As professionals in the Northern Virginia real estate market for almost 40 years, we often find Buyers & Sellers asking the same questions. So we thought it might be helpful if we address some of the “Myths in Real Estate” in a series here on our blog.
Here’s the first “Myth” – and more importantly – the TRUTH!
Myth: You should ask each agent for their recommended pricing and select the real estate agent who suggests the highest price or is at least willing to go along with your dream price.
TRUTH: No! Always select an agent on his/her credentials. Market value is a separate issue.
Never let an agent buy your listing. Its tempting to tell you what you want to hear, but integrity and a professional price opinion are in your best interests. No one has a crystal ball & pricing can validly have some variability, but pricing realistically from the start is one of the strongest tools you have in winning the Sales Game! Listen to your agents professional input and recommendations. Then make an educated decision and let the agent get on top of things at the start. Many agents will overprice a home in order to get the listing… and then ask for a price change down the line. You should insist on working with an agent with a proven track record. Ask the agent not only for a market analysis to determine the realistic amount your home will bear in todays market, but also ask them what their pulse is on the market. Then price your home accordingly. Overpricing a home is the worst mistake you can make! Statistics prove that the longer a home is on the market, the lower the price it will sell for.
This graph illustrates what happens when Sellers do not price to “market”:
The chart above shows what happens in a “stable market”. Markets that are “shifting” (such as ours) find Sellers who overprice in even worse positions. Remember, first, select your real estate agent based on his/her credentials. Then, with your agents input, decide on price. Never select an agent based solely on the price he/she recommends!
(And stay tuned to our blog for more Northern Virginia Real Estate Myths!)
(PS – if you’re still thinking you may want to “test the market” at an initially higher-than-market list price – read our previous post entitled “Don’t Be Like Timothy Geithner“.)