THE Single Most Important Piece of Information to both Sellers and Buyers

Price – For a Listing and for a Contract of Sale. 

Sellers and buyers both rely on their agent’s expertise and research to help them understand today’s market and what are reasonable price expectations.  A wrong price can kill a listing or a deal. This single factor is so important. An agent who tries to “buy” a listing by providing or acceding to a seller’s unreasonably high price expectations is not helping his client. Pricing high can negatively impact the house’s real value, and can damage the agent’s standing in the community. 

I spend hours on research and data analysis to correctly propose a price range that can work.  For sellers, it has to be the best range I can honestly present.  My purpose is to reach a list price we can expect to best attract buyers and which will result in the greatest amount of proceeds.  I invest this time up front for my seller’s benefit in order to save weeks or months of dissatisfaction with an unrealistically priced home languishing on the market.

For my buyers, understanding comparable sales will help them appreciate and confirm that they are making a good deal,  The goal is to get closest to a sale price that reflects the value of the home to my buyer and that the seller will (or should) accept.

One reference point is in statistical market data on comparable properties 1) that have sold within the recent past, 2) that have not sold in the recent past, and 3) that either are actively on the market or 4) are under contract.  

The value these reports provide individually is different:

  • The “Sold” list shows similar homes that were recently on the market that sold the length of time they were on the market, and their price.  This provides a sense of what values are for similar homes.
  • The “Expired” list shows the same data on similar homes that were on the market but which did not sell, at least not at the prices at which their owners were attempting to sell them.  The market perceived those homes not to have the value to support the price.  The listing ran its course and expired.
  • The “Active”  list reveals the properties a house will have to compete with for a buyer, and the prices at which they are being marketed.  This is competition for a seller.  The report shows comparable houses now for sale and for how long.
  • The “Under Contract” report shows houses priced correctly went under contract to a buyer.  These homes “found their market.”

Another value reference is obtained through a professional home appraisal, similar to an appraisal a lender will obtain in determining how much to lend a buyer.  A professional home appraiser will produce a thorough, detailed, and certified home appraisal.  Armed with a current appraisal (less than 90 days old), a seller can be confident that a buyer’s offer is realistic and is close to that amount will meet with the buyer’s mortgage lender’s approval.

Working thoughtfully through these detailed and systematic steps benefits my sellers and buyers by setting realistic expectations and giving the most accurate ‘value’ information for consideration, and we are prepared to negotiate the best contract.

F. Hill Slowinski, JD, REALTOR® in DC, MD, and VA 

W.C. & A.N. Miller Realtors, A Long & Foster Company
Exclusive Affiliate of Christie’s Great Estates, President’s Club 2009
Consultant, Luxury Real Estate, Sloans & Kenyon Auctioneers and Appraisers
4701 Sangamore Road, Bethesda, Maryland  20816
Tel: 301-229-4000  Fax: 301-229-4015
Direct: 301-320-8430 · Cell: 301-452-1409 
Email:  HSlowinski@LNF.com  ·  Web Site: www.HillSlowinski.com 
Weblog: http://HillSlowinskiRealEstate.com