Will listing a little high hurt your chances for a sale?
Julie Garton-Good, GRI, DREI

Your Realtor has presented you with a comparative market analysis (CMA), comparing your home with others that have sold. After reviewing the information, you ask the Realtor to price the home $5,000 above the highest value of those sold, commenting "It won't hurt to list a little high, will it? We can always come down."

It's likely that the comments that follow from your agent will be similar to those that follow here: "Yes, listing high could definitely impede the sale of your home. Here's why."

Home selling statistics show that it not only takes an overpriced house longer to sell, it often sells for less than the market value when it does sell. Ask your Realtor to provide you with facts and figures that reflect sales statistics in your marketplace.

Secondly, when a home is first listed and a yard sign goes up, it creates a lot of interest---from neighbors, from real estate agents and from potential buyers. You could say that "the bloom is on the rose" in the early stages of the listing process. Let's see how listing the price too high initially could hinder the sale.

First impressions are everything. An overpriced house signals to potential buyers that you are an unrealistic seller. Their response? If there are other homes similar to yours that are more reasonably priced, they may skip seeing yours altogether, to avoid wasting their time. It's similar to buyers choosing the house where all the repairs are complete--buyers want to take the path of least resistance, and an overpriced home "screams" resistance!

Additionally, if you're perceived to be unrealistic about the price, what about the other terms and conditions of the sale? You may be perceived to be unreasonable there as well.

Third, an overpriced home has a similar impact on Realtors who show it. No matter how many times you lower the price, many agents will refer to it as "the overpriced listing." Pricing the home within market range is vital for attracting and gaining the confidence of Realtors because they know you have heeded your listing agent's advice and are eager to sell. No Realtor wants to tie up a perfectly ready, willing and able buyer in negotiations with an unreasonable seller

And then there are the neighbors. Guess what an overpriced listing in a neighborhood often brings? Yes, you've got it--more overpriced listings that don't sell. This is often why after one house sells, a majority of the others do too. The sellers have had a dose of reality therapy, brought on by one seller becoming realistic about his price. Don't wait until the proverbial bloom is off the rose to become realistic about what your home should sell for. If you're serious about selling, heed the professional advice of your listing Realtor, and get ready to pack!