When selling a home, the single most important factor to consider is the sales price. Sure, savvy marketing, bustling open houses, and tireless agent networking are all necessary factors in getting buyers to the table. But in the end, price—and its subsequent negotiation—is what makes or breaks a deal.
It’s no secret that properly priced homes spend fewer days on the market than higher-priced homes, which can languish on the market for months. This is why listing agents pore over the comparables, or “comps,” as they’re referred to in the biz. Comps provide the details of previous sales in the neighborhood, giving agents a good starting point for their listing price—but they can also provide an agent with a lot of fretting and hand-wringing. Why? I’m so glad you asked. Let’s dive in.
There’s more than one way to arrive at a proper sales price for a home—and one of these ways relies on gut instinct over tried-and-true comps. If your home has a certain X-Factor—for example, if it’s a distinctive piece of architectural art, if it sits smack-dab in the center of a highly desired neighborhood, or if it’s got Flatirons views that can’t be replicated, then out-pricing your home’s comps may be the way to go. Valuable intangibles like architectural pedigree, premium location and unprecedented views allow for sellers to ask a premium price for their one-of-a-kind home.
But woah there, Miss Dollar Signs—before you’re jonesing for four figures per square foot, let’s make clear the difference between premium pricing and over-pricing. Premium pricing only works for truly unique homes, like the examples mentioned above. Sure, your aging Martin Acres ranch home with hip CB2 furniture is cute and all, but it’s not a one-of-a-kind midcentury James Hunter. (No offense, Martin Acres.) Over-pricing your average listing a will only devalue your home in the long run—and when determining your sales price, think wisely and think longterm.
Got a feeling your one-of-a-kind home may fall into the premium pricing category? Give your trusted agent a call and let them walk you through the possibilities. (Need an agent? I know a great one.)