best-priceThe price you want, or need, to get for your home does not matter to buyers. Yes, making smart investments and otherwise preparing your home for sale will definitely increase the value, but if your asking price is too much above that value, it will not sell. In fact, because the market is much more price-sensitive than most sellers realize, you may not even get any showings.

Do not make the mistake of thinking, “I’ll price it high, because the buyer will make a low offer, and we’ll meet in the middle.” That is not how it works. Buyers very rarely make low offers, at least in the first 30-60 days a home is on the market. Buyers do not like conflict, they do not want to make sellers upset. Neither do their agents, because they hope to work with the listing agent many times again in the future. The buyers have the data, they know what the comparable properties sold for, and if your home is overpriced they assume you will only accept offers close to your list price. Rather than argue about it, they will just ignore your home.

I am not suggesting that you under-price your home to motivate buyers to come see it. Your well-prepared home is motivation enough, and you deserve every penny you can get from the sale, right? An accurately-priced home will sell just as quickly as an under-priced home (in fact, under-priced homes look suspicious to buyers). But price cannot be an obstacle either. If your home is prepared correctly, the fair-market value for your property will be near the top of the range of the comparable homes that have sold recently. List your home at about two percent above fair-market value, and that is enough “negotiating room” for most buyers to feel like they “won.”