Pricing Your Home To Sell

It’s not personal. It’s not about what your Northern Virginia home is worth – it’s only about what it will take to get it sold.

All things considered, the price you set on your Northern Virginia home should be based on sold properties rather than the asking price of homes currently on the market. That is the most accurate way of establishing fair market value.

A home priced higher than fair market value willhomeprice

  • not attract as many potential buyers because they’ll think it’s out of their price range
  • take longer to sell
  • make competing properties look better
  • become “shopworn” – a little like the demo at the car dealership
  • stay overpriced in the minds of agents and buyers, even if you lower the price
  • cause marketing efforts to be wasted
  • cause negotiations to stall
  • cause appraisal problems
  • end up selling below fair market value to make up for all of the above

Buyers compare your home to others on the market. They don’t care

  • what your neighbor thinks
  • what another agent says
  • what you spent on improvements
  • what it costs to build today
  • what you paid
  • what you need to cover your mortgage or move to your new home
  • what you want

Your home is going to generate the most interest in the Northern Virginia real estate community and among potential buyers during the first 3-4 weeks it is on the market. All competent agents check every day for homes new on the market for their buyers. Many have automated systems set up to email their buyers the same day  when a home comes on the market. Your property must be priced correctly during this critical time.


The “Right Price” is the price that will sell your home in 30-60 days. But what is this magic number and how do we find it? When agents are searching the MLS they may have dozens of homes that meet their buyer’s requirements. Your property needs to be in the top 5 properties by price, it needs to look good, and it needs to have a competitive buyer’s agent commission.

If you can achieve this, you should be able to get the home sold in your target time.

Look at the whole picture when checking the competition – that includes active, pending sale, and recently sold listings. Some sellers never think about analyzing the market. Instead, they use a technique something like this:

Down payment for the house I want to buy

PLUS moving expenses 
PLUS what I owe on credit cards
PLUS closing costs
PLUS agent commission
PLUS current mortgage balance

= “Fair Market Value”

This won’t get your house sold. Your agent should give you a detailed analysis of current market conditions, and counsel you on what it will take to sell your home. They need to be 100% honest about pricing. It may not be what you want to hear, but it must be what you need to hear. Then, and only then, can you make an informed decision on how to price your Northern Virginia home to sell.

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