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You’ve completed the preparations, stored the remainder of the antique white paint in the garage, and trimmed the last privet hedge. Your house is ready to sell in the shortest period of time at the highest possible price. Good. But at what price? "Ay, there 's the rub..."
Do not overprice. The first two weeks of marketing are the most crucial. Seasoned buyers, who have been looking steadily, and are ready to buy, have learned the market well. Price your home reasonably and be flexible. Market conditions change continually and so should your thinking about them. Be careful to listen to all the buyer's terms, not just the price. A buyer who will pay your asking price but only subject to the sale of his own home, is of little use to you if you need to sell quickly. Generally, the first offer is the best offer. Note that the Huntington couple who were firm on their price, refusing all good offers and terms, did indeed sell their house at their asking price -- two years later.
What's the right price? A certified real estate appraiser will give you an unbiased estimate of the market value of your home. This will guide you to a reasonable asking price and serious buyers will respond. Again, do not overprice. There are two reasons for this.
- The first is obvious. If the price is too high, no one will pay it, and the house will stay on the market forever (or at least it will seem like forever).
- The second reason is less obvious. If your house is overpriced, and someone unwittingly buys it, it will not appraise for the selling price and your potential buyer will have trouble securing a mortagage. Lending institutions are conservative by nature. They steer clear of anything out of the ordinary.
Be smart and price your home sensibly and you can be assured of the highest possible price in the shortest period of time.
Good luck and remember -- don't overprice!
Arleen E. Goscinski, ASA, New York State Certified Real Estate Appraiser
New York City, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk New York Real Estate Appraisals
149 Ketay Drive South East Northport, NY 11731-5031