Early this summer I met with a couple who needed to sell their home Northern Virginia home. They had two primary goals, sell as quickly as possible and maximize the amount of money they could take away from the sale.
After touring the home in the Lake Ridge neighborhood in Prince William County with them and suggesting a few staging ideas, we sat down to discuss the comps. Of course the shock of what the home might be worth and what they would like to be able to sell the house for was a bitter pill to swallow. Since it was the height of the summer market my suggestion was to price the home at $250,000. Follow up emails and calls went unanswered, a sure sign the listing was going to go to another agent.
As expected the home popped up in the MLS a few weeks later priced at over $40,000 more than my recommended price. The first month passed and the first price reduction came. Month 2 and the second price reduction and Month 3 brought the 3rd price reduction. At the end of 90 days the home was still above my recommended price. With a new agent came a new price. Another month passed and another price reduction brought the house to $250,000. After 120 days the status changed to Under Contract.
I’m not a rocket scientist but when I suggest a list price it is based on market conditions, your neighborhood and the condition of your home. It isn’t about any emotions you may have tied to your home and it isn’t about testing the Northern Virginia market to see if it might sell for more. It’s about giving you an honest evaluation of your home based on all of the information available. For this family they lost the quick sale they said they were hoping for. They spent 4 months keeping their house in showing condition and more importantly they continued to make mortgage payments whittling away at their goal to maximize the amount of money they could take away from the sale.
Every month your home sits on the market is another mortgage payment and a reduction on what you hoped to be able to take away from your home sale. If you end up making 4 or 5 additional mortgage payments on your home the amount of your take-away quickly diminishes. For this couple we are talking about 5 extra payments to get to settlement at a cost close to $10,000. How would they have used that $10,000 had they listed their home at $250,000 at the beginning of the summer? It’s question only they can answer.
If you are thinking of listing your Northern Virginia home for sale consider all of the factors that go into getting a home sold. An agent can do the best job in the world marketing your home but it is a rare buyer in today’s market who will pay more than the market says the home is worth. The cost of over-pricing your home is real. If you are thinking of listing your Northern Virginia home for sale give Cindy Jones and CJ Realty Group a call at 703-346-2213. Let’s talk about the current market conditions and how to price your home to sell.