Selling Strategies for a Soft Market #7

Powerful Pricing

Weíre getting down to the nitty gritty of successful selling strategies this week on Ask the Realtors talking about property pricing. This may be the single most difficult aspect of your selling strategy.

Key #7 - Powerful Pricing

How do you figure out the market value of your property in todayís Traverse City real estate market?

Will anyone pay the full market value for it once you have identified it?

What should your pricing strategy be in todayís Grand Traverse area real estate market given your unique set of circumstances and property?

How costly will it be to start high, and lower our asking price over time?

When prospective buyers make offers on your property that are considerably lower than your asking price ó the latest trend ó what should your response be, and how can you justify your list price?

What do you do if you owe more than your home is worth? Can you still sell it?

Understand that these days, most all buyers search for property on-line. If they are savvy, they will contract with a Buyerís Agent (Realtor) to assist them in their search and purchase. The savviest buyers get the best deals on property purchases. Realtors also search for properties on-line daily, in fact many of us monitor most everything that is listed on our respective boards, almost exclusively on-line.

Buyers and their agents will select a price range to search and then cull through the candidate properties. It will quickly become apparent what the buyerís dollar will purchase in a given locale and condition, and the better properties will stand out. So will the dogs.

The buyers and their agents will select the choicest properties from the candidates in that price range to pay more attention to and BLAM!, all but a few of the homes for sale in the price range have just been excluded from this eventual home sale.

Your home must stand out as a good deal in your segment of our Grand Traverse area real estate market in order to even be noticed.

Do not get sucked in to the critical mistake of listing with the highest ìbiddingî real estate professional. In the real estate business, Realtors call it ìbuying a listing.î All the available information suggests a property is worth X, and Agent D says ìNo, X + 25%. Hey, we can always come down.î Make your successful selling decision based on raw data and market analysis that you and your agent go over in detail, combined with their marketing plan and on-line presence. This is not a dart game, this is critical.

In todayís Traverse City market, wasting valuable time and market momentum dallying around in the ìridiculous rangeî of asking prices can be more costly than ever. The three big questions any Buyer asks are: ìWhere is it? How much is it? and How long has it been on the market?î Donít undermine your otherwise water-tight plan of selling success by chasing the pie-in-the-sky fantasy price while all of the qualified buyers are considering which of the other homes to make an offer who have priced and marketed realistically.

Some of the factors to analyze when deducing the successful market price for your property are:

What did you pay for your property, and how long ago?
What upgrades and additions have you completed since then?
What has your local municipality assessed your property value to be?
Has an independent real estate appraiser or Realtor produced an appraisal or Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)?
What have like properties SOLD for in the recent past?
What are like properties currently listed for?
What are the current real estate market trends in your neighborhood and in the area?
There are two questions not on this list, namely: How much money do you owe on your property? and What do you want/need to do with your proceeds when you sell your property? These questions are not relevant to the market price or the buyer. They may be enormous factors for you as a seller, but buyers could care less.

No buyer will pay any extra in todayís real estate market. In the context of Keys to Selling Success, gone is the notion of finding ìthat one (unsuspecting) buyer who ìjust falls in loveî with your house and is willing to pay too much for it (if that notion ever really existed at all). The best properties, in the best condition, with the best marketing, at the best price sell. The rest languish on the market.

Many sellers in real estate markets across the country do not understand that you cannot cash in on the same home equity twice. If you take a second mortgage or a home equity loan on a property, you cannot expect someone to pay you that equity a second time when you sell it. Buyers are not even slightly concerned with what you owe on your home. They are looking for the best property for their dollar, same as you would if you were buying. If you borrow against your home, you cannot expect that equity a second time when you sell unless the borrowed funds went back into the property and somehow raised its value accordingly.

If your home has been listed for sale, and expertly marketed, but still has not SOLD in a reasonable period of time, you need to implement Price B to get the job done. If Price B doesnít get it SOLD, you need to move to Price C.

You will know when your property is competitively priced because buyers and their agents will be requesting to get inside and see it in person, and seeking more detailed information. The ëbuzzí will begin, and a sale is imminent if you have not spent too much time overpriced, and the buying public considers your property ìmarket worn.î

To utilize the Powerful Pricing prowess of two of Traverse City real estateís top Realtors, contact TEAM MIKE today. We can help you ascertain not only the market value of your home and property, we can help you craft and implement a complete plan for selling success, even in todayís challenging market.

As always, donít hesitate to ask questions or leave comments below. You can also email us at and

All the best,

Last Updated: February 04, 2008