How to: Price Your Home for Sale

As April draws to a close, our thoughts inevitably turn to the months ahead, with graduations, weddings, and summer plans – all seemingly converging at once. For others, April and May might be a time of transition, of moving away for a new job, or new opportunity elsewhere. Those on the Big Island might be looking to sell their home before the end of summer, to coincide with the arrival of visitors who are looking to move here during that time.

With any home sale, one of the most important decisions is what price to list the home at. Having the sage advice of a good realtor can be key in determining what the home’s value is, something that Zillow really can’t get right, here on the Big Island. As hard as it may be to hear, a home’s true value is really only what a buyer will pay for it. This number may be higher during the summer months, and it may be lower during other times of year – or vice versa. To get a reliable and accurate assessment of the home’s value is critical to helping you sell your home quickly, for the best price possible. Choosing an agent who follows the market in your area closely, and can help create a solid pricing strategy for your home is paramount to your success.

One process most real estate agents will use in determining a home’s current value is a comparative market analysis, or CMA. This entails the agent examining the recent, comparable sales in your market that closed, and using that data to set a price – after making adjustments for differences between the subject (your) home and the ones that sold. Differences such as lot size, square footage, bedrooms and bathrooms, etc. will all come into play here, with the goal of arriving at a number that will encourage buyers to make offers. Determining the right list price is critical to selling your home in a timely manner, since the house will sit if listed too high, and money may be left on the table if listed too low.

Other ways agents will arrive at a listing price for a home is to look at what percentage of homes are selling at or above the list price, how long homes are taking to sell, and what the housing inventory looks like. All of these factors will come into play when figuring out how best to price, market, and sell a home.

In short, we’re only human, so it’s normal to let emotions pull us in many different directions when it comes to selling something as near and dear to us as our home, which we may have lived in for many years. A real estate professional can help you avoid the pitfalls of succumbing to emotion and help guide you in the best direction. So when you’re dreaming of selling your home – be it during the pre-summer transition months or at any other time of the year – turn to the savvy expertise of your friendly neighborhood real estate professional to help you understand and utilize the plethora of market statistics at his or her fingertips, to help you make your dream come true!

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