I hear all sorts of phrases from sellers when it comes time to price a home. I think they all went to the same school of ways to sell your home in Sacramento. Often, they want to price it too high, and they justify this by saying, “I don’t want to give it away.” Come on. Have you ever seen anybody give away their home? Hey, I found this sitting out back by the dumpster; will you take this deed off my hands? OK, maybe if it’s a short sale. Or, they will say, “Let’s test the market.” OK, but what if you fail the test? You only get one chance at being a brand new spankin’ listing. It’s like Goldilocks, you don’t want to be priced too high or too low. You want to be priced just right.
Pricing a home to sell is an art. It’s also a science. I listen to sellers because, believe it or not, I don’t always know everything. I realize that’s a difficult concept to wrap your head around, a Sacramento real estate agent who might admit she still has stuff to learn and is not the master puppeteer of the Sacramento world of real estate. Because stuff constantly changes. But I believe I have a pretty good handle on figuring out the best price for a home in Sacramento. Moreover, at the moment, I am selling homes at astronomical prices. That’s because it’s a seller’s market in Sacramento. A wild and crazy seller’s market. This nutty market doesn’t mean one can throw logic and reason out the window, though.
There are always 3 prices for a home:
- The price the seller would like to receive.
- The price the buyer wants to pay.
- The price the buyer’s appraises it at — and who ultimately has the last word.
If you get an appraiser from some other town — which isn’t hard to do these days — the appraisal can be too low. Sometimes, it’s because the comparable homes used by the appraiser to justify value sit in a different neighborhood, even though they are within a half mile of the subject property, and those homes in an adjoining neighborhood could be worth much less. An appraiser who is unfamiliar with the neighborhood wouldn’t know that fact.
The way pricing works is unless you receive a cash offer, your home will be assessed by the buyer’s appraiser. If there are no comparable sales for your home, the appraiser will use the sales that are available. This is why you need to examine the comparable sales — particularly the pending sales that will become your comparable sales — before you put your home on the market. If there are no comparable sales to justify your desired sales price, perhaps this is not the time to put your home up for sale. Perhaps you should wait and watch.
Of course, you will then miss the best real estate market in Sacramento since 2005. I don’t think you want to do that.