How should I price my home?


Dear David,

We want to sell our home and have spent a few weeks getting it ready. Our agent suggests taking one of two approaches when we finally hit the market. He says we could either list our house for the expected selling price, or underprice it and hopefully get multiple offers (we’re leaning towards the second strategy). If we do get multiples, do we have to accept an offer as-is, or can we negotiate with the buyer?  – UNSURE

DEAR UNSURE: The fact that your agent isn’t steering you one way or the other is a sign of the times. If I had a crystal ball, I’d say 2023 will be another one of those years that resets the real estate needle, both in Waterloo Region and across the country. Real estate markets in Toronto and Vancouver make headlines, but Kitchener-Waterloo is not immune to shakeups. We just feel them in a less dramatic way.

It sounds as though your agent has given you a couple of reasonable options. Pricing your property where you expect to sell it is highly conventional, akin to putting your house on the market and waiting to see what happens. Historically, this is how homes have been marketed. Establishing an accurate home value is key, but tough to do in today’s market. Wild fluctuations in the last few years (along with interest rate hikes of four percent in less than 12 months) have made it hard to establish the “market value” of some homes.

Listing your house below market value range is a less conventional approach. In theory, this strategy will drive more traffic through your home, generate more interest from buyers, and hopefully lead to more offers.

It’s possible you won’t get an offer you’re prepared to accept, even when taking a more aggressive position, and that’s okay. If you receive an offer that does not meet your expectations, you have the option of sending it back to the buyer with terms and conditions that are acceptable to you. As I’ve mentioned in previous columns, you are never obligated to accept an offer to purchase your home until you’re ready.

An offer may look one way when it first crosses my desk, but until it’s accepted, it’s always open for negotiation. You have no obligation to the buyer until you actually sign and accept an agreement.

PRO TIP: I learned decades ago that it’s important to prepare for a variety of outcomes and keep expectations in check. If you receive an offer that’s in your acceptable range, be sure to think twice before sending it back as asking for more money gives the buyer an opportunity to walk away. Accurately anticipating this line in the sand takes years of experience and is what makes negotiation part art, and part science. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator

David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when selling or buying your home. Call or text today for your free home evaluation! 519-577-1212.