How Much Is It Worth? How to Set a Price for Your House When It’s Time to Sell

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When trying to sell your home, one of the biggest sticking points is how much it’s worth. There’s an obvious physical component based on your home’s square footage, number of bedrooms, and lot size. But you have years of memories tangled up in the home and that can make setting a price harder. You will likely want the value of those memories to be included—but they’re not. Instead, consider these methods for setting a price for your home.

Start With an Online Value Estimate

A great place to start is by getting an online home value estimate. These kinds of tools use real estate market data and combine it with your property’s details such as your home’s square footage, number of rooms, lot size, and other factors. This then goes through an algorithm that gives you a rough estimate of how much your home is worth. These home estimate tools aren’t perfect but they’re a good start. Your Realtor will factor in many things that the algorithm can’t, but this tool gives you a jumping off point when you start having discussions with your agent.

Review Comparable Home Sales in Recent Months

Your Realtor will help you with this by providing a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). This shows recent sales in your area, complete with details about home details, how many days it was on the market before selling, and the final selling price. This can help you see how your home compares to others in the area so you can determine what price point might be best for your home.

Consider Seasonal Shifts in Pricing

Buyer behavior and the seasonality of the market in your area can make a huge difference in what someone will pay for your home. In other words, you can take advantage of people’s eagerness to buy by selling at the right time. For example, in a family neighborhood, you might be able to price your home higher in the spring and summer months when parents are eager to get settled before school starts. In a warm area filled with retirees, you may get more by selling just before autumn or winter, when snowbirds are looking to get away from the cold.

Do Some Square Footage Cost Comparisons

After you accept an offer, the buyer’s lender will order an appraisal. If the appraisal varies too much from the purchase price, the deal may fall through. You want the final appraisal to come through as close as possible to your selling price. Compare your home with homes that have a comparable square footage (roughly 200 square feet under or over your own home’s footage) to figure out the square footage cost.

Your Realtor will be an indispensable resource to you when you’re pricing and selling your home. Because they’ve got so much experience with selling homes, especially homes in your area, they’ll be able to give you a lot of insight into the current market. This can help you set your price so that it attracts buyers while also helping you make a profit. They may even have some ideas for simple home improvements that can raise the value of your home.

The most important thing you can do when setting the price for your home is to work with and listen to your Realtor. They know the market, what buyers want, and what other sellers with homes like yours are getting. Set your boundaries and let them know what you want, but trust that your real estate agent wants to help you make as much money as possible on the sale of your home—just like you do.


Anita Ginsberg is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, and family. A mother of two wonderful children, she loves traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can find her on Twitter @anitaginsburg


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