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SELLING? Here's why the right price matters.

By  Howard Hanna on August 18, 2021

True, it’s a seller’s market out there. But if you’re looking to list your home, realistic pricing is still your best option -- no matter what that guy at work got for his house or a relative says you should expect, starting with a fair price can save you headaches down the road and make for a smoother transaction. To maximize your ultimate gain and minimize hassles, an accurate valuation is a must.

 

Throughout the first seven months of 2021, the biggest story in real estate has been the red-hot seller’s market across much of the United States. Even before the pandemic revved up, the housing market was under pressure, mostly due to a gap between supply and demand; according to a June report from the National Association of Realtors, “a severe lack of new construction and prolonged underinvestment” have been depleting the nation’s housing stock since around the turn of the century.

 

Add a pandemic, during which many people have felt the need to hunt for more comfortable quarters, and you’ve got a perfect storm. After an initial slump in spring 2020, the market roared back and realtors began sharing stories of bidding wars with dozens of offers pouring in and of buyers purchasing houses sight unseen, perhaps after a “virtual tour” via Zoom.

 

The Capital District has been part of that trend. A report from the Greater Capital Association of Realtors indicated that between April 2020 and April 2021, regional  home sales were up by 25.5% and pending sales up by 85.2%, with the median home price rising by 16.3% to $250,000.

 

So what’s wrong with aiming high? According to Albert J. Picchi, a licensed broker and president of the Eastern New York Division at Howard Hanna Real Estate, starting too high can actually lead to frustration.

 

“We do see some properties where the sellers get a little aggressive with their pricing, and those are not getting offers or showings, which hurts their chances even in a market like this one,” he says. “When a house comes on the market today, with inventory so tight, a lot of agents and a lot of buyers will see it right away. If it’s priced right, that will likely lead to a lot of showings and offers. If that doesn’t happen, it can drive the price back down.”

Even within a neighborhood or subdivision, any given sale may not establish the going rate.

 

“Let’s say a house down the street sells for $350,000 and you decide to price yours at $395,000,” says Picchi. “The thing is, the neighborhood is only one of many attributes that impact the price a seller can get. And if, for example, you list your home and then a lot of others nearby hit the market too -- perhaps some of them in better condition -- that has an impact of its own.”

 

Even tools that look more reliable than the local chitchat can be problematic, since not all online home-pricing tools are created equal. Any estimate is only as good as the data driving it, and online estimating tools such as Zillow’s Zestimate rely on an algorithm to crunch public records and user-submitted data and come up with a price range. If there’s an error on the tax assessor’s rolls or an outdated set of comparables in play, you may get a result that’s only slightly more accurate than you’ll glean from the gossip at the neighborhood cafe.

 

Howard Hanna’s automated online estimating tool guards against this possibility by gathering results from three major industry sources and allowing verified owners to input information on the home’s condition. The tool also provides a deep dive into market conditions in the surrounding neighborhood, allowing you to view comparable sales, local trends and a “buyer heatmap” reflecting overall local market activity. There’s also an option to receive monthly updates on your property’s value.

 

Even with that data at your fingertips, says Picchi, there’s nothing that will take the place of talking to an expert realtor before you set that all-important number.

 

“Our pricing strategy is to position your property to maximize your chances of multiple offers with the best possible terms and conditions,” he says. “Especially in the volatile market we’re seeing right now, a comparable from even six months ago may not be relevant -- or it might. We can help you figure that out.

 

“Our job as a brokerage is to look at all the relevant factors and use them to value your property the best that we can, to maximize the opportunity to the seller, and to stay very abreast of the reality on the ground, which varies by municipality and even by subdivision. What’s going on in the Bay Area or South Florida has nothing to do with the Capital Region -- but we make it our business to know exactly what’s going on right here.”

Then too, there’s more to a home sale than the number on the bottom line.

 

“The purchase price is one component of the deal,” says Picchi. “Other factors such as cash offers, waivers of inspection, and quick closings can have a major impact on how sellers actually fare.”

 

Sellers should also make sure they have a viable plan in place.

 

“If you’re selling and see a rising market, great, but make sure you find a place to move to,” Picchi says. “That’s what I love about our Buy Before You Sell program. It allows you to use your equity to buy a new home before you put your house on the market, which means there’s a lot less pressure. You have greater flexibility, and that can help you maximize your value in a way that’s not possible if you have to make a really quick move.”

 

Howard Hanna’s suite of selling tools also includes automated emails that keep prospective buyers up to date with the newest listings, a 100% Money Back Guarantee program, and home warranties that cover unexpected repair costs while your home’s on the market. And of course, there are agent search and office search tools that put you in touch with a top-notch expert.

That expertise may indeed be the single most important factor when you’re ready to make a major move -- and  Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, as the #1 privately owned and largest independent broker in the U.S.A., is always ready to provide it. With more than 400 offices and 13,000 professionals -- many of them award winners and industry leaders -- across 11 states, they’re there to help with every step of your transaction whether you’re moving from Albany to Troy or halfway across the United States.

 

And they’ll get it done.

 

“We have had houses move for 25% above the list price,” says Picchi. “Strategy can be hard, but that’s our job -- to get you the best opportunities and ultimately the highest price -- and that starts with accurate, fair pricing.”

For more information on Howard Hanna’s tools for sellers,
and to get a preliminary value on your home, visit 

homevalue.howardhanna.com

SELLING? Here's why the right price matters.

By  Howard Hanna on August 18, 2021

True, it’s a seller’s market out there. But if you’re looking to list your home, realistic pricing is still your best option -- no matter what that guy at work got for his house or a relative says you should expect, starting with a fair price can save you headaches down the road and make for a smoother transaction. To maximize your ultimate gain and minimize hassles, an accurate valuation is a must.

 

Throughout the first seven months of 2021, the biggest story in real estate has been the red-hot seller’s market across much of the United States. Even before the pandemic revved up, the housing market was under pressure, mostly due to a gap between supply and demand; according to a June report from the National Association of Realtors, “a severe lack of new construction and prolonged underinvestment” have been depleting the nation’s housing stock since around the turn of the century.

 

Add a pandemic, during which many people have felt the need to hunt for more comfortable quarters, and you’ve got a perfect storm. After an initial slump in spring 2020, the market roared back and realtors began sharing stories of bidding wars with dozens of offers pouring in and of buyers purchasing houses sight unseen, perhaps after a “virtual tour” via Zoom.

 

The Capital District has been part of that trend. A report from the Greater Capital Association of Realtors indicated that between April 2020 and April 2021, regional  home sales were up by 25.5% and pending sales up by 85.2%, with the median home price rising by 16.3% to $250,000.

 

So what’s wrong with aiming high? According to Albert J. Picchi, a licensed broker and president of the Eastern New York Division at Howard Hanna Real Estate, starting too high can actually lead to frustration.

 

“We do see some properties where the sellers get a little aggressive with their pricing, and those are not getting offers or showings, which hurts their chances even in a market like this one,” he says. “When a house comes on the market today, with inventory so tight, a lot of agents and a lot of buyers will see it right away. If it’s priced right, that will likely lead to a lot of showings and offers. If that doesn’t happen, it can drive the price back down.”

Even within a neighborhood or subdivision, any given sale may not establish the going rate.

 

“Let’s say a house down the street sells for $350,000 and you decide to price yours at $395,000,” says Picchi. “The thing is, the neighborhood is only one of many attributes that impact the price a seller can get. And if, for example, you list your home and then a lot of others nearby hit the market too -- perhaps some of them in better condition -- that has an impact of its own.”

 

Even tools that look more reliable than the local chitchat can be problematic, since not all online home-pricing tools are created equal. Any estimate is only as good as the data driving it, and online estimating tools such as Zillow’s Zestimate rely on an algorithm to crunch public records and user-submitted data and come up with a price range. If there’s an error on the tax assessor’s rolls or an outdated set of comparables in play, you may get a result that’s only slightly more accurate than you’ll glean from the gossip at the neighborhood cafe.

 

Howard Hanna’s automated online estimating tool guards against this possibility by gathering results from three major industry sources and allowing verified owners to input information on the home’s condition. The tool also provides a deep dive into market conditions in the surrounding neighborhood, allowing you to view comparable sales, local trends and a “buyer heatmap” reflecting overall local market activity. There’s also an option to receive monthly updates on your property’s value.

 

Even with that data at your fingertips, says Picchi, there’s nothing that will take the place of talking to an expert realtor before you set that all-important number.

“Our pricing strategy is to position your property to maximize your chances of multiple offers with the best possible terms and conditions,” he says. “Especially in the volatile market we’re seeing right now, a comparable from even six months ago may not be relevant -- or it might. We can help you figure that out.

 

“Our job as a brokerage is to look at all the relevant factors and use them to value your property the best that we can, to maximize the opportunity to the seller, and to stay very abreast of the reality on the ground, which varies by municipality and even by subdivision. What’s going on in the Bay Area or South Florida has nothing to do with the Capital Region -- but we make it our business to know exactly what’s going on right here.”

 

Then too, there’s more to a home sale than the number on the bottom line.

 

“The purchase price is one component of the deal,” says Picchi. “Other factors such as cash offers, waivers of inspection, and quick closings can have a major impact on how sellers actually fare.”

 

Sellers should also make sure they have a viable plan in place.

 

“If you’re selling and see a rising market, great, but make sure you find a place to move to,” Picchi says. “That’s what I love about our Buy Before You Sell program. It allows you to use your equity to buy a new home before you put your house on the market, which means there’s a lot less pressure. You have greater flexibility, and that can help you maximize your value in a way that’s not possible if you have to make a really quick move."

Howard Hanna’s suite of selling tools also includes automated emails that keep prospective buyers up to date with the newest listings, a 100% Money Back Guarantee program, and home warranties that cover unexpected repair costs while your home’s on the market. And of course, there are agent search and office search tools that put you in touch with a top-notch expert.

 

That expertise may indeed be the single most important factor when you’re ready to make a major move -- and  Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, as the #1 privately owned and largest independent broker in the U.S.A., is always ready to provide it. With more than 400 offices and 13,000 professionals -- many of them award winners and industry leaders -- across 11 states, they’re there to help with every step of your transaction whether you’re moving from Albany to Troy or halfway across the United States.

 

And they’ll get it done.

 

“We have had houses move for 25% above the list price,” says Picchi. “Strategy can be hard, but that’s our job -- to get you the best opportunities and ultimately the highest price -- and that starts with accurate, fair pricing.”

For more information on Howard Hanna’s tools for sellers, and to get a preliminary value on your home, visit 

homevalue.howardhanna.com

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