It is often said that first impressions are everything. This is certainly the case when you are trying to sell your home. The first impression that most buyers have of a new property is the price. Before a buyer will even look at a property they want to know what it is listed for. If the price is too high you lose a large majority of prospective buyers. If you price too low you are leaving money on the table. By using a real estate agent that really knows your market you can list a price that will get your property sold.
The starting point for any price is supply and demand. It is important to take the temperature of your market before you consider listing your property. What happened even a few months ago may not have much of an impact on your proposed list price. By not knowing your market and listing too high you begin a chain reaction of negative events. Savvy buyers know when a property is priced too high. This leads to reduced demand which causes your property to sit on the market without activity. The longer it stays on the market the more desperate you become as a seller. This leads to lowering the price to try to generate interest. If the reduction is not severe enough it will not have the desired effect. Any time a property is reduced it will lead to lowball offers that may not make much sense for the seller. If you list at the right price from the outset you can reverse this process altogether.
The right list price should generate interest in the first week it is on the market. Demand from multiple buyers can turn into a bidding war and get you the end price you desire. Gone are the days where you can list high, hope to get an offer and meet somewhere in the middle. In most markets buyers have leverage and multiple properties to choose from. The longer a property sits on the market the less desirable it becomes. The perception from buyers is that there must be something wrong with the property not to have it under contract. Shooting for the stars and listing at an unrealistic price can have a lasting negative impact on your property.
To find the best list price you need to look at comparable sales, what is currently on the market and what is under deposit. The number you have in your head may be based on old information or without knowing final sales numbers. Your real estate agent will be able to show you what has sold, when and for how much. This is the same information that buyers look at when they consider making an offer. If you ignore this data and list too high you are setting yourself up for disappointment. However if you listen to your real estate agent you can list at a price that you will be happy with.