pricing our house?

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gips
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pricing our house?

Post by gips »

We're thinking we should hit the hot NYC suburban real estate market. I'm mostly retired, kids out of house and too big, high re taxes, maintenance, etc...all the common reasons people eventually move from hcola areas in retirement. We had a realtor over, she gave us a long list prep tasks: declutter, repairs, etc and is returning this week to give us an estimate. Zillow's estimate is $780k-$964k with a zestimate of 875k.

we live in a small town of 12k people, schools consistently named among best in country, just ticked up another 50 spots in the rankings. The zestimate includes some comps in an excellent but not top quite as good school district. a recent article called our town one of the hottest real estate markets in the area. There is almost no inventory...maybe 1-2 other houses resulting in bidding wars for a bunch of places. Actually, some people are receiving unsolicited offers for their house (not on market).

So the question is where to price it, top, mid or bottom of range and why?

tia,
mkc
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by mkc »

Ignore Zillow and do your own comp research on recent sales. Zillow numbers are completely fabricated.

The three or so realtors you interview should present you with a marketing plan that shows comps (recent closed, possibly some pendings, and some actives - your competition - and how the realtor arrived at the suggested listing price.

There has been much discussion on the forum regarding how a small % of realtors make the largest percentage of sales. Do some research into who the successful selling agents are for your area and interview them to see who is the best fit for you.
New Providence
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by New Providence »

Zillow your town and see what the houses similar to yours are going for. Compare it to realtors suggested price.
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Bogle7
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by Bogle7 »

mkc wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 4:53 pmIgnore Zillow and do your own comp research on recent sales. Zillow numbers are completely fabricated.
No, yes, and not true.

Use Zillow with filters set to sold and within last 12 months.

Zestimates are not fabricated, but they are wildly inaccurate and may be ignored.
Old fart who does three index funds, baby.
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Watty
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by Watty »

The last time I sold a house I selected around six real estate agents to talk to on the phone. I then let three of them come to the house to look at it then come back a few days later to present their competitive market analysis. It was interesting that they all had different houses as comparable sales and a different rationale for suggesting at what price to list the house for.

One thing to be very careful about is that you need to tell each of the real estate agents the same things about the house and why you want to sell and what your expectations are. They can legitimately suggest different marketing plans depending on what you tell them. That can get confusing. It would be good to make up a checklist of talking points before you talk to the real estate agents on the phone so that you can be sure you are telling them the same story.

This is basically an interview process like you are hiring and employee, because that is what you are doing. A large part of a real estate agents job is to work with people and sell themself. If they can not do that well I would not want to have them selling my house. You will not be getting a new best friend but it is also important to find a real estate agent who you like working with.

I was upfront with the real estate agents about the process I was using and they were all fine with that. The one I did not select were professional even if they were disappointed that they did not get the listing.

That was a very good educational experience for me and I learned a LOT about the local housing market so I felt a lot more comfortable with the price that I listed it at.

One thing to be prepared for is that they will not want to say you should list the house for $XXX,XXX. Instead they will talk about price ranges and the advantages of listing it at different price points but you will be able to figure out what price they thing you should list it at even if they do not put it down on paper. Part of the reason they do now want to say you should list it at $XXX,XXX is that they do not want to be sued if there is a problem with it selling at that price.
av111
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by av111 »

In general, price lower than market. Buyers will bid up the price to whatever market will bear

Let us know how it goes
AV111
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RickBoglehead
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by RickBoglehead »

Don't ask a bunch of strangers on the internet...

Multiple realtors, estimates with comp backup. Zestimate is near useless.
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Point
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by Point »

Comps, proximity, adjacency, condition, popular style, unique attributes, differentiators, and the story. These are key components.

We have seen pricing near top of market with budding driving price well over top of market in CA.
adamthesmythe
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by adamthesmythe »

Watty wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 5:20 pm One thing to be prepared for is that they will not want to say you should list the house for $XXX,XXX. Instead they will talk about price ranges and the advantages of listing it at different price points but you will be able to figure out what price they thing you should list it at even if they do not put it down on paper. Part of the reason they do now want to say you should list it at $XXX,XXX is that they do not want to be sued if there is a problem with it selling at that price.
Interesting as in my experience I had no trouble getting agents to give me a single number.
DidItMyWay
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by DidItMyWay »

Yes, see what the realtor suggests.
Then interview at least 2 more realtors and see what they suggest.
At the same time, continue to do your own online research regarding comps in your neighborhood that have sold within the last 3-6 months (preferably 3 months because the market keeps changing).
Then, based on all of that, come up with want you would like to list it at.
Best of luck!
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JoeRetire
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by JoeRetire »

gips wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 4:35 pm So the question is where to price it, top, mid or bottom of range and why?
Discuss it with your realtor.
They know the market and know how to price homes.
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
Broszy
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by Broszy »

I did a thing where I looked at all the sales in my area for the past year for similar sized houses and made a list of all seller real estate agents. Then I compared the sell price with the zestimate and found 2 seller agents that consistently sold properties above the estimate. I interviewed 2, chose 1, and we made a killing. The real estate agent got us way more than our estimate. She had a lot of connections with people that made videos, did staging, etc...
I came away from that exercise convinced that you need an extremely talented real estate agent, and they will perform.
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gips
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by gips »

we met with the realtor, she wants to start at the top of our range and thinks we may have a bidding war. will be interesting...
regularguy455
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by regularguy455 »

Our realtor listed 30k above what I thought was likely. After a week we’re received a full price offer plus a little. Not sure if that’s helpful.
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gwe67
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by gwe67 »

$1.19M.
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drk
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by drk »

gips wrote: Fri May 07, 2021 4:56 pm we met with the realtor, she wants to start at the top of our range and thinks we may have a bidding war. will be interesting...
In case you haven't, consider getting estimates from two more listing agents.
regularguy455
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by regularguy455 »

I will say the market seems to be softening where I am. I would list it ASAP.
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LiveSimple
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by LiveSimple »

Based on what you said, I would price at $1.12 M
Range will be $985 K to $1.1 M. As these estimates are looking back not the current demand.
esqu1re
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by esqu1re »

FYSA, Zestimate is actually fairly accurate (within 5% or so) in the hcol neighborhood i live in on the east coast. Might be because real estate agents are just following zestimate. Causation, not correlation, perhaps.
stan1
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by stan1 »

av111 wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 5:27 pm In general, price lower than market. Buyers will bid up the price to whatever market will bear

Let us know how it goes
Exactly. Do not price it too high hoping the "right buyer" will come along. Price it very close to the comparable sales the realtors you interview provide you. You want to get multiple offers and let the buyers bid up the price.

The worst thing you can do is deliberately over-price a house trying to get ahead of the market or because you think the house is more valuable than the comps (emotional attachment). Even in a hot market an overpriced house will get a lot of looky loos the first few weeks then will be ignored by both realtors and buyers. You'll get low ball offers.

Decluttering and deep cleaning is most important. If the house is crowded with furniture take most of the furniture out so the house looks bigger. Ask realtor but putting it in the garage may be fine in some markets. If the house has great features like wood floors or big windows open everything up to feature those elements that most people love and will get them excited to bid up the price.

The realtor should explain a marketing strategy expected to get you multiple offers, and should discuss how financing and inspection contingencies are handled in the current market in your area. Are there many all cash buyers?

Also negotiate the sales commission. 3% to buyer agent and 1.5-2% to seller agent is very common in many areas. It is a competitive business. If an agent tells you it's 6% or nothing I'd show them to the door.
Last edited by stan1 on Fri May 07, 2021 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
SimplicityNow
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by SimplicityNow »

We are also in a NYC suburb and recently listed our house. This was our experience.

We researched comparable listings but since there is very little supply where I am, some of the comparable went back 6-9 months which in today's market is ancient history as far as current prices.

We interviewed four real estate agents and picked the one who we liked the most. He also happened to recommend the highest price but that isn't why we picked him.

We had 30 showings over 3 days and 8 offers with all except one at asking or over. Several cash offers, waived inspection etc. The ones who were taking mortgages were putting 40 -50% down. We received several additional higher offers after we already accepted one. The problem with those people bidding it up is sometimes they win the bid, then they back out. I think the top bid when we stopped the process was almost 10% over asking.

I would say price the house at what the realtor you choose suggests. Most likely you will get more. Remember the best offer is not always the highest offer.

Good luck.
SwampDonkey
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by SwampDonkey »

We're in the middle of selling our home FSBO in a hot market in FL.

We listed it 2% above the Zillow estimate. This was right at RedFin's estimate and slightly above Realtor.com's estimate. Comp's from within the past 1-3 months were pulled from realtor.com and were below our asking price on a measure of $/sq ft. Interesting note, since we listed the home a couple of weeks ago, the Zillow estimate has increased nearly 4% (this puts the new "Zestimate" above our asking price but below our agreed upon price).

We hosted three open houses immediately after listing. Easily had 70-80 interested buyers attend. Ended up with ~20 offers by the evening of the third open house.

All but two offers were at, or above, asking price. Our highest offer included an escalation clause up to 13% over asking price.

We agreed to an offer that was 8% over asking with the buyers agreeing to pay over the appraised value by 2% if the appraisal comes in low.

The buyer's agent was/is concerned our house won't appraise high enough so he suggested I provide as much info as I can to the appraiser to support the agreed upon price. For reference, we bought the home three years ago and if the sale goes through, it will have increased in value 33% over those three years.
av111
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by av111 »

Appraisals are seriously lagging the current housing prices. So if you accept a very high price, make sure buyer has funds to complete the transaction if appraisal is low
AV111
Dottie57
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by Dottie57 »

Last year our realtor helped with setting price. She selected 6 properties which were fairly similar to our house. We thought the second highest house was closer to ours and so set the price to that. Worked out well.

You do have to be fairly honest with yourself and not over value your home. Also get things fixed. Once you do that - you will sell
Cigarman
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by Cigarman »

I sold my house in October 2020 in Raleigh, NC area. On our county's website you can pull up anyone's home to view things like tax values, previous owners, permits pulled and recent sales. I took the average of the 10 most recent sales and came up with an average per square foot price and wanted to list it for that.

Two of the three realtor's I interviewed thought my house should list for about $20,000 under what I suggested. The third agreed with me. I ended up selecting the one that agreed with my listing price and we went live the day after Labor Day. Sold the next day for $20,000 over my asking price.

Before I sold I did some serious decluttering, fixed some siding, re-stained the deck and did some other minor fixes that totaled $2000. To me, in my market, it isn't rocket science right now. Do your own homework and remember you can always come down in price if needed.
Normchad
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by Normchad »

Price it high. You’re not in a rush to sell.

I think most people list their homes too low...... the folks that sold this home to us certainly screwed up and missed out on a lot of money......

You don’t need 30 offers, you only need 1.

In our area, I think Zillow is pretty accurate. It’s just a data point, but not irrelevant. I also think so many people use Zillow that it does affect people’s perceptions of what “fair market value “ is. So you might want to make sure the data Zillow has for your home is accurate. The square feet is correct, etc etc.
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gips
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by gips »

thank you all for your thoughtful replies, very helpful. realtor is listing today. her initial estimate was somewhere in the 9s, we were thrilled but then we realized the sq footage she had from town records was around 2,850 and the sq footage we had from a refi was 3,250. When they shot photos/videos, she had someone come in to measure and he came up with 3,300. Then we did a massive decluttering and the photos were sorta stunning (more to do with the photographer than our home).

so this morning she called and, after collaborating with everyone in her office, came up with $1.2, zestimate is $800-950k. she is a long time friend, we're nervous she's overpricing but I suppose sometimes you gotta say what the heck :)

if we have a bidding war starting at $1.2, I'm going to buy her a rolex...updates to follow...

best,
luckyducky99
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by luckyducky99 »

Where I am the market has been burning up. List price doesn't matter, and most listings are deliberately low to generate more interest. All houses list with an "offer review date" (e.g. "all offers reviewed at 5pm June 10th" or whatever) which basically turns them into sealed bid auctions where all offers use escalation clauses. Don't know if that's common everywhere, but something to consider.

Good luck!
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F150HD
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by F150HD »

even if one sells at a good inflated price, still need to purchase at that same inflated rate to live somewhere (unless you already have multiple homes already) and with the market so tight as it is, that could be really stressful.
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gips
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by gips »

F150HD wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 1:40 pm even if one sells at a good inflated price, still need to purchase at that same inflated rate to live somewhere (unless you already have multiple homes already) and with the market so tight as it is, that could be really stressful.
thanks, we have a place in nyc and fl, so good to go for the short term, we may eventually purchase a larger place in nyc. in addition to cashing out, this should reduce our expenses btw $5k and $6k per month! hoping to have an offer eod sunday!
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hand
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by hand »

If you trust your realtor, they should guide you on asking price, though worth noting that they are incented to close sales rather than maximize price.

If you don't trust your realtor, consider selling it yourself - you've already found the property to sell (you own it!) and with minimal supply and buyers primed to offer above ask in many markets, house is likely to market itself. With the potential for $30k in savings on fees for a couple hours work, It may well be worth your time.

As a baby step, consider posting a "make me move" number of $1M on Zillow - you may be pleasantly surprised by the offers that you receive.
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gips
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by gips »

hand wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:15 pm If you trust your realtor, they should guide you on asking price, though worth noting that they are incented to close sales rather than maximize price.

If you don't trust your realtor, consider selling it yourself - you've already found the property to sell (you own it!) and with minimal supply and buyers primed to offer above ask in many markets, house is likely to market itself. With the potential for $30k in savings on fees for a couple hours work, It may well be worth your time.

As a baby step, consider posting a "make me move" number of $1M on Zillow - you may be pleasantly surprised by the offers that you receive.
so, as I may have mentioned upthread, the realtor is a long time personal friend (20 years) and has already put in an enormous amount of time with us. left to our own devices, we'd have priced in low 9s, if we end up with $1.2 or more, she will have more than made up for her fee. I do appreciate your sentiment but we're too far down the road now with her to change course.

best,
Last edited by gips on Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
mkc
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by mkc »

hand wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:15 pm As a baby step, consider posting a "make me move" number of $1M on Zillow - you may be pleasantly surprised by the offers that you receive.
According to Zillow, they're no longer doing "make me move"

https://www.zillow.com/make-me-move/
mecht3ach
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by mecht3ach »

gips wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 11:16 am if we have a bidding war starting at $1.2, I'm going to buy her a rolex...updates to follow...
If you have a bidding war at $1.2m, you're already essentially buying her a rolex with her commission!
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gwe67
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by gwe67 »

gwe67 wrote: Fri May 07, 2021 5:26 pm$1.19M.
I want to change my suggestion to $1.29M.
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Topic Author
gips
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by gips »

gwe67 wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:24 pm
gwe67 wrote: Fri May 07, 2021 5:26 pm$1.19M.
I want to change my suggestion to $1.29M.
lol!
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RickBoglehead
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by RickBoglehead »

gips wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:32 pm left to our own devices, we'd have priced in low 9s, if we end up with $1.2 or more, she will have more than made up for her fee. I do appreciate your sentiment but we're too far down the road now with her to change course.

best,
Confused.

You would have sold for low $900ks.
If you end up with $1.2 million or more, she will have more than made up for her fee.

$925,000/.94= $984,000. If she beats that, you come out ahead. What does $1.2 have to do with it?
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Tingting1013
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by Tingting1013 »

If there is a bidding war at 1.2 that means 1.2 was too low.
DesertDiva
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by DesertDiva »

We are listing our house today and our Realtor has us close to the top without going over. There is no active inventory in our subdivision. New construction is taking > 12 months to build, and lots are being snatched up as soon as they become available. I’m anticipating that we will have offers that are above our asking price. The next few days should be interesting.

We have been looking at other properties in a nearby city and I’m shocked at what people are asking for the average-looking, ho-hum properties they’re selling—yet they are getting multiple offers.

#CrazyMarket
Topic Author
gips
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by gips »

Tingting1013 wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 7:54 pm If there is a bidding war at 1.2 that means 1.2 was too low.
I'm not sure I agree, why do auctions exist?
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hand
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by hand »

gips wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:32 pm left to our own devices, we'd have priced in low 9s, if we end up with $1.2 or more, she will have more than made up for her fee.
Best of luck!

For the record, pricing in the 9s likely wouldn't have ended up terribly - lots of eyeballs, lots of offers and the very real possibility of a bidding war. This is in fact a "strategy" used by some realtors (or perhaps just what they say when they misprice). The invisible hand of the market is really good at figuring out true pricing as long as there is enough visibility.
chazas
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by chazas »

mkc wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 4:04 pm
hand wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:15 pm As a baby step, consider posting a "make me move" number of $1M on Zillow - you may be pleasantly surprised by the offers that you receive.
According to Zillow, they're no longer doing "make me move"

https://www.zillow.com/make-me-move/
They also will no longer let me edit details about my own home and tell me to talk to the listing agent who represented the seller two years ago. Really bad change in approach.
BogleFan510
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by BogleFan510 »

Any negotiation of commission rates? Curious.
regularguy455
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by regularguy455 »

BogleFan510 wrote: Wed Jun 02, 2021 9:15 am Any negotiation of commission rates? Curious.
I used redfin to buy and sell. If you do that, they will list your home for 1% and you get a refund on the purchase. I strongly recommend them. The market is so hot that the realtor is basically listing on the MLS and handling the paperwork.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by RickBoglehead »

Tingting1013 wrote: Tue Jun 01, 2021 7:54 pm If there is a bidding war at 1.2 that means 1.2 was too low.
Or, it means that the potential buyers are irrational.

A realtor, uses comps and the market to determine what the market will pay. If the market offers more, was the realtor wrong? No, the market is not behaving rationally.
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F150HD
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by F150HD »

regularguy455 wrote: Wed Jun 02, 2021 9:27 am
BogleFan510 wrote: Wed Jun 02, 2021 9:15 am Any negotiation of commission rates? Curious.
I used redfin to buy and sell. If you do that, they will list your home for 1% and you get a refund on the purchase. I strongly recommend them. The market is so hot that the realtor is basically listing on the MLS and handling the paperwork.
^^^ was my thought https://www.redfin.com/why-sell

My last purchase and sale, Realtors did little beyond average paperwork which wasn't worth the % one pays (probably an entire thread topic right there)
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gips
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by gips »

BogleFan510 wrote: Wed Jun 02, 2021 9:15 am Any negotiation of commission rates? Curious.
it was 5 per cent, with anyone else i would have pushed but with a friend, didnt bother.
smitcat
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by smitcat »

gips wrote: Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:47 am
BogleFan510 wrote: Wed Jun 02, 2021 9:15 am Any negotiation of commission rates? Curious.
it was 5 per cent, with anyone else i would have pushed but with a friend, didnt bother.
You were hoping for offers by Sunday night, how is it going so far?
BogleFan510
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by BogleFan510 »

gips wrote: Wed Jun 02, 2021 11:47 am
BogleFan510 wrote: Wed Jun 02, 2021 9:15 am Any negotiation of commission rates? Curious.
it was 5 per cent, with anyone else i would have pushed but with a friend, didnt bother.
Im actually paying 5.5 on our home for sale. The selling agent has earned it, but still probably left money on the table accepting it. She is not a friend, but very friendly, extremely competent and has helped us many times with valuable advice and references.
theplayer11
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Re: pricing our house?

Post by theplayer11 »

will sell for above asking price, so price it high...The market is insane.
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