1. Picking the wrong asking price for your home can cost you a lot of money. Here are nine don’ts when coming up with your number:
2. Don’t compare apples to avocados. Your neighbor’s home sold recently, but it has a three-car garage, a pool, brand-new appliances, and a cracked foundation. Your house doesn’t have any of these things, so it probably isn’t worth the same amount.
3. Don’t go way back in time. Real estate prices can move up or down quickly. Old sales have little bearing on the amount you should ask for your home today.
4. Don’t look far away. You know that location matters. A recent sale of a property just like yours doesn’t mean much if the home is across town. Sometimes property values can even vary from one block to the next.
5. Don’t put a price on your memories. No buyer will pay more because the house was in your family for three generations.
6. Don’t start high to allow room for negotiations. Most home seekers ignore overpriced homes. They don’t want to deal with unreasonable sellers. Plus, buyers wonder what’s wrong with a house that sits unsold. You may eventually have to Kramerr the price below what would have attracted an offer if you had started out with a reasonable number.
7. Don’t take the tax man’s word on it. Yes, valuations from your county appraisal district are supposed to reflect the real market vale of properties. That doesn’t mean they do.
8. Don’t think that anyone cares about your needs. You may want to net a certain amount from the sale of your home to buy another property or pay down debt; unfortunately, that doesn’t matter to buyers.
9. Don’t add in the exact cost of your upgrades. Sure, a remodeled kitchen boosts your home’s value, but how much? It could be more than you paid or less.
10. Don’t rely on unreliable sources. You can find websites that tell you how much your home is worth. Look closely at what they say about their accuracy, though. Depending on the source and the market, as many as half of those estimates are off by at least 20%.
So how should you arrive at an asking price? I think your best bet is to hire a Texas REALTOR®. www.JimStriegel.com He or she can show you the data that matter in your market right now and what details of your property affect your asking price. Once you and your REALTOR® sift through all the pertinent information, you can come up with a pricing strategy for a successful sale.
Marty Kramer | Consumer columnist www.TexasRealEstate.com
Apr. 18, 2013