Hoping a buyer will overpay for your home isn’t a strategy, it’s a wish. It’s also self defeating.
As a seller, you naturally want to get top dollar. Chances also are good that you have a deep emotional attachment to your home. Combined, those factors often lead sellers to insist on a high price. But testing the waters can actually hurt a home’s value in the long run.
Here’s why: New listings get an average of 80 page views on Redfin.com the day they hit the market. Houses with price drops get only 47 views.
First impressions matter. If your home is overpriced when people first see it, chances are good they won’t look again. We estimate a house listed for sale gets three-and-a-half times more web traffic in the first seven days than it does a month later. After the first three days, web traffic to existing listings slows more than 65 percent. In three weeks, it’s down 85 percent.
In short, your home’s debut is its best chance to shine. An overpriced property is more likely be ignored. In this market, don’t expect a rush of lowball offers. People won’t assume you’re willing to negotiate.
By the time you lower the price, your home will have the taint of being a languisher. Fair or not, a home fresh on the market at $399,000 looks different than one reduced from $425,000 to $399,000.
“Even if it’s objectively a good home, if it’s been on the market for a while, many buyers will wonder if there’s something wrong with it. Once that stigma is there, it is going to be hard for a seller to get full asking price,” said Redfin real estate agent Steven Centrella. “If there’s already a price cut, savvy buyers start smelling blood in the water. It’s not a good situation for sellers to be in.”
Remember, most buyers will look at your home online the first day it comes to market – make that impression count by pricing right. You’ll get more and better offers that way, and you’ll get them sooner.
We looked at all listings on Redfin.com in our established markets, from Jan. 1, 2015 through Sept. 30, 2015. Only price drops greater or equal to 0.5 percent of the home’s original asking price were considered; multiple price drops of the same home were only counted once, during the first price drop.