I wanted to list my home for sale at $600,000, but my real estate agent recommended staying below $590,000. This would allow my home to appear in search queries that are capped at $599,999. It would also tempt buyers looking for a “good deal.”
We listed the house at $589,000, though we estimated the market value at $600,000. Three days later, the first offer came in at my asking price. But simultaneously two other offers came through and a bidding war began, which resulted in the home selling for $42,500 above my asking price.
Here are the factors that contributed to this quick and profitable sale.
1. Low Asking Price
In our neighborhood homes that had been priced too high would linger on the market, as buyers would lose interest and fail to return even after the price was reduced. By setting the price of our home at $589,000 instead of $600,000 (2 percent below market value), we increased interest in the property.
Knowing that the real estate market had become very strong in the summer due to low interest rates, we took a gamble that this may lead to competing offers that would exceed our asking price. It did. In five days we had an offer that exceeded our asking price by 7 percent, or 5.25 percent over what we estimated the market value was.
2. Beautifully Staged Home
We invested a few months and around $2,000 staging the home. We landscaped the yard, painted any blemishes to the walls, cleaned the home thoroughly, and stored much of its furnishings and decor in the garage. In all, I spent four months working on the property to make it look like a model home. I didn’t want potential buyers to spot things they would have to repair or remodel.
3. Good Advertising
We hired our real estate agent based on her marketing strategy. She hired an exceptional photographer who made the property seem irresistible. The home went on the market on Thursday, and our real agent held an open house on Saturday and Sunday, during which over 100 people viewed the home. This was due to the fact that the agent had contacted all prominent real estate agents in the area beforehand. High visibility coupled with beautiful photos stirred a great deal of interest, which resulted in competing offers and a sale price of $631,500.
4. Easy Access to the Property
Our family went on vacation for a week, to make the home available for viewing at all times. Agents could arrive spontaneously, without having to make an appointment. A lock box on the door recorded the identity of the real estate agent who showed the property, and my real estate agent could then follow up with them for input. This ease of access to the property allowed many buyers to view the home in a short amount of time, which in itself sent the message that this property would sell fast and offers must be brought in quickly.
I’ll also note that because of the interest generated in the home, buyers competed over the property by removing contingencies from the sales contract. The winning offer, in fact, waived the inspection contingency as well, by holding an inspection prior to placing the offer on the house.