Pick a price, any price for your home. Now wait. Eventually, someday, someone will probably be willing to pay you that price. The question is – Do you have the time or the desire to wait for that to happen or would you rather sell your home now for a reduced amount of money? Welcome to the Price VS Time dilemma that faces all homeowners.
The Price VS Time dilemma is the challenge of determining which is more important to you as a homeowner – selling quickly or selling for top dollar. Of course, it’s easy to bang the kitchen table with both fists and say I want both, but that’s unrealistic. In the real world every homeowner falls into one of two categories: the necessary seller or the optional seller. Let’s define these two vastly different types of sellers:
The Necessary Seller: Necessary sellers are homeowners who must sell their home and it’s not something they can avoid or put off. Perhaps they have a job transfer or job loss, a pending divorce, health condition, or a financial crisis that is causing them to sell. Regardless of the reason, they need to sell, and the faster the better.
The Optional Seller: Optional sellers are homeowners who have made the choice to sell. They aren’t forced to move, they simply would like to make a housing change. Perhaps they want to upgrade to a newer home, a larger property, or just as likely, maybe they are selling to travel or move closer to friends and family. The bottom line is it will be inconvenient if they don’t sell, but the world won’t end.
So which kind of seller are you – a necessary seller or an optional seller? The answer to this question is key to determining how you resolve the Price VS Time dilemma, but be careful as it’s not as easy it might sound. For instance there are tens of thousands of necessary sellers across the nation who desperately need to sell their homes quickly, yet they act as if they are optional sellers. These sellers list their homes for inflated prices and then are shocked, frustrated, or even angry that their homes fail to sell within their pre-set timeframe. Another wrinkle facing both optional and necessary sellers today is the issue of rapidly declining prices in many areas of the country. While in a typical real estate market an optional seller might hold out for top dollar, this strategy can easily backfire in today’s market as their home may be worth significantly less the longer they hold out for a higher price. In addition while many optional sellers may not be forced to sell, they may want to sell quickly because of other motivating factors. If this is the case they will need to adjust their pricing strategy accordingly.
If you are having a challenge determining just where you fall on the motivation scale ask yourself this follow up question. If I listed my home for 90 days and it did not sell, what would be my next step – adjust the price or give it a little more time? If your answer is to adjust the price, this would seem to indicate that selling quickly is more important for you. On the other hand if you feel more inclined to give it a little more time, top dollar is more than likely your primary motivator.
To unravel the Price VS Time mystery further sit down with a local agent and give them an honest assessment of the reasons why you are selling. By reviewing what homes similar to yours have sold for in recent months and the time frame it took those sellers to sell, it should help you to set a pricing strategy that meets all of your needs.