Home Pricing Myths
Four Home Pricing Tips DC Metro Area
Homeowners Must Know
Determining the right list price for your home can be the difference between netting the optimal amount for a seller versus overpricing a home and having it sit on the market. Below, our team discusses four common myths home sellers may have about that all-important number.
Myth 1: I should price my house for what I think it’s worth and see how buyers react. I can always negotiate down if it’s not selling.
Most people love their homes. And that’s understandable. But don’t let your emotions interfere. Setting a price too high is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. While homes may sell quickly, depending on the market, the last thing you want is a house that goes stale from sitting unsold, which ultimately nets you less than if you had priced it right from the start.
The truth is, evaluating the market correctly is the most important factor when choosing the right price point for your home. And when we say evaluating the market, we're talking about an objective, data-driven, first-hand examination of comparable sales in your neighborhood. That’s where Donna Kerr Group’s agents with local expertise can help.
We know which sales in your neighborhood are relevant to your home. Yes, your home and the home that sold down the street may have the same number of bedrooms and baths, and similar square footage. But that doesn’t account for all the possible intangibles, such as the specific location of your home, its layout, its flow, its relationship to the yard, or even its exposure to the sun’s natural light. More than two decades of experience has shown us that a reliable price range is knowable. We also know that because of our home transformations, Donna Kerr Group homes in our main market sell for on average of $22-$43 per square foot more than non-Donna Kerr Group listings.
Myth #2: I can get the best sales price without having to put any money into my house before I put it on the market.
Homes will sell in any condition, it’s true. But will you get the best net return? It goes without saying that a well-worn or dingy appearance, outdated light fixtures and lots of clutter can lower the sales price significantly. If your home is outdated, the buyer will factor in the cost to update when making an offer or not make an offer at all.
A good Realtor will be upfront with you about what you absolutely need to do to get your best offer. They can provide relatively low-cost ideas for showing your home in its best possible light. Modest improvements, such as bathroom fixtures, an on-trend paint palette, new carpet or attractive landscaping can make a big difference in your home’s appeal. It can also make a big difference in the interest and views that you get online, which translates to more activity, more showings and ultimately a greater return.
At Donna Kerr Group, we’ve learned something important about buyers in the area: We live in a place where people are busy. They have demanding jobs, active kids, and plenty of interests outside their homes. Most shoppers are looking for a house that’s ready to live in. Buyers would rather pay more for a home they don’t have to update. They are just not interested in a lot of fix-up work. Or, in case they are, they want a significant discount for having to do the work themselves.
When considering the best way to present your home, we draw upon the skills and experience of Donna Kerr Group’s in-house Listing Experts and Design team (see our incredible transformations here). When a seller elects to make updates, we manage the entire process for our clients, from meeting and recommending the updates, to getting estimates, managing contractors and quality controlling the entire project. Whether you’re living in the property or living abroad, we take on all the details so you don’t have to. And before we put a home on the market, we provide top-notch staging.
It’s all about making your home look as appealing as possible — and, in the end, getting you the best possible return on your investment. Donna Kerr Group’s focus is to Sell For More!
Myth #3: If I put a lot of money into renovating my house, I should be able to get that back when I sell it.
True but not so fast. Not all updates are created equal and the style and design of updates, from what projects you do to what color you paint, are critically important to achieve the maximum return on your investment. A newly renovated kitchen may attract more potential buyers to your home, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be reimbursed for every penny you’ve invested. You might have been better off painting the cabinets or replacing the counters in order to invest the rest of your budget into something else. It all depends on the right strategy for your unique home. For most, that includes neutralizing a potential negative before accentuating the positive in your home.
In general, making kitchen improvements is often a good idea. Upgrading a bathroom is often smart, too. But when considering renovations, make sure you get expert advice because every neighborhood has a price ceiling. You don’t want to be the most expensive house in the area. Sometimes smaller investments show the highest returns. An on-trend paint palette, updated lighting and carefully chosen kitchen tile may be all that’s needed.
Myth #4: I can get an accurate estimate of my home’s value online.
Many clients come armed with a number from a website with a high and low price range that can exceed $100,000! Those figures are created using an algorithm that won’t factor in recent improvements to your home or neighborhood. What about the location of your home on the street, the new bathroom you added last month, the new park or bike trail that’s opened nearby or the new school located just a block away?
A real estate agent who’s visited your home and knows the surrounding neighborhoods like the back of his or her hand is your best source. More things to consider: You may also live in a neighborhood where sales have started to slow. Or your house may have qualities that are unique to your neighborhood. In those cases, there may not be comparable sales in your neighborhood and that can significantly skew your estimate.
Pricing your home correctly is one area in modern life in which a savvy human — your Realtor — armed with the right data and knowledge of the local market wins every time!
The fastest way to get started is to contact us.