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Step 1: Hiring an Agent to Figure out a Price

Pricing Your Home

Everyone wants top dollar for their home, but the early stages of the selling process can make the difference.
Before you can even begin to think about what your home is really worth, you’ll need to hire the right agent. Licensed real estate agents have undergone extensive training to do what they do so they know more than others about the market and how best to get a home sold successfully.
Hiring the right agent will give you access to the education and resources necessary to ensure that you get the most value for your home.
Market value can be defined as the highest estimated price that a buyer would pay and a seller would accept for an item in an open and competitive market.
4 things affect market value:
  • Demand - the number of buyers who desire (and can afford to purchase) homes like yours
  • Utility - how useful your home is to buyers
  • Scarcity - how many homes like yours are currently on the market
  • Transferability - can you legally transfer ownership of your home to someone else
A licensed real estate agent will be able to use this information about your home to provide you with a comparative market analysis which you can use to determine the best price of your home based on this information, the square footage of your home and prices of recently sold homes in your area. The more competitive the asking price, the faster your home will sell.
Make sure to discuss with your agent any recent home improvements you’ve made. A new roof or a remodeled kitchen could significantly increase the price of your home. However, it’s also important to disclose to your agent any damage or financial issues affecting the home. For example, a termite infestation or any existing liens on your home other than your primary mortgage could potentially lower the value of your home and it’s important that your agent knows this so that the two of you can work together to come with the best plan for selling your home.
The best agent is the one who will do the most effective job of marketing the property, negotiating the most favorable terms and conditions, and communicating with the seller to make the process as smooth as possible.

Some final notes:

  • Ask questions and communicate openly with your listing agent so that the selling process happens in a way that you want it to. A responsive agent will be willing to address your questions and concerns, as well as discuss a comprehensive overall strategy.
  • Realize that agents and real estate companies put up their own funds to market and advertise your home. Marketing and advertising costs money -- the lower the commission, the less incentive for an agent to put up his or her own money to market your home.