Should I lower my listing price?


Dear David,

My wife and I are retired. After many years in our family home, we’re moving to the cottage. We listed our house three months ago, in the summer. There were showings initially, but appointments dropped off quickly. Our agent suggested we lower the price, but I’m not sure when to do so. I’m afraid we’ll end up giving our house away. – UNSURE

DEAR UNSURE: Dropping the listing price is a touchy subject for sellers, and figuring out when to do it is a million dollar question. As you know all too well, listing a property for sale is more than just signing the paperwork and putting a sign on the lawn. Decluttering, staging, cleaning and landscaping can take weeks or months, and when all of that is done, you need to pick a listing price.

Property pricing is a mix of art and science. Your agent will typically start their analysis on your street and work their way out, comparing the size, condition, features and location of your home with other recent sales in your neighbourhood. The evaluation is a bit like a carton of milk; it has a limited shelf life and can expire quickly if you don’t keep an eye on it.

Real estate values in Waterloo Region used to be stable and predictable. Homeowners anticipated annual market gains of around 3.5 to 4 percent, and property values chugged along consistently from month to month and quarter to quarter. In early 2016, GTA buyers “discovered” Waterloo Region and prices shot up. Since then, we’ve experienced repeated market disruptions, such as the introduction of the foreign buyers’ tax, COVID-19 shutdowns, and out-of-control inflation rates, to name a few. The market has fluctuated dramatically in recent years, and pinpointing accurate market value takes the expertise of a knowledgeable Realtor.

The listing price you picked months ago has probably shifted, and you need to pivot accordingly. It sounds like your property may be overdue for a re-evaluation. Have your agent re-do their market analysis based on the last 30 days, and continue to check it weekly. You need to ensure you’re staying competitive with properties that are new to the market.

Activity is a clear indication of how your home is stacking up against the competition. If showing traffic has dropped off, it means buyers are seeing your listing online and thinking it doesn’t represent good value compared to others in its price range. Many showings and no offers indicate a similar problem: buyers find your home interesting enough to visit, but at the end of the day, it’s not hitting the mark. You might not want to hear that a price adjustment is required, but don’t be afraid to ask the question. Hard choices are easier when you approach them head on.

PRO TIP: Your listing price needs to take market conditions into account. It’s hard to underprice a house if you’re using the correct strategy, but in this market, it’s very easy to overprice.#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.