If you are one of the two most important decisions you will make (the other is which realtor to hire) is setting the correct asking price. In this area (Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Potomac, Rockville, Kensington, Silver Spring and Washington, DC) the correctly priced home will always sell and nearly always in the first thirty days, often the first two weeks, on the market. There are plenty of qualified buyers looking for homes in this area.The overpriced home just lays there accumulating days on market and losing buyer interest while the correctly priced home sells quickly.

As an example, let's say you have a home in Bethesda that's worth somewhere in the low 8s. You can't be exactly sure if it's worth $830K or $820K or maybe even $840K but, by all accounts, you know it's somewhere in that vicinity. Of course you want the maximum you can get so you may be tempted to price it at $849K in the beginning, just in case. That "just in case" means, if we're honest, just in case there is a buyer who does not know the market or does not have a buyer's agent advising them or has no interest/ability to determine what it should sell for or is just plain stupid, but does have $849K to make the purchase. Those buyers are like unicorns. They are talked about but don't actually exist.

The result of that strategy is the first 30 days on the market, you're best chance at getting the most money, is squandered pursuing a fantasy price. A few buyers will look but you probably will not get any offers and your listing soon gets old and stale. After three weeks of nothing you're in price cutting mode and, at that level, you need to cut the price at least $20K to make a difference. Now you're down to $829K and at a disadvantage. Buyers nearly always want to know what's new on the market, not what's old that everybody else took a pass on. 

But wouldn't it be great to have every potential buyer rushing to visit your home to see it and then competing with one another for your house. Wouldn't you love to get multiple offers with escalation clauses?? Of course you would because this is the one way you can be sure you got top dollar. If this same house was priced at, say, $765K, every single viable buyer will come look at your house. There could easily be 20-40+ potential buyers who come to see your home within the first 5 days of the listing going live. That has happened to me many times. The listing agnet and seller keep the availability limited so prospective buyers are practically tripping over one another as tour the house. They will all know it will sell for more than the asking price. They will see each other at your house. The listing agent should tell all potential buyers the seller won't review offers until the property has been on the market for 5 days so everybody gets a chance. This always, always works. No serious buyer is going let another buyer purchase a home they are interested in for less than they think it's worth.

Let's say at the end of that process the best offer is $831K. That's what your home is worth today. That may be a little short of what you were hoping to get but you did attract every potential buyer to your home and they competed with one another. You got top dollar. It's ridiculous to think that had you priced it much higher and attracted far few buyers that one of them would have paid more than what you were offered in the auction environment you created by pricing your home aggressively. One can scroll thru the MLS and see numerous examples of this strategy working. I've executed this strategy countless times and it has never failed. One can also scroll thru the MLS and find countless example of overpricing, which always fails. Any listing in this area that's been on the market (new construction is the exception) for 60+ days is overpriced. Every single one of them. The market can be brutal but there are plenty of buyers here with money. If not one single buyer thinks your house is worth $849K, regardless of how sure you might be, it's not worth $849K. Your house is worth what a real buyer with real money will pay for it and not one dollar more. Buyers determine the price, not sellers.

Correct pricing can overcome bad marketing but no matter how good the marketing is, if the price is too high, it won't sell.

If you have a house to sell please contact me.