Picking a Listing Price can be extremely stressful, what you think your home is worth might not be what the Market thinks your home is worth. A Real Estate Agent will give you their expert opinion, but make sure they explain the current market trends and have enough information to back it up.
Dangers of Overpricing
Broker- and buyer-interest is at its highest when a home is first put on the market — and that interest will remain high for about four weeks. But if a property is priced too high during this crucial period, it won’t attract the right buyers. Once that momentum is lost, it’s difficult to recover.
- By overpricing your home, you create the need to reduce the price at a later time in order to compete with the listings that are really in your price range.
- If you’re interviewing several Realtors to choose a listing agent, you may be tempted to pick the sales professional who suggests the highest price for your property. But sellers, like buyers, need to beware. The Realtor who provides the best comparative market analysis and explanation of how your home should be priced will be more likely to sell your home quicker and for a higher price than someone who tells you only what you want to hear.
Look at Comps
Talk to a Realtor and have them find Comparable homes,that are on the market and homes that have recently sold, also known as a Comparative Market Analysis . Your asking price should be within 10 percent of the average sold price in your neighborhood.
Realtors will evaluate three factors: comparing your home to others that have recently sold, others currently listed and adjustments needed for extraordinary improvements.
Although home improvements can increase the value of your property, it is more likely these upgrades will simply help the home to sell faster than the others without similar renovations. This concept is sometimes difficult for sellers to understand. They feel that if they spent a certain amount on a home improvement, they should be able to recoup that cost by tacking it on to the sales price. But unfortunately, that’s not always the case. According to Home Remodeling Magazine, very few home improvements return 100% of the investment, and that percentage of return declines as the years go by.
Upgrades are important, but buyers may not share the owners’ enthusiasm for — nor agree with — the owners’ perceived value of the improvements. And if a buyer doesn’t see the value, then there is no value.
A professional analysis of the market, will take all of this into consideration as well as analyze the price other homes have actually sold for, not just the asking price — there can be a sizable difference. The most common mistake sellers make when pricing their property is to only consider the asking prices of other properties. Remember, a list price does not suggest market value of a home. It is simply the “asking price” or “dream sheet” of another seller. Its relevance may, however, be in how you position your home with the others on the market.
- Time of year — Ah, spring. Spring is considered the best season to sell a home since families are trying to get situated before the start of the next school year; however, fall is a close second since it comes right after the quiet days of summer when most people are away on vacation. Winter is usually the worst season — especially in areas where it snows — but also because of the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s holidays when people’s minds are on socializing, not buying or selling a home.
- Interest rates — If rates are reasonable, it seems everyone is in the market for a home. But, if interest rates start to climb or they do not seem reasonable, you’ll see less action on the street.
- Inventory — In Economics 101, we were taught the basics of supply and demand. This theory laid the foundation of what drives costs, and so it goes with real estate. If your home is one of 20 in the neighborhood that’s for sale, you will have a hard time getting your price since the supply is great and the demand may not be so great. However, if it’s a hot market and you have a home in a great neighborhood, chances are you will get your asking price and maybe even more. Scope out the neighborhood to see if inventory is high or low. (And ask a real estate agent.)
Home prices in Southern California are at their highest level in six years, according to new data, though those gains may be taking a bite out of sales volume.
The median price of a house sold in Southern California rose from $383,000 in February to $400,000 in March, the market’s highest level since February 2008, according to San Diego-based DataQuick, which tracks real estate data.
The figure is up 15.8% from the same month last year and is the first noticeable increase since the torrid run-up in prices last spring and summer.
At the same time, the number of sales fell on an annual basis for the sixth straight month as investors and cash buyers pull out in the face of higher prices, and more traditional home buyers hesitate to jump in. There were 17,638 homes sold in DataQuick’s six-county Southern California’ region, down 14.3% from last March and the second-lowest total for the month — the start of the key spring home-buying season — in nearly two decades.
“Southland home buying got off to a very slow start this year,” said DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage. “We see multiple reasons for this: The inventory of homes for sale remains thin in many markets. Investor purchases have fallen. The jump in home prices and mortgage rates over the past year has priced some people out of the market, while other would-be buyers struggle with credit hurdles. Also, some potential move-up buyers are holding back while they weigh whether to abandon a phenomenally low interest rate on their current mortgage in order to buy a different home.”
The data also show how the recovery is being felt differently at different segments of the market.
While prices have climbed fast on lower-priced homes, the number of sales has fallen sharply, suggesting a lack of homes for sale and buyers who can afford them. Sales of homes for less than $500,000 dropped 26.4% from this time last year…
The price per square foot of a new condo downtown climbed 6% in March from February to $656, according to a new report from the Mark Co., which tracks downtown real estate.
The number of condos for sale, meanwhile, fell sharply as buyers snapped up units at downtown’s lone new condo building: the Barker Block on Hewitt Street.
At month’s end, Mark said, there were only 27 new units for sale downtown, and the inventory of existing condos for sale would burn off in less than three months — half of what’s considered a healthy supply. Prices for condo resales slipped in March but remain 23% higher than a year earlier, at $534 per square foot.
“There is a dearth of condos,” said Alan Mark, the Mark Co.’s president. “People are not even selling existing condos because there’s no place for them to buy.”
The tight for-sale market contrasts sharply with a boom in apartment building.
After the housing market tanked in 2008, some downtown projects that had originally been designed as for-sale switched over to become rentals. And big institutional investors, desiring a safe, stable return, shifted their money into high-end apartments, helping to fuel a building boom that has 5,000 rental units now under construction, and 3,000 more units approved by the city.
That surge in rental supply may lead some apartment owners to flip their buildings back to condos, but Mark said he doesn’t see that happening yet. The numbers don’t quite pencil out, and the wounds from the downturn are still too fresh.
“There are definitely people circling, trying to figure out does it work and do they have the wherewithal to put 200 or 300 units on the market for sale,” he said. “Some developers still feel the scars of the recession.”
As for new construction, that could happen — there’s one 38-story condo tower in early development on 9th Street north of Staples Center — but it’s going to take a while.
“To build any building that’s sizable, it’s 18 months to two-and-a-half years to deliver,” Mark said. “You just don’t see this thing changing soon.”