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Real Estate Rap: Setting the right price is vital

Setting the list price for your home involves evaluating various market conditions and financial factors. During this phase of the home selling process, your broker will help you set your list price by determining:

• Pricing considerations

• Comparable sales

• Market conditions

Pricing Considerations — In setting the list price for your home, you should be aware of a buyer’s frame of mind. Based on a list of houses for sale in your neighborhood, buyers will determine which houses they want to view.

If you set the price too high your house won’t be picked for viewing even though it may be much nicer than others on the street. On the other hand, if you price it too low you’ll short-change yourself. Your house may sell quickly but before a buyer who would have paid more comes along.

To determine the proper list price, call a broker and have him or her provide you with these professional services:

Furnishing comparable sales and analyzing market conditions. The list of comparable sales along with data about other houses in your neighborhood presently on the market is used for a Comparative Market Analysis. To help in estimating a possible sale price for your house, the analysis will also include data on nearby houses that failed to sell in the past few months, along with their list prices.

No matter how attractive your house, buyers will be comparing its price with everything else on the market. Your best guide is a record of what the buying public has been willing to pay in the past few months for property in your neighborhood.

Consider Market Conditions — When real estate is booming and prices are rising as they have been in our market for the last several years, houses may sell in a few days. Conversely, when the market slows down, finding a buyer can take several months.

Setting the list price correctly is very important for another reason. Buyers who have been looking at homes for quite some time are anxious to buy, usually don’t beat around the bush but make their best offer right away. These buyers make the highest offers in the first few weeks that a new listing comes on the market.

Joseph Casella is a licensed real estate and mortgage broker and owner of Castle Realty and Alpha Capital. He is editor and writer of “Market Scope,” a newsletter for property owners. He can be reached at (718) 707-7019.

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