapidly increasing market. Experienced real estate professionals know how to choose better and more recent comparable home to ensure your home is perfectly priced to take full advantage of the surging home prices.
Finding the elusive “Goldilocks” price (not to high and not too low) that will approximate or match appraisal values while still netting what you need from the sale of your home can be a delicate process. It is important to base this price on real-time market value. To obtain a clear view of what a real-time market value looks like it is imperative to spend time researching comparable homes that have sold in your neighborhood or area. This is best done by a highly experienced agent that understands your local market and has seen market highs and lows before.
The Importance of Appraisals
In a hot market like this appraisal values for loans become of the utmost importance. While there are many cash offers in the market right now, due to record low interest rates there is a preference with most buyers to still get a loan. If a home is priced well beyond the appraisal values this can cause problems with the deal and can even cause your property to fall out of the deal. If your property listed for sale falls out of escrow it could spell disaster for the sale of your home. You have lost significant amount of time on the market and it raises red flags for new potential buyers wondering why it fell out of escrow. This is a path that you do not want to go down! To prevent this from happening an experienced real estate agent will understand this and help you price a home right from the start.
Put Yourself in the Buyer’s Shoes
The next step to pricing is to put yourself in the buyers shoes. Ask yourself “What would a buyer pay for my home based on the current market value?” Compare your home with the competition’s and make sure to be brutally honest with yourself and set a price that you would pay. This is often the biggest mistake a seller can make. Being unbiased is extremely important in pricing a home. This is where an experienced agent who knows your specific neighborhood and how buyers respond comes in handy. A good agent will be able to understand the market value of specific improvements and finishings in an impartial way. Items such as pools, golf course vs. not golf course view, additions and finishings can be determined with an accuracy not available without specific knowledge and access to all MLS information.
Make Adjustments Quickly!
Once your listing is live and on the market it is important to allow for adjustments. If after implementing your marketing plan, buyers don’t begin to view your home on a regular basis, this is an indication that the market has rejected your price. On the other hand, if you have a steady stream of buyers touring your listing, yet you aren’t receiving any offers, this is often a symptom of buyers rejecting, not the price, but the home itself. Something about the home is turning them off. Knowledgeable sellers attempt to identify the problem and take proactive action to correct it. If you identify a problem that cannot be fixed the only option left may be to lower the price. If something isn’t working, successful sellers have the strength to make adjustments to their home or price quickly.
In a smaller market like the Coachella Valley finding the right balance may be more important than other larger markets in Southern California. Since the Coachella Valley is a secondary market, buyers tend to be more sensitive to home prices, and appraisers from out of area may not know specific price considerations for that community. Being aware of this right from the start may help you make quicker adjustments to your home price.
Hire an Experienced Listing Agent
Take the time to research local real estate agents, look at reviews on the internet, ask friends on Facebook, talk to friends and colleagues about who they recommend and interview multiple agents before making a hiring decision. Make sure any potential agent knows your local market. In addition, be sure to come to an agreement about a specific, documented marketing plan before signing a long-term listing agreement with your agent.
Don’t be Afraid of Criticisms
Successful sellers aren’t afraid of constructive criticism. In fact, a good agent will keep sellers informed of potential problems with their home with feedback from potential buyers. This feedback can provide helpful insights on everything from pricing to curb appeal, to help them secure the highest possible price for their home. Also, when hiring an agent, be sure to find an agent who is willing to hear your concerns. Make sure to review his or her marketing plan for your home. For instance, as a seller, you may find ways to improve advertising copy, flyers, photographs, or even virtual tours. After all you know all the details, finishings and upgrades you have made to your home better than anyone else.
Be Strategic When Pricing Your Home
Another strategy that may tweak your home price is understanding how homebuyers search for homes. Most homebuyers (well over 95%) now use Internet searches to start their home search. You can use the features of these websites, along with strategic pricing, to reach the largest pool of buyers possible.
Most real estate websites now utilize a home price range filter for searches that typically increment home prices by $25,000. You can utilize this fact to your advantage. Pricing your home at even numbers gives you the most visibility to buyers on the internet searching by these increments. For example if you priced your home at $300,000 even your home would show up at the top of the searches for people searching for home from $200,000 to $300,000. Conversely, if you priced your home at $299,999 (just one dollar less) your home would show behind all the homes priced at $300,000. The Coachella Valley tends to have less home than a market like Los Angeles so strategic pricing may have less of an impact here than other larger markets. Having said that why no give your listing every advantage possible?
Pricing homes at odd numbers seems to be a hold over from people seeing prices at the grocery store ending in “.99” and some people think this will make it seem like their home is well priced. However, this “99 cent” strategy does not work for real estate at all. Firstly, it will make your home less visible on internet searches. Secondly, this strategy may have the opposite psychological outcome of intended effect of making your home seem less valuable when the buyer submits an offer. When pricing your home, be sure to price it as close to $10,000 increments as possible.