Adjusting your home price to the market


Dear David,

Our agent listed our house for sale a few months ago. He held offers for a week, and when we didn’t get as much as we wanted, he advised us to change the price to an amount we would be willing to accept. We didn’t receive any offers after that, and in the meantime, the listing has expired. What should we do next? – DISAPPOINTED

DEAR DISAPPOINTED: Today’s real estate market is similar to the stock market in that it changes quickly. Housing prices don’t necessarily shift on a daily basis, but the needle is almost always moving. There are several strategies you can take when the housing market is fluid. The most effective in the last six to eight years has been to underprice the property, give buyers a week or so to come take a look, then call for offers on a specific day. There have been a few dead spots in the last couple of years where even this approach didn’t work very well, but those have been few and far between. 

In my experience, raising the listing price and waiting for offers is much less effective than underpricing your home to grab a buyer’s attention. When deciding on a selling strategy, the “marketing price” (what you list the house for) and the “sale price” (what you actually sell it for) needs to be in tune with the current market. In the last week or so, we’ve seen homes selling for an average of 104 percent of their marketing price. This is a significant change from the peak of the market in 2022. Back then, the average home was selling for more than 125 percent of its marketing price, and the crazy numbers were making headlines.

Our current local market is reasonably strong, but less robust than it was at its peak. Conditions have changed, and selling strategies need to adapt. If you list your house at your preferred sale price, the buyers looking at your home right now won’t understand your process or where you are on your selling journey. All they know is that your house seems overpriced compared to similar properties, and this is likely why they’re passing you by. But here’s the good news: no matter what has happened so far, you can reconsider and reset your approach at any time. Even with all the doom and gloom we’ve heard in the news this year, about 60 percent of homes are selling at or above their marketing price.

PRO TIP: Your real estate agent needs to be like an ICU doctor, keeping a close eye on the vitals of the market and changing their strategy accordingly. When I visit clients a month or two before selling their home, we talk about their marketing plans, to-do list, and where to set their listing price. When we’re ready to hit the market, we review the price we set earlier to ensure it makes sense in real time. As I often say, being out of step with market conditions can cost you the price of a new car. Likewise, it can force you to put your plans on hold as you sit on the sidelines with no buyers in sight. #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.