In August, Houston and the northeast areas saw double digit percentage increases in active listings for single-family homes versus last year. But how should sellers go about pricing their homes to be competitive in today’s housing market?
Several real estate agents at Keller Williams Realty Northeast weighed in on their home pricing strategies. They all stressed the importance of knowing your competition: find out the prices of active listings and recent sales of homes in your neighborhood with similar square footage and upgrades as yours.
Attend open houses in your area to see how the competition presents itself to the buyers, recommends Keller Williams Agent Susan Brown. “In this market, it is important to have the best presentation and be priced in the middle to lower range of the market,” she says. “Price it right to begin with and eliminate chasing the market by having price reductions every 30 days.”
Many things should be considered to determine the true value of your property: location, overall size of the house and property, floor plan, and upgrades, cautions Keller Williams Agent Diana Coleman. “Due to the cost of energy, many buyers today are concerned about the utility costs,” she points out. “Consequently, homes with newer air conditioners and furnaces, insulated windows, newer water heaters and even roofs with radiant barriers are more highly valued in today’s market place.”
Keller Williams Agent Suzanna Cheek agrees that today’s buyers are shopping to find the homes with all the bells and whistles for the best price. “Buyers determine value; buyers want a lot of extras,” she states. “It’s often possible to perform inexpensive upgrades that dramatically alter the appearance, and desirability, of a property for very little investment. The flip side is: a property that is not upgraded must be priced considerably less that the upgraded ones.”
The easiest way to get the most value for your home is by identifying the features in your home that buyers might reject and fixing them prior to listing, confirms Coleman. “If you want to sell quickly, you will need to beat your competition. You may beat them by having a better location, more updates, more energy efficient features, better curb appeal, better overall floor plan, or even a better price.”
When it comes to pricing strategies, the Keller Williams agents agree that sellers should price the property based upon perceived value, not what they paid for it or what they owe on it. An overpriced property in today’s market will not sell. Price and condition must match.
“Your first offer is often your best offer,” advises Cheek. “Buyers are very ‘market savvy’ by the time they make an offer. Go with their offer. If you don’t accept it, you may have to wait months to get another one.”
Brown says that while price is important, the sale of a home is not just about the price, but also the terms. “It might make sense in this slower market to entice the buyer with help on closing costs by offering a ‘seller contribution’,” she suggests.
The most important first step in any case is to contact a professional REALTOR® who knows the market.
For a list of agents at Keller Williams Realty Northeast, visit https://www.kwnortheasthouston.com/MeetOurAgents.aspx.