How Much Can I Sell My House For?
Scott Steinberg7-minute read
June 14, 2022
It’s the age-old question asked by homeowners worldwide: How much can I sell my house for? Noting that learning how to price your home can often be both an art and a science, it’s one we don’t blame you for asking.
Home prices are impacted by larger economic conditions and market forces shaping the real estate industry. They also can differ greatly by location and area of the country, as well as factors inherent to your local real estate market – including how competitive it is for buyers and sellers. In other words: Pricing a house can be a challenging part of home selling – and much of it depends on whether, as a homeowner, you’re dealing with a buyer’s or seller’s market.
For those currently asking themselves “How do I sell my home?” or how to balance how much you paid for your house with current market conditions, fear not … We’ve put together a handy guide that will give you a better sense of how to price your property and just how much you might expect to get for it at sale.
How Do I Sell My Home?
First, the good news: Selling your house doesn’t have to be a particularly difficult or time-consuming process.
In fact, you can advertise by setting up a page to promote your property on popular online listing services with the help of a real estate professional.
But one of the single most reliable and proven ways to sell your property and get smart answers is to work with a real estate agent or REALTOR®. A real estate agent is, in effect, a sales agent with a working knowledge of your local area and market who specializes in the buying and selling of apartments, condos, townhouses, single- and multi-family properties, and other dwellings. More to the point, it’s their job to help connect home sellers with potential buyers – and few people know the local real estate market better than they do.
Put simply: As a client, you can hire a real estate agent to help you buy (or in this case, sell) property. Although it’s not mandatory to hire one, as market insiders, they can often help provide you with invaluable insight and assistance as you work to get your home sold. What’s more, the best real estate agents won’t just be intimately familiar with their local markets but will also deeply familiarize themselves with your real estate goals and tailor their services to best fit your family’s individual needs. In addition, an experienced agent will help you negotiate to get a better deal – and can help steer you around any potential hiccups that might arise on the road to sale and closing.
When choosing a real estate agent to work with, there are many factors to consider. Thankfully, with a little up-front planning and research, finding a capable fit doesn’t have to be a challenge. A few tips to keep in mind here that can speed up your search:
- Consider working with the agent that you used to buy the home
- Get recommendations from friends and family
- Look for online agents with good reviews
- Find out what agents are listing other homes in your area
- Seek suggestions from your mortgage lender
How To Price Your Home
While there’s no hard and fast rule to home buying and selling – other than that a property is worth what someone else is willing to pay for it – there are several pricing strategies that you can adopt to improve the odds of landing a successful sale.
For instance, you can:
- Use a comparative market analysis to determine a home’s value. Real estate agents use this tool through to estimate the value of a specific property by evaluating similar ones that have recently sold in your area. Looking at market comparables (aka the same- or similarly sized and situated properties in the neighborhood) is often incredibly helpful when thinking about how much that you can sell your house for. That’s because it can be challenging to reliably estimate the fair market value of a home, as many factors often go into determining how much a specific property is worth.
- Remember the costs associated with selling a home and factor them into any pricing and sale equations. If you or the buyer are working with a REALTOR®, for example, you’ll need to account for real estate commissions. Likewise, it’s important to consider if you’ll have to pay for any home repairs, enhancements, upgrades, staging, or other expenses. Closing costs and other fees will often come into play as well, and following the sale of your property, you may also find yourself on the hook for taxes too.
- Round up your price when estimating what to sell your home for – prices like $250,000 are more appealing to and more easily understood by a home buyer than $247,205. Alternately, you may wish to price your property for a dollar less than you’re looking to sell it for – for example, $249,999 vs. $250,000 to maximize visibility and audience reach, as many online real estate search services encourage shoppers to filter search results by maximum budget. That way, for example, you can reach potential home buyers looking to keep their budgets under $250,000 as well as shoppers seeking to keep them right around this price point as well.
- Try to strike a balance with pricing so that it’s attractive, but also practical – in other words, low enough to interest buyers and pique their attention, but also high enough to maximize your anticipated return on investment. The question you’ll often face when pricing a house is: Do you drop the proposed sale price in hopes of attracting more potential buyers, bringing added traffic in the door, and – in the case of a competitive market – potentially sparking off a bidding war? Or do you keep prices higher and more exclusive, hoping to bring in a more discerning clientele and more potential revenue at the time of sale?
- Review popular online real estate search and listing services in your area to see what they estimate your home to be worth – then price your house either right around this range or lower. After all, it never hurts to create the impression to buyers that you’re offering what appears to be a great deal.
- Recall that when it comes to pricing that while you can always go lower, you can’t go higher. It’s important to leave yourself a little cushion in your asking price in case you need to drop it to spark shoppers’ interest. Once you’ve priced a property at a certain level, you can’t raise the price back up again, unless you’ve made major upgrades and improvements to your home – so be sure to leave yourself a little wiggle room to negotiate.
What Does It Cost To Sell A Home?
Costs of a home sale can be considerable, as a great deal of legwork and effort often goes into attractively styling and presenting properties, not to mention promoting them to prospective buyers.
In addition, as a home seller, you can often expect to be on the hook for various expenses – like repairs and maintenance needed to address any failings uncovered in a home inspection.
Along similar lines, there are potential fees to be paid to attorneys, title companies, and other real estate industry professionals that are involved in the process as you take steps down the road to closing.
Common expenses that you might expect to see as you work to sell a home include, but are not limited to:
How To Get The Right Price For Your Home
Be advised as a home seller – no matter how much research you do, or how nicely you present and stage your property, your asking price might not be the same as the selling price that you ultimately receive.
In real estate, it often pays to expect the unexpected, as countless factors can influence what buyers are willing to pay for a piece of property, and market conditions can often change on a dime.
Also worth noting: A real estate agent will do their best to advocate for you and equip you with the insights and research that you need to make smart pricing decisions. However, as a property owner, the final word on how to price a house will rest with you, as does the decision when to drop or modify the price in response to buyer request or external market forces. Keeping this in mind, it’s important to do your homework and be up to speed on current market conditions and buyers’ preferences in your area.
While home sales prices will ultimately depend on what you can negotiate, it’s important to price competitively, as you won’t have anyone to negotiate with if you can’t get them to the bargaining table to begin with. Your goal as a home seller isn’t just to spark buyers’ initial interest, but also keep them intrigued and keep people coming in the door. If you’re not seeing the interest or foot traffic that you’d like, think about how you can adjust your home’s pricing to rekindle prospective buyers’ enthusiasm and/or change your sales pitch to match.
That said, various factors which might impact your ultimate selling price include:
- Bidding wars, which can sometimes result in homes selling above market value
- Buyer’s market versus seller’s market conditions
- Seasonal fluctuations – for example, fewer home buyers are often shopping during holidays and in the dead of winter
- Competition in your neighborhood and local area
- Whether your property is located near desirable landmarks and amenities
- If you’re in a region that’s experiencing economic and population growth or decline
- Mortgage interest rates and rate fluctuations
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The Bottom Line
When it comes to home pricing, there’s no one guaranteed answer to the question of how much you can sell your house for. Rather, answers lie in what prices your local real estate market is capable of sustaining – and how well that you negotiate as a property owner.
As noted, home prices can greatly fluctuate based on economic conditions, interest rates, and geographic location, as well as the competitiveness of your property and market. In addition, much of ultimate home pricing depends on if you’re facing a buyer’s or seller’s market.
Ready to sell your home and looking for tips to get started? Visit the Rocket Mortgage® Learning Center today to learn more about how to get the best price for your house.
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