Making a decision to sell your home and finding the right real estate agent to sell it can be a difficult and emotive process.  You will certainly interview several agents and take a view on both their ability and personality.  Some agents will work alone while others will offer teams with individuals that have expertise in particular neighborhoods. You may be trying to figure out whether you want to downsize, stay within your community or move closer to family.  Having survived the agent selection process and the many decisions that accompany putting your home on the market, the next hurdle is the sale itself.  If the sale takes longer than expected, one of the most difficult questions that real estate agents are often asked is whether the home should be strategically reduced in price.

A Buyer’s Market  

Markets, whether they are housing markets or stock markets, are fickle creatures.  You may have heard the terms, “buyer’s market” or “seller’s market.”  They are used to describe two very different market environments; and when selling a home, the market backdrop is key to pricing decisions.  A buyer’s market implies that prices work to the buyer’s favor, so there may be lots of housing inventory available, distressed sellers trying to undercut each other’s low prices and generally declining home prices.  A seller’s market suggests the exact opposite.  Prices are rising and work to the seller’s favor.  There are often many buyers for the same property, inventory is scarce, properties move quickly and may sell within days of listing.  When selling your home, if market conditions are more typical of a buyer’s market, a thoughtful, strategic decision to reduce the price of the home may be an important part of the selling plan.

Your Agent as Advocate

In any market, the choice of real estate agent is one of the most important decisions that you will make.  Why?  When listing your  home, you will, of course, have a view of what the selling price should be.  To sell the home for anything less can be a disappointment, and you must know that the agent you are using is working entirely in your best interest and maximizing your selling price.  You also have to believe that the agent you have chosen has the experience to help you navigate a difficult market environment should you encounter one.  A good real estate agent will assess pricing of comparable homes and whether they are being reduced, number of days on the market relative to the neighborhood average, showings and offers and whether they seem to be on the decline.

Assessing Your Needs

It is also important to consider your needs as a seller.  Do you have a particular deadline that you need to meet?  Does your family need to relocate before the school year begins or before winter arrives?  Do you need the sale proceeds to purchase another property?  These logistical issues are all important when deciding whether to reduce the price of a property listed on the market.  Regardless of your motivation, don’t make the decision to reduce the price of your home without seeking the advice of your real estate agent.  There will surely be a discussion, and there are pros and cons to any decision. Strategic home pricing in a difficult market can be the right tactical decision in some circumstances, particularly if underlying market conditions shift.

If you would like the Victoria Carter team to evaluate your home and provide you with insight on current market conditions in your area, contact victoria@victoriacarter.com or call 973-220-3050.  We welcome the opportunity to be your advocate.

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