Marketing Your Home
Pricing Methods


You can ask any price you want for your house. But your house won't sell until you find a buyer who agrees that it's worth the price you're willing to accept. Smart sellers know that although only one person sets a price, two people -- a seller and a buyer -- make a sale.

Adverse factors outside your control (such as a glut of houses on the market, high mortgage interest rates, or dismal consumer confidence) may negatively affect your sale price. Even so, you don't have to passively let the real estate gods crush you -- quite the contrary. Here are proven ideas you can use to create demand for your house no matter how poor prevailing market conditions are.

You can pick a price for your house in a hundred different ways, but in the final analysis, however, they're all variations of the pricing methods we discuss in the following sections.

Four phase pricing: prevalent but ineffective
The consequences of pulling an asking price out of the air are unacceptable for a smart seller. More likely, you may overprice your house, which results in an exhaustingly slow marketing process that ultimately lowers your sale price. Houses marketed by unrealistic sellers usually go through the four distinct pricing phases prior to sale.

Pleasure-pleasure-panic pricing: fast, top-dollar sales
You can sell your house quickly and get the highest possible price by using this method. The secret of success is to establish a very realistic asking price for your house when you first place it on the market. The correct way to establish an asking price is to analyze houses comparable to yours in size, age, condition, and location -- both houses that are currently on the market and those that have sold within the past six months.

Quantum pricing: an effective technique
Buyers use price limits, called quantums, to simplify house hunting. Pricing quantums are initially expressed in nice, round, easy-to-work-with numbers, such as $100,000 and $50,000, and then fine-tuned to $25,000 and $10,000 quantums.

Next Step: Using Pricing Incentives

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