4-Point Process for Smart Home Sellers

If you're ready to sell your home but aren't sure at where to price it, the good news is that there are plenty of resources waiting to help you figure out the right price to value your 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 originally appeared on Trulia.

After you sell your home...
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