When you sell your home in Ellicott City, it’s important that you price it properly. If you don’t, you’re either going to cut out a large pool of eligible buyers or you’re going to leave money on the table – money you could use for a down payment on your next home, a dream vacation, or retirement savings.

But unfortunately, there are plenty of myths circling the real estate world about pricing your home. Here’s what you need to know to avoid falling into one of home pricing’s most common pitfalls.

Related: How to price your home to sell: What most Ellicott City REALTORS® won’t tell you

5 Myths About Home Pricing When You Sell Your Home in Ellicott City

These are some of the most common myths about home pricing:

  1. This website says my home is worth $X, so that’s how much I want to list it for
  2. I can ignore the price my agent gives me because I feel like it’s worth more
  3. Pricing high and letting people negotiate me down is a good way to make more money
  4. It’s a good idea to charge people for all the renovations and updates I’ve made
  5. It’s okay to wait around for a “perfect” buyer

Here’s a closer look at each.

Home Pricing Myth #1 - This website says my home is worth $X, so that’s how much I want to list it for

Home Pricing Myth #1: This website says my home is worth $X, so that’s how much I want to list it for

Some popular home listing websites can be off by as much as 18 percent when they list a home’s value. That can happen for several reasons, but one is that they’re not working with the most accurate data. They pull from data pools that can even be several years old – and nothing compares to having a REALTOR® do a comparative market analysis on your house.

The fact is that if you list your home for much more than it’s worth, buyers will know – especially because they’ve seen other homes in the same price range. They’ll be comparing your house to others that are more reasonably priced, and yours will come up short.

Home Pricing Myth #2 - I can ignore the price my agent gives me because I feel like it’s worth more

Home Pricing Myth #2: I can ignore the price my agent gives me because I feel like it’s worth more

Your agent will come up with a listing price for your home based on several factors, including its size, location, amenities, age and condition. He’ll also compare your home to others in the area that have recently sold, those that are currently on the market hoping to sell, and those that were pulled from the market because they didn’t sell. This is really important, because the bottom line is that your home is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

Buyers don’t pay more for a house because you like it. They pay what a house is worth because that’s cash coming out of their pocket every month for 30 years – and because they want to get as much for their money as they can.

Home Pricing Myth #3 - Pricing high and letting people negotiate me down is a good way to make more money

Home Pricing Myth #3: Pricing high and letting people negotiate me down is a good way to make more money

When you price your home too high, it seems reasonable that people will see it and say, “Hey, I wonder what would happen if I offered this person $10,000 less.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

What really happens when you overprice your home is that people who would ordinarily want to buy it won’t even see it. That’s because more than 90 percent of people begin their home searches online, where they can set maximum price parameters. When your home’s list price is excluded from those price parameters, your target market won’t even see your house online.

What’s worse is that when someone pulls up your home in that elevated price range, they’re also going to see homes that are properly priced. That means they’ll be comparing homes that are worth more than yours with your house – and yours will look like it’s lacking, and it’ll fail to generate interest.

Home Pricing Myth #4 - It’s a good idea to charge people for all the renovations and updates I’ve made

Home Pricing Myth #4: It’s a good idea to charge people for all the renovations and updates I’ve made

Rarely do you make all your money back on a home improvement. That goes for anything, from a kitchen remodel to the addition of a deck and outdoor living space. Buyers like to see those things, and they can help you sell your home faster, but you’re not likely to recoup all the costs you’ve poured into improvements.

If you’re thinking about making home improvements, talk to your REALTOR first. He’ll be able to tell you what’s selling in your neighborhood – and he can let you know if you’d be better off taking some of the price of a remodel off your listing price so buyers can do things themselves.

Home Pricing Myth #5 - It’s okay to wait around for a “perfect” buyer

Home Pricing Myth #5: It’s okay to wait around for a “perfect” buyer

It’s definitely a good idea to compare offers on your home and choose the best one, but if you’re rejecting fairly reasonable offers because you’re waiting for the “perfect” one to come along, your house may sit on the market for too long. The tough thing about that is that when your home is on the market for several weeks, it becomes a “stale” listing. Other, more recently listed homes will appear front-and-center for prospective buyers, which means yours gets pushed to the bottom of the pile.

The people who do see your home at the bottom of the pile will wonder what’s wrong with it and why it hasn’t sold yet. That’s true even if your only problem is the home’s price – and once a prospective buyer starts wondering what’s wrong with your home (especially while looking at other, more recently listed homes), there’s virtually no getting him or her back.

Are You Selling a Home in Ellicott City?

If you’re thinking about selling your home in Ellicott City, I can help. Call me at 443-955-1227 or 410-465-5822 to discuss what needs to happen so you can sell quickly and at the right price!

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