So, how much do you think your house will sell for?
Most people have a number in their head. Some people just pluck it out of thin air. Others look online at Zillow. Some take how much they owe, add the amount of money they've put into the house in upgrades, then add how much commissions will be, and then add how much they want or need to be able to buy their next house.
Unfortunately, none of those methods are accurate. You'd be better off buying one of those magic eight balls and giving it a shake. Or better yet, put a bunch of home prices on a dartboard and throw darts until you hit the one you like best.
The most accurate way to know how much your house is worth is to get a thorough market analysis from a local real estate agent — one who knows his or her stuff inside and out.
Problem is, many homeowners do have a number in their head, and that number is often unrealistic. They tend to get defensive or angry when they hear the truth, insisting on listing their house for more than it's worth. Then they'll shop around for an agent who says what they want to hear (just to get the listing).
Listing your house for more than you should is one of the most deadly sins of selling your house. You could prep your house in every way possible and make it look better than anything else on the market, but if it isn't priced correctly it'll never sell. And over time, you'll lose leverage (and money) because buyers take note of how long a house has been sitting on the market.
You're better off pricing your house accurately from day one. This doesn't mean you're "giving your house away" or are "losing money." Yet many people feel that way because they had an inflated value in their head. But that value and that money never actually existed. So, the best thing you can do is to unthink whatever value you have in your head. Do whatever it takes. Meditate. Go away to a spa for a weekend and get massages. Live with Tibetan monks for a few days.
Once you unthink the values in your head, get a thorough "comparative market analysis" (CMA) by a thoughtful, knowledgeable real estate agent whom you trust...and then trust what he or she says. Base your hopes and next moves on that number, not any other number you may have already thought.
To find out more about obtaining a CMA from us and selling your home, click here