Selling Soulfully with Jennifer Allan

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Should You Price to Ward off Appraisal Problems?

Sellers want more for their homes than the market is likely to pay. That's a fact; it's been a fact forever, during boom times and busts, and will continue to be a fact long after the Recession of 2009 is behind us.

Nothing wrong with it; it's human nature and we're all guilty of putting a higher value on our own precious for salestuff than anyone else is going to. But part of our job as listing agents is to gently persuade our seller clients that we need to price properly in order to get their home sold.

But should that "proper price" take in to account what the house might appraise for?

In my opinion, no.

WHAT???? Jennifer, are you out of your mind?? What if you overprice the house and it sells at that price and the appraisal comes in low?? What then?

Indeed.

I take great care in pricing my listings - I want to get my seller the highest possible price in the shortest amount of time, assuming that's his goal, too. And I've been doing this long enough to understand that pricing it RIGHT is best way to get the highest price, as opposed to pricing it high and hoping a bigger idiot comes along and pays that price. So, before I continue, let me assure you that I know how to price a house to sell quickly, without giving away my seller's money. (Read more about that here).

If I feel a house will sell for more than the market data indicates, I'll not hesitate to price it accordingly. If a particular house shows so well and feels so good that it blows away the similar competition and recent sales... even if "on paper" it's not "worth" more, I'll put that higher price on it. My seller deserves the opportunity to see her hard work or design-sense or whatever pay off for her.

(Again, remember, I'm not stupid and I'm not inexperienced. I know what I'm doing.)

So, back to the original question. "What if it sells at full price and then doesn't appraise?"

Frankly, I'll deal with that when and if the problem arises. If I get my seller "too much money" for his house, and the appraiser or underwriter doesn't agree with me and the buyer, then we'll go to Plan B. Which, yes, may include the seller coming down on his price to meet the appraisal. Or getting a second appraisal. Or whatever other solutions we can come up with.

And yeah, it might suck and everyone might get mad. But I'll deal with that at the time!

I'd much rather take the chance of getting top dollar for my seller and then scrambling to justify it, then to pro-actively risk leaving my seller's money on the table when we could have gotten more. In other words, I don't believe in underpricing a home in order to avoid appraisal issues, and I don't believe it's a good tactic to use when discussing price with a seller prospect.

How do you feel about it?

 

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Comment balloon 112 commentsJennifer Allan-Hagedorn • July 29 2009 10:01AM
Should You Price to Ward off Appraisal Problems?
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