Property Shop

Setting the Right Price

You have decided to sell your home. The very first thing you think about is "How much is my home worth?"

In one sense, the answer to that question is: "My home is worth whatever a buyer is willing to pay." The problem is, you really only find that out at the end of the process what that price is. Meanwhile, you have to set a target, a listing price to give potential buyers an idea of what you think your home is worth.

It is essential that the listing price you set be realistic. If it is too high, you may discourage potential buyers. If it is too low, you may find it sells very quickly, but you will not have realized the maximum value.

Many factors influence the value of your home: location, age, condition, size and style are among the most common factors. However, market conditions are still the largest influence. When demand is high, prices generally tend to be higher; when demand is low, prices are lower, too.

How do you determine a reasonable price for your home?

You can check other listings on You can look at other websites, newspaper advertising, and real estate publications to see at what price similar homes have been listed at. You can also talk to friends and acquaintances that have bought or sold recently. These are indications only. They will put you in the ball park perhaps, but they won't factor in things that may be unique to your home.

The best, surest way to make sure your home is priced appropriately is to have a professional appraisal - it is well worth the fee. Appraisals take into consideration the specific condition of your home and its features so they are generally very accurate. If you attempt to price it yourself, there is a risk that you could under-value your home and sell it below what you could get or price it too high and discourage potential buyers.

The appraisal is confidential between you and the appraiser. You don't have to show it to anyone but could be useful when haggling with a potential buyer during negotiations. It deters people from low-balling the price when you have an objective assessment.

You may choose to combine the appraisal with any improvements you make afterwards in order to find a fair asking price. Remember, selling a house is a negotiation. Your asking price should be higher than the price you are willing to accept, but not too much higher.

There is a danger in overpricing your house. It can end up sitting on the market for an unreasonable length of time, and people can start to wonder if there is something wrong with the house if it hasn't sold. In a competitive market where real estate agents are competing for listings, they may offer to list your property at an inflated price to get the deal. This almost always ends up in creating false expectations on the part of the owner and, ultimately, disappointment.

With you aren't influenced by competition for listings. You set your own price based on a realistic assessment of all the factors that determine the value of your home.