Seller Resources

Selling Your Home - Pricing the House to Sell


How is the price set?
It's very important to price your home according to current market conditions. Because the real estate market is continually changing, and market fluctuations have an effect on property values, it's imperative to select your list price based on the most recent comparable sales in your neighborhood, and the quality of your home. Do you have a new kitchen, are all the bathrooms truly updated? When you prepare to sell and are interviewing agents, study each agent's comparable sales report (the data should be no more than twelve months old, and pictures). If all agents agree on a price range for your home, go with the consensus. Watch out for an agent whose opinion of value is considerably higher than the others, or offer *GOTCHA* commission pricing.

What are the two most important factors when selling a home?
Price and condition are the two most important factors in selling a home, even in a down market. The first step is to price your home correctly. Use comparative sales information from your agent. Second, go through the house and repair any obvious cosmetic defects that could deter a buyer. We always suggest getting the home Inspected before being marketed. Make the repairs, and provide that to potential buyers.

When is the right time to reduce the price?
Just not getting any offers, you may have to consider lowering your price. If you have not gotten any offers in the first 30 days, it is time to lower your price. Also, make sure that your home is getting the exposure it deserves through open houses, advertising, good signage, and a complete BLC listing. If you have snow photos in June your agent might be slacking.

How does someone sell a slow mover?
Even in a down market, we say that timing, price, and condition are the three most important factors in selling a home. The first step would be to have set expectations. List the home at the market value, and listen to the advice on timing. You may have a home that will be flooded with buyers in the spring but languish in the summer and fall. Please understand Buyers today expect an updated home. HGTV has given Buyers and Sellers false impressions for years. Also, go through the house and see if there are cosmetic defects that you missed and can be repaired. Another option is to pull your house off the market and wait for the market to improve.

Zillow says our house is worth more?
We suggest you stay away from Zillow, given their margin of error in the Indianapolis area is 18% in 2013, Johnson county 19%, Morgan & Brown counties over 20%.

How do you prepare a house to sell?
Doing whatever you can to put your house's best face forward is very important if you want to get close to your asking price or sell as quickly as possible. Short of spending a lot of money, here are several ideas for making your home show better:
* Sweep the sidewalk, mow the lawn, prune the bushes, weed the garden and clean debris from the yard.
* Clean the windows (both inside and out) and make sure the paint is not chipped or flaking. And speaking of paint, if you accept an offer that is an FHA offer, you more than likely will be required to scrap any flaking paint and redo, even in the dead of winter. Don't ask us why, this is the Government and they are here to help.
* Be sure that the doorbell works.
* Clean and spruce up all rooms, furnishings, floors, walls and ceilings. It's especially important that the bathroom and kitchen are spotless.
* Organize closets, and kitchen cabinets.
* Make sure the basic appliances and fixtures work. Get rid of leaky faucets and frayed cords.
* Make sure the house smells good: from an apple pie, cookies baking or spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove. Hide the kitty litter.
* Put vases of fresh flowers throughout the house.
* Having pleasant background music playing in the background also will help set your stage. Open all blinds and turn on all lights for showings.

Where do I get information on housing market stats?
We have a good handle on stats. Just ask us what you are looking for and we can make it happen. Indiana Association of Realtors is always updating their information, most of which are continuously compiling such statistics from our local board. You could always follow our blog as we always stay on top of the local market.

Dan Moriarty
Dan Moriarty