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Setting a Selling Price for My Home: Where Do I Start?

First-time home sellers often have a lot to learn when putting their homes on the market. Unless they have been previously involved in real estate in a different capacity, they are entering uncharted territory. Setting a selling price is often one of the most dreaded tasks, because those new to selling homes do not know where to begin.

If you are going through a real estate agent, he or she can help you with setting a price. An experienced agent knows what factors affect the price your home has the potential to bring. She will also know how to set the asking price to your advantage and help you get the most money possible.

When selecting a realtor, it is a good idea to choose someone local. Real estate markets vary greatly from city to city, and even neighborhood to neighborhood. A local agent will be more familiar with the area's market trends than someone who is far away. That means she can more easily determine how much your home has the potential to sell for and help you set the asking price accordingly.

If you choose not to go through an agent, you will need to do some research of the local market before setting an asking price for your home. There are many factors that can affect the price your home will sell for. Reviewing past and present listings can help you price your home to sell.

Listings that have closed recently are one of the best sources of information. Looking at homes that are similar in size, age, and acreage to yours can give you a good idea of what your home could bring. It's also important to consider the area the home in question was in. The best comparisons are those with homes within a half-mile radius of yours.

Pending listings can also be valuable if you can find out the sales price. It never hurts to call the agent and ask. He may or may not tell you, but if he does it can be considered in the same manner as recently closed listings.

Active listings can give you a good idea of the asking prices of homes similar to yours. However, you have no indication of whether the home in question will actually sell for that price. Be sure to consider how long the listing has been on the market. If it has been listed for a long time, they might have the price set too high. Their mistakes can show you what not to do.

Once you have determined what prices homes similar to yours have been selling for, you will want to look at the state of the real estate market. In a seller's market, there are more buyers than there are homes for sale. This allows sellers to get a higher price for their homes due to the high demand. A buyer's market is present when there are more homes for sale than potential buyers. That means that you will need to price competitively. In a balanced market, you can expect to get a price similar to that of other comparable homes that have recently sold.

Pricing your home can seem like a difficult task, but it doesn't have to be. An agent can help you determine the best asking price for your home if you choose to use one. If pricing your home on your own, looking at listings of similar homes can help you settle on an amount. As long as you don't price your home so high that buyers will not even consider it, there is always the opportunity for negotiation.

Todd A. Sandler, Inc., REALTORS
536 N. Main St. (Rt. 28)
Randolph, MA  02368
(781) 961-1185