How much to ask for my house? This has always been the most important question in selling your house, but never more than today. A bad guess as to what the market will bear can cost you months--and even as much as a year--to sell your home today.
There is a lot of misinformation out there. I read a quote today, not from a Realtor, that in summary said that it was okay to set the price high--that a seller would probably not see backlash from that decision.
I am not sure why that information was published (and on a reputable on-line resource!) because it is not true. There are so many choices out there that if your house is overpriced, even by a little bit, buyers will ignore it. Why, you ask? Won't they just make me an offer? Well, they might (in very, very rare cases), but most likely the buyer will just move on to a more reasonably priced home--and a more reasonable seller. Remember, your price indicates your acknowledgement and understanding of the local market. A price that is too high says that you think your house is better than the others--so it better be significantly better! And you better have some really strong marketing to get information about WHY it is better out to the public.
What I have seen historically with prices set too high is that they languish on the market until a price cut brings them in to line with the other houses in the market. At that point, the Days On Market indicator has started to creep up, indicating that there might be a frustrated seller (and a potential bargain) and a buyer will come in with an offer. That offer is often lower than the original price I had suggested for the house.
A reasonable price does not beg people to undercut. It incents them to hurry and not try to bargain for every last dime. After all, if one buyer thinks it is a good house, fairly priced, chances are good that a seond buyer will, too.
I will leave you with my motto for sellers,'Your house is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.'
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