The spring housing season is in full bloom, though like many things it’s different from previous years. Inventory is tight. Mortgage rates have gone up. Recession fears are still out there. If you are selling a home, smart pricing is more important than ever right now.
There are several basic principles when it comes to pricing a home for sale. These principles should always be considered. But in today’s economic climate, we also need to consider the mood of the market and buyers’ behaviors.
THE COMPS REPORT
The first thing you need to do when starting a conversation about pricing a home is by running a comparative market analysis (CMA) report or comps. This is when an agent pulls the pricing information for at least five properties that are comparable to yours. What do we mean by comparable? Consider these factors:
- LOCATION: This can be tricky in certain parts of Charlotte, For instance, the 28205 zip code includes Plaza Midwood, NoDa, Belmont, Villa Heights, Plaza Shamrock and Country Club Heights. It’s usually a very thin line where one neighborhood ends and the next begins. A home in Plaza Shamrock would not necessarily be comparable to one in Plaza Midwood, even though they are walking distance to each other. Staying within the boundaries of a neighborhood or subdivision is ideal.
- SIZE: The heated living area or square footage is important. You should not compare a 3,000sf home to a 1,500sf one.
- STYLE/ERA: If you have a 1900s bungalow, don’t compare it to a 1970s split level. Keep comps to the same style and approximate age of your home if you can. You also shouldn’t compare new construction to a resale.
- RECENT SALE: Pull comps from no longer than six months prior, preferably three months. The mood of the market can change very quickly.
WHAT SETS YOUR HOME APART
Once the fundamentals of pricing are applied, location, square footage, style, etc., consider the big picture of the broader market as well as the zoomed-in micro market of what makes your particular home unique.
Buyers moving to Charlotte seem to have an appetite for unique. The more eclectic areas in the shadow of uptown are quite different from the suburbs. In pricing, the uniqueness and historical significance of a home factors in, too. This is hard to quantify, but important especially now when buyers are more choosy than ever and are willing to pay for something unique.
Suburban homes should safely be priced according to what the recent comps show. In the track developments of the suburbs, with very similar homes, pricing a home above the comps isn’t a great idea. We notice these homes linger on the market longer and end up being negotiated down anyway. It is much smarter to price neck and neck with recent closed sales or even a tad below to bring buyers.
DON’T TAKE BUYERS FOR GRANTED
It is true that inventory is tight and Charlotte remains a sellers’ market, but we can’t assume that means you’ll sell quickly and over asking. We are seeing some listings still getting multiple offers but not all. Sellers can’t assume their listing will be one of the lucky ones.
Buyers have to go through a lot right now to get ready to purchase a home in the Charlotte market. They are well versed in pricing and in home values. Buyers also have less to spend on a home due to higher interest rates. Today’s buyers are educated, and won’t bite if a property is priced too high.
Before putting your home on the market, make sure it’s clean, repaired, groomed, staged, landscaped and priced comparatively. Do all of this and you just might get an offer above the asking price. People are more likely to buy a home if they think they can trust the seller to give them a fair deal.
WE CAN HELP
Interested in finding out what your home is worth in the current market? Call us and we can run the comps for you. We can also help you find your next home in the city or the suburbs.
Other stories of interest: