Pricing a Home is NOT a Science

by Deb Staley

When deciding how to price your home for sale or how much to offer on a home you are purchasing, know that there is no formula for getting it right! There are so many factors that come into play.

To make it easier, we can get two items out of the way: county appraisals and estimates that you might see online. Neither of those are applicable and often don’t even work as a starting point.

Looking at “comps” (sales of comparable properties) is the way to start. Those comps must be quite close in location. (Also, square footage is not everything.) Sometimes people think they can start estimating the costs of upgrades/updates and add them onto a comparable price, but that doesn’t work either. Even worse is when people replace a roof, HVAC system (heating and cooling), driveway, etc and think that can be added to the price of a home. Those are maintenance items, not upgrades.

In pricing a home, it is usually emotion that rules, unfortunately. In a hot market, buyers will pay over asking price based on nothing more than competition. Many sellers will get “dug in” on a price they had in their mind and will let a home sit on the market for a long time and just take periodic, incremental price decreases.

What happens if you make an offer that is well below asking price? The seller may be offended and reject the offer outright. The seller may counteroffer with full price (sigh). The seller may counteroffer in hopes of meeting in the middle. You can never predict what will happen!

Whether buying or selling, if you use statistics to defend your price, then you are in the best position. Your experienced agent will advise you on what to do. Deb Staley at Deb Dot House has that experience; she is an ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative), RENE (Real Estate Negotiating Expert), SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist), and SRS (Seller’s Representative Specialist). These are nationally recognized certifications and designations that represent advanced education to assist you in the way you deserve. Be SURE to use a real estate agent who specializes in your area. If someone tells you they work all of Kansas City, they are not a specialist--the KC area is just too large.