Ok so you and your spouse have agreed that selling your home is the best course of action for you both. Well that’s a good start, but It’s only a start. When it comes to pricing the home, a lot is revealed. If you both are on the same page and both are equally anxious to move on than pricing the home will look a lot like any other time you decide to sell your home. However, if one of you is enthusiastic about moving on and the other only reluctantly agreed, it will be revealed at this point. So don’t be surprised if this becomes an argument starter. (side note: This is another reason why you want to pick a realtor that is experienced with the situation. And another reason why you want to pick a realtor that is unbiased. At the argument starting junctions, they should be able to guide you both away from the emotional reactions and into good business decisions)
Usually pricing a home starts with a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) Report. You can get this, at no cost, from your Realtor. This Report shows all the homes that are currently on the market (your competition), Under contract or Pending sales (what recently went into escrow), and the homes that have sold within the past 6 months. You and your Realtor will review these homes together and compare the features, condition, location, size, room count, age, and amenities to your home. Sounds simple, right? It should be. Here’s where the revelations start with a divorcing couple.
- If you or your spouse really don’t want to sell and only reluctantly agreed, then an unrealistic price will be demanded, in an attempt, to stop the sale, and an argument begins.
- If you or your spouse are thinking that you need $X to start over and it will be impossible for you to take any less, and all of it is going to come out of the sale of your house. Again, an impossible price is demanded and the argument starts.
- On the other hand, if one of you wants out so quickly that they are willing to take anything just to get it over with and the other wants to set a reasonable price, that is an argument starter as well.
Once your Realtor recognizes what is behind an unreasonable price demand, then they can try to help you resolve the underlying issue.
Price is the first variable that a buyer will look at to determine if it is a home they would like to see. So, if your home is priced too high the real buyer for your home won’t ever see it. Unfortunately, buyers will not pay more for a home than fair market value no matter what you need to start over.
Now if one of you wants to sell at a lower price; I will say that you can’t market your home too low. OMG WHAT! Are you crazy Ellen! No, I’m not, I’m just experienced. If I put your home on the market for $1.00 do you think that is the price it will sell for? Of course not. Every buyer looking in your neighborhood will come see it and it will sell for the highest price the market will bear. Now I’ve never listed a home for a dollar, but I have listed homes slightly under fair market value and have sold them quickly for much more. Experience tells me that you will get more for your home if you go slightly under FMV. Now just to be clear, FMV is not what you want, but what the neighborhood is currently selling for.
The house is worth what the house is worth regardless of the situation. Your Realtor markets and sells homes for a living. I can safely assume that they have sold a lot more homes than you have. So, listen to your Realtor’s pricing recommendations. Set a fair price.