Establishing the proper sales price for a property is never quite as easy as it seems. Many owners tend to overprice based on emotional values and lack of real information about current market trends, values, and competition. It's amazing to me how many people think that even though the house across the street just sold for $200,000, that their home is exactly the same should sell for $20,000 more because "it so much nicer." The buyers of today are savvy shoppers. They know what the marketplace will and wont accept because THEY ARE the marketplace. If you're overpriced, you probably will incur additional expenses due to extended market time, such as advertising, taxes, interest, insurance, utilities and so on. Each month that the home is not sold, costs the homeowner often thousands of dollars. Assuming that you are moving due to a potential relocation out of state, you need to add in ALL of the costs each month to come up with a figure of how much, if any you can save by going it alone. For example, an additional "one month" stay in a corporate apartment for the transferred spouse will cost about $2000. Add to that the cost of two additional round trip flights $1000, and throw in another $500 for parking at the airport, eating out at the new location, and miscellaneous expenses. Then, factor in that the mortgage payments on the existing house are probably $2500 a month. Add it up, and you'll see that often times even one additional month of having the existing home NOT sold and closed, can be $6000. In a $300,000 house, this extra one month was equal to 2% of the sales price of the home.
If you're thinking of selling your home "by owner" you are probably doing it to save money. Unfortunately the margins for profit just aren't that high. Typically, a homeowner selling "by owner" will be willing to pay a fee of about 3% to a real estate agent who shows up with a buyer who actually purchases the home. It's been a long time since I've encountered a "by owner" who just said no way to a potential sale like that. In reality, of the very few "by owner" homes that actually are sold without ever listing with an agent, most sold with a Realtor of some kind being involved, at least on the buyers side. In addition, advertising the property will probably cost you about 1% of the sales price if you do it right. Lastly, since an attorney will be needed to prepare and review the offer to purchase and purchase and sale, something a Realtor would often have done as part of their fee, you may pay an additional 1/4% in attorney's fees. When you add up these potential fees of about 4.25% of the sale price and compare it with the 5% or less that I typically will charge to actually list, market and sell property, the amount being saved is often less than 1%. Since that amount can be eaten up with one extra mortgage payment if the house sits on the market one extra month it's imperative that it be priced accurately and market well so that you can sell it as quickly as possible without giving it away and still reap the rewards of having sold it by owner.
Just as dangerous as overpricing of course is Underpricing. I wish I had a nickel for every time I've seen a seller virtually give a house away, due to a failure to accurately price the home. In addition many sellers aren't familiar with property transfer expenses, excise taxes, title insurance, closing costs which, at settlement, may net you much less than anticipated.
Because of my experience in the area and the computerized public records information available to me, I can assist you in determining a Right Price Analysis reflecting current market and buyer behavior. This information is extremely valuable because most buyers won't buy until they see actual data which justifies the selling price. This is a valuable tool in the negotiation process. Incidentally, it's been proven, the closer you price your home to the real market value, the closer an offer will be to your asking price. Often times, between using a program like my Homeowners Blend, getting the home sold faster and with no hang-ups, and even when possible generating a "referral fee" from the transferees new home and passing that 1% back to them, the costs of actually having a professional marketing plan and virtually nil.