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Home Pricing: Part Art, Part Science

Pricing your home is a little bit art and a little bit science. The art of is getting inside the head of the buyer and understanding how they think and what makes them do what they do. The science part is the stats and analytics they will use to justify their purchase. To price your home for multiple offers without giving it away takes a little bit of both.

In the Cape Cod market in 2023 only about 21% of properties sold at the exactly the price they were listed. This means that 89% of the time, the selling price was either above or below the list price. Most sellers would agree that selling for over list price is what they want. And why not? When houses sell for more than they're listed, it's usually an indication that multiple buyers bid on the house, driving the price up. These properties also typically have fewer (if any) price reductions, sell faster than others, and have fewer contingencies. What's not to like about that?

When a house sells for under asking, that means that the public did not perceive the property to be worth what was on the price tag. Being negotiated down on your price, especially in the seller's market that we have been enjoying since around 2016, is demoralizing. These houses are on the market longer, have more contingencies, and are more likely to have endured at least one price reduction. Here is where the psychology of the seller comes into play. Oftentimes a seller who doesn't get good interest in their property early on, out of pride, they will make the mistake of holding out for the perfect buyer. Meanwhile, each day it sits on the market the house is losing value in the eyes of the buyers. Even if there is a mountain of data to support your price, it doesn't mean anything until you get a buyer to fall in love with the property.

Buying a home is a very intimate, personal experience. Logic doesn't really come into play until after the heart has fallen in love with the place. Buyers buy to feel something, then they try to make sense of it.

So our job as your listing agent is to first make the property present as the aspirational story that buyers are telling themselves. Careful staging, artful photography, and compelling verbiage all combine to set the scene for a buyer to fall in love. Once the buyer has fallen in love with the property you need to be able to provide evidence they need to justify their purchase. At the Cape House we love math! For instance, we know that houses that sell over asking, on average sell between 1-2% over their asking price. So we find the highest defensible selling price, then set our list price 1-2% under that number. It works like a charm! Then we always have stats and analytics that support our pricing so that buyers can feel confident aggressively competing to win The House of Their Dreams.

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