Mark Shanaman


Pricing your home for a successful sale

Home Pricing Strategies - Getting The Maximum Market Value for your home in Berks and Chester County PA

Determining the best asking price for a home is one of the most challenging, but important, aspects of selling. It’s a balancing act, setting a price too high discourages showings and serious offers from qualified buyers, who ultimately determine your home’s top market value. On the other hand, you don’t want to set a price too low that it attracts lots of interest, but sets the stage for offers and negotiations that may result in getting less than the market would actually support.

Moreover, this balancing act is even trickier now, given that we’re still in a buyers’ market with a variety of economic uncertainties. All the more reason why, when you make your decision to sell, you should do plenty of research as well as seek out the advice of an experienced agent.


So What Is Your Reading/Berks, or Chester County Home Really Worth?

In a perfect world, your home’s value would be what you think, or need it to be. You may have specific financial goals, or you’ve just made an offer on another home that’s is now dependent on you selling at a certain price and time frame. However, your home’s value is not determined by you, but by what the market will pay for it at a given time. Today home buyer has researched property values over the internet for months. They have already viewed at least 10 homes, and are not under any pressure to buy. They may even be hesitant to make a decision because of the fear of missing out on one of those unbelievable deals that continue to pop up.

In trying to determine your home’s true market value and setting your expectations for what you’re likely to sell it for, you should consider the following:


1) Try to be impartial. Unfortunately, the market is not interested in what you originally paid for your home, or how much you need to sell it for to buy your next home and meet your financial goals. In addition, your home may have specialized features that you value, which may actually reduce its market value by limiting the number of potential buyers.

2) Remember why you are selling. Do you want to sell or need to sell? While in a buyers’ market you’ll rarely get more money than is required to meet your financial needs. Unfortunately your personal situation may dictate that you take less money than the market would ideally be willing to give you if you had more time.

3) Research online and in person. You can find out a lot about your local market through researching websites, going to open houses in your area and making comparisons with your home in terms of location, size, features and condition. 

4) Get a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) from an agent. A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is a document, created by and agent using a local Multiple Listings Service (MLS) database. The agent will research pricing information, property details and photos of homes similar to yours, named comparable. The comparable may include homes that recently sold, failed to sell, or are currently on the market in your area. An agent will typically provide you with a CMA as part of a listing presentation he or she delivers at your home. The CMA will include the price, or price range that the agent thinks you should list at. They will take into consideration your layout, quality, workmanship, condition, and so on. Generally, studying what has worked in your area – and what hasn’t – will help you to strategically price your home so that it sells for top dollar, in a reasonable time frame, with the least inconvenience for you.


Experience shows that you’re far more likely to get top market value if you sell your home during a certain “golden window of opportunity” early in the listing. In short, timing is crucial. With the exception of hot sellers’ markets, homes generally attract the most interest, attention and activity among buyers during the second to fourth or fifth weeks they’re on the market. Shortly beyond that period, your home will increasingly be viewed as a stale listing. Consequently, there will be less market buzz, less showings, less offers and you’re less likely to get your asking price. This is why it is crucial to price your home correctly right in the beginning so that you can receive a solid offer during the three or four week “golden window”.


The Consequences of Overpricing When You List.

The strategy of overpricing your home when you list, knowing that you can reduce the price later, might seem to make sense at first glance. However, it seldom works. In fact, sellers who overprice their homes – even just 10% above market value – and then reduce the price one or more times often end up getting less than they would have if they’d priced it realistically from the start. Here’s why:

• Fewer buyers will respond to the online and offline marketing of it if they know it’s overpriced.

• Fewer agents will show your home to their buyers if they know it’s overpriced.

• The right buyers, looking to buy a home like yours, may not even view it because their searching a lesser price range where yours should be.

• You’ll attract the wrong buyers. Those looking in your price range won’t be interested in your home, having viewed other homes truly worth what you’re asking for yours.

• An excessive price on your property makes others more attractive. Buyers compare, homes priced where yours is, and also those priced where yours should be.

• You’ll get fewer, if any, serious offers overall because buyers may consider doing so a waste of time.

• Even if you do get an acceptable offer, the higher price can lead to a mortgage rejection for the buyer once the lender has an appraisal done on your home. This leads to critical lost time waiting for finance approvals that never work.

• Reducing the price after buyers have begun to perceive your home as a stale listing does not generate as much interest as if it was priced it properly from the start.


The Bottom Line is, Realistic Pricing, Is Strategic Pricing!

All this is why, pricing your home correctly the beginning, selling it within the window of maximum market exposure, so that you can best leverage buyer interest and emotions, is important. Especially in a market like this one!

Correct pricing not only attract more buyers, you’ll attract the right buyers: qualified, motivated and willing to pay top market value for your home at the very time during the listing when you’re most likely to get it.

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