The Magic Sales Price: $367,000?



I often will get a call from a potential client when they have failed to sell with another broker. Here are the top three reasons a home won’t sell:

1, 2,& 3: The seller is trying to sell for more than $367,000.

In this case, $367,000 is the top of the market for a certain style of home within a specific subdivision in a DC suburb. In fact, $367,000 is the absolute top of the market for that product, in that subdivision, in the last 10 years. So, when a seller with this model in this subdivision is trying to sell for close to $500,000 the house will inevitably be ignored. Is that obvious? Of course it is. We are looking at the data and and have an unbiased view.

How obvious is it, though, when it’s YOUR home?

Sellers are significantly more likely to price a home out of the market when they list it for sale. Sellers do this for two reasons:

  1. Sellers love their homes. They have spent years making their home THEIRS. By the time they are looking to sell their home they have spent time, effort, brain juice, cash and more making cosmetic and or structural improvements. Additionally – and maybe more importantly – sellers raised their families in the home and created indelible memories. I met with a seller once who had a son pass away in their home. The mother said to me “I just keep looking to see if he is going to come around that corner (pointing to the entryway to the kitchen)”. So…when a seller sells their home they sometimes want much more than the market will bear. Who could blame them given what I’ve just mentioned? To the seller, the home, in many cases, is actually PRICELESS.
  2. The seller’s agent can’t competently explain the market empirically…or is too worried to offend the seller. I think about it this way: if you were experiencing serious physical pain, you would see a physician. If the physician ran tests and scans and discovered that you had cancer, you would expect the physician to tell you that you, indeed, have the disease. You would not expect the physician to understand your serious condition and NOT advise you properly. In the same way, the expectation in real estate should be that the agent can competently diagnose your home’s value and can adequately deliver advice to list at a sales price that serves your family’s best interests.

Of course, there are other reasons that sellers price themselves out of the market. What I’ve mentioned above are so common, though, that they can’t be ignored.

Naturally, when you decide to sell your home you will do well to know a lot more…here is a helpful way for you to think when you are listing: Today’s market is smart and savvy. Each buyer out there has significant information about my home on their smart phone. When I list my home for sale, the market is seeing all of my agent’s marketing but it will also see what an infinite number of 3rd party web sites think of my house. From automated values to a critique of my paint colors and more, the market can be very unforgiving. If I price “in the market” I will attract many more buyers online”.

Sellers: you can do it. Just list for $367,000 when it makes sense to do so.

Contact me for more information on how to win when selling.

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