Selling a Home? 3 Tips to Price It Just Right

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It's important to price your home strategically. Here's how.

Buying a home can be a stressful experience. You need to search for houses, save up for a down payment, and make sure you qualify for a mortgage.

But selling a home isn't exactly a walk in the park, either, especially if you're going about the process solo. Sellers often spend weeks, if not months, making repairs to get their homes into shape. Then they have to clean their home, declutter, and deal with a steady stream of potential buyers invading their turf.

But perhaps the most stressful part of selling a home is figuring out what price to list it for. If you ask for too much, you might turn buyers away. If you ask for too little, you might easily find a buyer, but then you'll end up with less cash than you could've gotten.

If you're looking to sell a home on your own, it's important to come up with just the right asking price. Here are a few tips to make sure you do just that.

1. Talk to some real estate agents

If you hire a real estate agent, that person will be responsible for pricing your home. But hiring a real estate agent also means losing a chunk of your proceeds to a commission. And that's money you may not want to part with.

What you may want to do instead is ask a few agents for a ballpark estimate of what they think your home could sell for. That should serve as a decent starting point.

That said, it's important to be respectful of agents' time because they generally get paid on commission only. But if you make it clear that you'll send other sellers their way in exchange for a little help, they may be willing to offer up some advice.

2. Look at comparably sold homes

Sites like Zillow allow you to search for homes that have recently sold in your neighborhood. If you take a look at recently sold properties that are comparable to yours, it'll help you determine what listing price to go with.

Say you own an updated, 2,500-square-foot home, and a couple of properties with the same specifications and upgrades two blocks over recently sold for $450,000. You may decide to list your home for that same price since it's clear buyers were willing to pay that amount for a house in your neighborhood.

3. See how much competition there is

The less competition you have when selling your home, the easier it is to get away with a higher listing price. When there are 12 or so homes like yours to choose from within a seven-block radius, it's important to price your home competitively to draw in buyers. But if yours is just one of a few homes for sale in your neighborhood, and your property has a specific feature that most others don't, like a finished basement, then it means you probably have some leeway to ask for more money.

Figuring out how to price a home can be tough, so these tips can serve as a solid starting point. But remember, if you really want to land on the right price, hiring a real estate agent may be your best bet. If your agent does their job well, you might make enough money from the sale of your home to pay your agent's commission and still come out ahead.

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