Los Gatos Weekly Times

How to price your home in this market

- By Rose Meily

The housing market landscape has changed from a couple of years ago when sellers could sell their home in a matter of days. All that changed as home prices spiraled to unsustaina­ble levels and interest rates doubled, prompting many prospectiv­e buyers to pause their home search.

“With interest rates higher, buyers are paying more for a home. They seek value, so the price a seller sets for their home is a deciding factor on whether the home will stay on the market a matter of days or months,” says Jim Hamilton, president of the Silicon Valley Associatio­n of Realtors. “If priced right, your home will sell quickly.”

The median time a home stays on the market can differ depending on location. “All real estate is local. In June, homes stayed on the market a median eight days in Santa Clara County and a median 10 days in San Mateo County. Time on market also depends on the neighborho­od,” says Hamilton.

Here are tips Hamilton suggests that may help sellers price their home:

Work with Realtor

Work with a real estate agent whom you trust, who will listen to your needs, and who is knowledgea­ble about your local market and neighborho­od.

Hamilton reminds sellers that not all real estate agents are the same. “While both are licensed to sell real estate, as members of the National Associatio­n of Realtors, Realtors are held to a higher standard of conduct than other real estate licensees. Realtors must abide by a Code of Ethics and are also required to take additional training in current business practices, unlike other real estate licensees.”

Don’t Rely Solely on the Internet

Sellers and buyers often check real estate websites to see how much a house is worth. These websites only provide estimates of home prices which can sometimes be misleading.

“Your Realtor will provide you with comps of homes similar to yours that recently have sold in your neighborho­od. They will also check properties that are currently for sale in your area and compare them with yours.

This informatio­n will help you determine a fair market price for your home,” says Hamilton. “Members of SILVAR are able to access the most upto-date informatio­n from Mlslisting­s, a multiple listings service that serves as a regional database of homes listed and sold in the Bay Area.”

Set Aside Your Emotions

Many sellers think their home is worth more than it is. Set aside your emotions and assess your home from the standpoint of a buyer. Your Realtor can be objective and provide you with a realistic price for your home.

Don’t Test the Waters

You may want to price your home for more than your Realtor suggests.”don’t,” advises Hamilton. “A wrong price can delay your sale. The ‘fresh factor’ wanes after 30 days. When a house has been sitting on the market for a month or more, or if a home has had several price reductions, buyers are often wary and think something is wrong with the house.”

Talk Strategy

Depending on the market and location of a home, sellers will price their home slightly below its fair market price with the hope of receiving multiple offers. This can be risky. Seek the advice of your Realtor on a pricing strategy that will best maximize your home’s exposure.

Stay Connected

Once listed, be prepared to receive a variety of offers for your home. Some may be higher than your listing price with contingenc­ies. Others may be lower with fewer or no contingenc­ies. With the help of your Realtor, determine a fair price for you.

“Remember there is no guarantee that your pricing strategy will work. Be prepared to be flexible, and always stay in touch with your Realtor throughout the process,” says Hamilton.

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