Home Pricing Strategies for Selling Homes in Elk Grove
Because I list and sell so many homes in the Elk Grove area, I get a lot of calls from appraisers asking about home pricing strategies and what happened during our offer negotiations. It’s a good thing I am organized. I keep all of my offers and notes on each in a separate spreadsheet just for reference. There is no way I can pull this stuff out of my memory. I’m lucky if I can recall the name of the street. The calls from appraisers generally center on how to substantiate the sales value without enough comps.
This is a serious issue, not only with homes in Elk Grove but throughout the Sacramento Valley. I am constantly suggesting to appraisers that they look at the big picture. At the end of the summer in 2005 we had more than 10,000 homes for sale. Today, about 1,600. Huge difference. To add insult to injury, we have more than 1,700 pending, which means if we didn’t take any new listings we would sell everything in Sacramento County in about 25 days. Home pricing strategies are important, but demand outstrips strategy.
One of my clients in West Sacramento who is getting ready to put her home on the market called yesterday to chat. She wanted to know if we should employ home pricing strategies suggested by an agent at an open house. I told her to stop talking to open house agents. Most of them are buyer’s agents, not listing agents. But I also realize open houses are a religious experience in California. The guy suggested she price her home about 1% below market value.
Hello? 2012 is calling and they want your Obama bobblehead back. That was a good pricing strategy 5 years ago but not today. If you price a home below market, you won’t get as high of a price as you will if you price it at market or slightly above. Buyers for the most part don’t know how much homes cost. They see only what other sellers are asking and base their opinions of value on that. The frenzied demand accelerates those expectations. Prices are going up.
Out of all the home pricing strategies available, the best for this particular market is to be slightly ahead of the curve. Because buyers will pay a fair price plus extra if your home is desirable and the price is reasonable. You don’t have to play games with the pricing or try to be sly. Go to market value, and consider pushing it a hair. The worst thing that could happen is a buyer won’t bridge the gap and the appraisal will come in lower. But buyers will offer more.
If you’re planning to sell a home in Sacramento, call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put more than 40 years of experience to work for you.