Priced to Sell: A Four-Point Process for Smart Sellers

So, how do you find that happy medium — the right price that will get you the biggest payoff, be competitive in the current market, and leave you without seller’s remorse for parting with a home you love?

May 24, 2014 at 1:28PM

You're ready to sell your home. Or maybe you're not sold on selling, but it's the right move for career, family, or other reasons. The good news is that there are plenty of resources waiting to help you figure out the best price for you home. You don't want to come in too low and leave money on the table, but you sure don't want to price yourself out of the market, either.

So, how do you find that happy medium — the right price that will get you the biggest payoff, be competitive in the current market, and leave you without seller's remorse for parting with a home you love?

Take a four-point approach to setting the best price for your home in any market.

1. Start with Smart Pricing Tools
Automated, online estimates of your home's value are a great place to begin your process of picking a price. For example, after entering your address and a few other details, Trulia's handy home pricing tool instantly delivers an estimate of what your home is worth. It may also give you information on similar homes that were recently sold in your area. These 'comps,' or comparison properties, will help you understand what price other homes like yours are selling for, giving you a leg up on your own pricing strategy.

2. Set Your Pricing Criteria
While pricing tools can give you an excellent starting point for setting your home's listing price, a real estate professional can sweeten that scenario tons. When you're ready to list, schedule a walk through with your agent of choice. This way, they'll be able to see your home, its nuances, and make recommendations on how to best price your home given its unique features in relation to the bigger market. They'll help you consider such things as upgrades and renovations, access to favorable schools, and family friendly areas that might increase the price above and beyond what typical comparable data can indicate. And if you're looking for your home to drive multiple offers, there are a few must-knows that you and your real estate professional won't want to miss.

3. Building a Bidding War
There are several factors that could put your home in a situation where multiple buyers are all competing for the chance to call your house their new home. School districts are a leading factor. Another factor, especially in urban areas, is deeded parking. Unfortunately, at the time of listing, these things are out of your control, but there's always the strategy of listing your home slightly below current market value in an effort to bring in multiple offers.

In cases like these, your real estate agent can make a call for "highest and best." This means that all buyers making an offer will be contacted and asked to submit their last-chance, final offer at the highest price they're willing to pay. You can then evaluate all offers and choose the highest one — or simply the best one — for your selling scenario.

Here are two ways to make sure your home's listing and showing has the highest potential to drive multiple offers:

  • Stage your home. Spending the money to clear out clutter and have your home professionally staged can boost both curb and walk through appeal. When buyers see a well-appointed home, the intrinsic value goes up compared to homes that haven't been given this boost of visual TLC.
  • Mention key selling points. If you're in a key school district, mention it. If your home includes deeded parking or a garage, mention it. Don't make buyers wonder about the things they want to know most. These details should be featured in your listing front and center. For even more ideas, check out Trulia's '12 Ways to Supercharge Your Home's Online Listing' post.

4. Setting Aside Emotional Attachment (we know you love your home!)
If you've poured love into your home (along with some serious sweat equity), it's easy to have those acts blind you when it comes to pricing your home. You put in the work, time, and love, and you want your selling price to reflect those!

We have to be honest with you: buyers seldom care that you lovingly carved that bannister by hand (they just care what it looks like and whether it's their taste). They also don't care much that this was the place you raised your two children or that the backyard was filled with laughter, tears, crashes, and memory-making bruises.

Work with your real estate agent to help determine what's a realistic price for your home — given all its features — in the current market. This will help you avoid having an emotional reaction to the realities of your local market when that suggested listing price doesn't match the price your heart's put on amazing memories. And remember, smart pricing will help the right buyer see themselves in your home as their next home. This way, you'll have a much less stressful journey on your way to your next home, knowing you've done what you can to allow for the best price to put your home in front of its next owners.

There you have it — a smart, four-point approach to pricing your home to sell. You've made your current home a labor of love, and it's seen you through some amazing years. Using these four points, you'll be on your way to your next dream home in no time. You'll also help buyers see their future...right inside your front door.

This article Priced to Sell: A Four-Point Process for Smart Sellers originally appeared on

Are you ready to profit from this $14.4 trillion revolution?
Let's face it, every investor wants to get in on revolutionary ideas before they hit it big. Like buying PC-maker Dell in the late 1980s, before the consumer computing boom. Or purchasing stock in e-commerce pioneer in the late 1990s, when it was nothing more than an upstart online bookstore. The problem is, most investors don't understand the key to investing in hyper-growth markets. The real trick is to find a small-cap "pure-play" and then watch as it grows in EXPLOSIVE lockstep with its industry. Our expert team of equity analysts has identified one stock that's poised to produce rocket-ship returns with the next $14.4 TRILLION industry. Click here to get the full story in this eye-opening report.

Trulia has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers