Appropriately priced properties sell quickly, and tend to gain the most attention. In fact, pricing your property correctly can actually make you more money by getting you multiple offers. Knowing the sweet spot of what your market value is can be tricky, and even seasoned Realtors occasionally get it wrong, especially in a market that is frequently fluctuating or in the case of Humboldt County, where we have a ton of unique properties that don’t fit into a cookie-cutter situation.
There are several tactics to find the right list price.
ZILLOW ALREADY KNOWS, RIGHT?
First, consulting Zillow is not recommended. Unfortunately, the Zillow algorithm isn’t really built for places like HumCo. Here, we have properties sitting next to each other that can have a difference in age of almost 100 years! Furthermore, the age of a property here, doesn’t necessarily dictate it’s condition. Lastly, our niche communities and varying lot sizes appeal to different kinds of buyers, and we have complicated house/home shoppers here who know what they want. So, while Zillow can give you a ‘ballpark’ figure, it’s typically based on the comparable sales in your immediate area but without adjustments – and that can be a huge factor.
COMPARABLE MARKET ANALYSIS
Asking a Realtor for a traditional CMA (comparable market analysis) is a good first step in assessing your property’s value. The CMA will look at recent sold properties in the immediate proximity to yours or will assess similar properties throughout Humboldt County. The base calculation is done looking at the basic property stats – house/lot size, number of beds/baths, etc. But a GOOD CMA includes adjustments for upgrades or added features, location and more. This where the rubber meets the road for pricing in Humboldt. It’s all about the details. Each CMA is only as good as the person doing it, though!
Just about any Realtor would be willing to offer you this service for free, in hopes that you’ll hear them out and consider hiring them to list your property. You can even ask multiple Realtors for a better snapshot of where things are at. When choosing who to call, be sure you choose someone who is actively working in the market, with both buyers and sellers, so that they’re on the pulse of what’s happening. A CMA should be based on recent sales, so that person needs to know what the market trends are doing since those comps were sold.
The goal of setting a list price is to get you the maximum amount of income for the sale of your property, while also not scaring buyers away with a price that is too high, or deemed unreasonable. Many sellers consult online platforms first to see what their property is worth and may develop an inaccurate idea of value. There are many things to consider when deciding to list your property at the top of it’s market value, and there’s an entire article on PRICING HIGH for you to read here.
Price Structuring is a listing technique where we build a plan, in advance, to deal with price drops after starting a property with a high list price. This plan is entirely negotiable, and usually factors in the activity on the listing, such as the number of showings or offers as well as Agent and Buyer feedback. If you think you want to try the market at a high list price, lets discuss Price Structuring for the success of your sale.
The current market has shown that sellers who try to take advantage of higher prices by listing high tend to get less traction on their sales, and potentially less offers. When a property is priced appropriately, it gains a lot of interest and attention. In fact, some agents purposely price properties just BELOW market value to get maximum exposure and interest – this is in hopes of quickly creating a multiple-offers situation, which is the ideal situation for you as a seller.
The bottom line is that choosing the price for your property is one of the biggest decisions you will make as a seller. Remember to do your research, consult the professionals, and think this one over before getting too attached to ideas about what your home is worth.