Written by Hans Brings

If there is one great piece of advice I can give to home sellers, it’s this: Listen to your real estate agent! There are more reasons for this advice than I can enumerate, but for the moment, let’s talk about why it’s important to involve your agent when pricing your home for sale.

If you’re selling you home, it can be very tempting to try to land the highest price. This is exactly the reason that you need an agent. Listing a home for more than it’s worth can result in months spent waiting while it languishes on the market or having to field lowball offers from prospective buyers who are put off by the price. Your real estate agent can help you price you home to make sure that it will sell given the prevailing conditions in the local market. Your agent has the expertise, tools, and objectivity to make sure that you are listing your home at a fair price.

There are many reasons that sellers are tempted to put their homes up for prices that don’t make sense given the market. Here are a few mistakes you should avoid when determining pricing:

You think you know the business. Maybe you have a friend in real estate. Maybe you read a lot about the industry. But unless you actually have experience listing homes, you don’t have the expertise – or the market knowledge – necessary to correctly price your home.

You want to be in control. Waiting for your home to sell can be a frustrating and sometimes nerve-wracking time depending on how quickly you need to sell. It’s natural to wish that you had more influence over this process, and naming your price can be a tempting way to exert a small measure of control. However, choosing a listing price without guidance can easily backfire, resulting in just the opposite: a longer wait on the market and less control of when you do make that sale. Your agent can help you price your home based on “comps” – recent sales of homes in your area or neighborhood that are similar to yours in size, updates, and overall condition.

You’re not honest with yourself. Let’s face it – every home has its flaws. But if you live in a home, it can be hard to see its faults. By overlooking any problems with your house, you might be tempted to list it at a higher price than it is really worth. A real estate agent, armed with the objectivity that you don’t possess, can recognize the flaws in your home … and price it accordingly.

Agents understand current market conditions and know how much is too much to ask for your home. By trusting your agent to help you set a competitive but fair price, you’ll increase your chances of a smooth sale.

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