Many sellers (and some agents) are tempted to overprice a home when they first put it on the market. They think they might get lucky and actually get the higher asking price, even though it is more than the house is worth. Or they think that the house will be more appealing later, when it is advertised as “reduced.” The problem with both of those ideas is that you will lose your first and best potential buyers from the start.
Let’s assume your house is worth the Current Median Sales Price In Northern Virginia in June 2011 of $400,000 but you decide to list it at $425k. You are literally shutting the door on your earliest and best prospects. How? Most buyers will give their agent all of their search criteria—including the most they are willing
to spend. The agent will then input that criteria into the MLS and come up with a complete list of houses in the right price range. But your house won’t be there because you priced it outside the correct range! The buyers who do look at your home will be comparing it to more valuable homes which are correctly priced—your home won’t compare well at all!
Then, after several months, when you realize that your home isn’t attractive to agents or buyers at the inflated price, you will cut the price to what it should have been in the first place. By that time your house is “on the shelf” and priced where it should have been, the questions buyers and agents might ask are: Why didn’t the house sell sooner? What is wrong with it? Buyers and agents will often think that the sellers must be desperate, so they usually try to force the price even lower than the house is worth.
So when you finally get an offer after reducing the price, 3-4 months have gone by, your mortgage has accrued more interest, the window of opportunity for something to go wrong has been left open and your offer most likely was dinged due to the DAYS ON MARKET!
Pricing your house right the first time is the best way to go! Seeing as how the market is rebounding from the 04'-07'ish bubble, it's best to have a professional Realtor come and do a comparative market analysis using numbers from the past 60-90 days. Based on the amount of short sales on the market and the fact that it's a sellers market, if you price it right, you will not only sell it faster but probably for a higher price and a happier home!
COME ON DOWN!!!