How to price your home for sale

I'm Joe Patterson, Pacific Northwest native and real estate agent with Realogics Sotheby's International Realty, the world's most trusted real estate brand.

Many sellers struggle to balance the positive, nostalgic feelings they have towards their home and the market’s willingness to pay. They'd love to sell their precious property for a fair price, one equal to their emotional attachment and monetary investment over the years, but the market fluctuates and buyers have limits.

Naturally, many sellers experience anxiety caused by the uncertainty of the selling process. A house is often the biggest financial investment a person will make in their lifetime. Homes carry a lot of weight: not only do their gains and losses impact your net worth, but they become your haven, a comfortable space to satisfy your needs, both basic and personal. They're so much more than shelter.

My job as a real estate broker is to thoroughly understand the local market and area in which my clients are buying and selling. Backed by Sotheby's International Real Estate, one of the best real estate brokerages in the world, I've helped dozens of homeowners price their house correctly by building a successful, stress-free selling strategy.

Let's explore the five steps I walk my sellers through when it comes to pricing and selling.

First, take any number you have in your head and throw it out—I want you to literally delete it from your memory. Now take your blank slate and visit a few open houses in your neighborhood; stay within a quarter mile of where you live and see what people are asking for their homes. Remember: buyers aren’t going to pay anything above a directly comparable place listed at a lower price. This is allows you to understand what you value and, in turn, drives our discussion of what buyers value in your specific market.

The second step is for us to do a no pressure walk-through of your home. This lets us take a look at what your house offers that sets it apart from anything else on the market. We'll take a peek at what needs fixing and toss around potential improvements. Our no-commitment meeting helps us brainstorm how to best craft a compelling story that ultimately helps buyers envision themselves living in your home.

Our next step is to explore an execution plan for listing your home. You'll receive my recommendations on updates, repairs, and any additions I think will make your house stand out. Together, we'll devise a unique program that places your home in a highly competitive position in the market; one that drives as many buyers as possible to put in an offer.

The forth step involves arriving at an ideal price range contingent on your overall selling strategy. If you're looking to get top dollar in your neighborhood, your house needs to be nearly flawless. This means justifiable upgrades and top-quality amenities buyers are willing to pay for: think walk-in closets or en-suite master bathrooms. Another strategy involves relocation and selling your home quickly. These factors determine how we market your home and get the most money for your individual situation.

Lastly, we list your home. After we've done all the planning and decided on a pricing strategy, we put your house on the market. From there, it's my job to stay by your side, not only to answer questions but to drive the sale so our hard work comes to a satisfying conclusion that leads seamlessly into your life's next step.

I hope the steps I’ve shared have helped alleviate some of your selling anxiety. Correct pricing is critical and having an agent that understands selling strategy is an indispensable asset to prospective sellers. I’ve seen plenty of listings develop a reputation because they were rushed and priced improperly; they languished on the market, labeled among brokers and buyers as a place to avoid.

That doesn’t have to be your house!

With a good understanding of what it takes to list a home, you’re already miles ahead of the competition. Educating yourself ensuring less stress for you and your family, reduces disruption to your overall life, and ultimately puts you in the best possible position to get the best market price for your property.

If you're looking to buy or sell your home and don't know where to start, send me a message. Let's figure out what's best for you.

Ricardo Ibarra