Home Selling in Outer Sunset>Question Details

Susan, Home Seller in San Francisco, CA

I will be selling my house. How do I determine the maximum sale price?

Asked by Susan, San Francisco, CA Sat Aug 18, 2007

I have an exceptional house in an average neighborhood. I want to list at the maximum possible not just an average price based on comps, since there really are no exact comps for my house (I have been told this by appraisers).

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Susan. Unfortunately pricing a home is more of an art than a science, especially if your home is different from those around it. Looking at the comps in your neighborhood is the best way to start. Even if there are no exact comps, you will probably be able to come up with a price range. You can make adjustments based on improvements you have made to your home or extra square footage. You can also take appreciation into account. If the house was exceptional when you purchased, you can compare the purchase price of the home at that time with the comps of its day and use the same percentage difference to the comps of today.

As I mentioned before, you will come up with a range in which to price your house. I would be careful not to price it too high as that is the number one reason a home either sits on the market for extended periods of time or does not sell at all. You may need to price the home towards the lower end of the range in order to reach the higher end of the range in a sales price. Remember, once your home is on the market you are not obligated to accept any offer, you have the right to reject or counter (negotiate) for the price you are looking for. Don't hesitate to call a Realtor to consult with you on finding the right asking price and coming up with a marketing strategy. These consultations are free and are the best way to find out about the current local market conditions and how they would market your particular home.
Web Reference: http://www.vanfenton.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 19, 2007
Hi Susan,
The maximum sale price is determined by the market, not actually by the seller. Listing your house
at the maximum you think you'll get for it is not the best idea. Talk to three or so Realtors and list it at the low end of what they recommend. That is the best way to get the highest price for your home. Appraisers and Realtors have different purposes, and a Realtor is the one to give you the market price) . The higher your list price, the fewer buyers you'll have looking at it, which limits your buyer pool and ultimately the sales price. If your house sits on the market, you'll end up getting less for it in the long run than if you
price it aggressively, use an excellent Realtor to market and negotiate, and get a quick sale. Good luck
to you!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
What did you end up doing? Did you get the maximum sales price for your home?

Just wondering,


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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 29, 2015
The maximum sale price is determined by the buyer, not the seller. The best thing you can do is to contact a good real estate agent who specializes in your area and has been inside most of the homes that your home is going to be compared against by buyers. After completing a walk through of the home, that agent can discuss with you the best strategy to employ in order to get the best selling price for your home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 29, 2015
That is the million dollar question every seller wants to know... consider having it appraised if it is that much nicer then anything in your neighborhood, because it will be hard to know for sure since comps are going to be difficult for even the appraiser.... not to mention convincing buyers to look at a home far above fair market value for your neighborhood, having an appraisal that backs up your price point will help a lot!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 16, 2015
Nobody knows what a home is worth until it hits the open market. Successful sellers are listing their homes for much less than their target price. Doing so creates multiple offer situations. This is crucial, because having more than 1 offer is the key to having the upper hand in negotiating the best price.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 16, 2015
The buyers amd the seller determine the sale price. The market determines the price range your house may sell. The comps reveal what the seller was willing to accept and the buyer was willing to pay.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 24, 2007

You know how buyers are; they are all looking for a great house AND a great deal. They need to see your house and say to themselves: "Wow, this is agreat house!" AND "Wow it's a great price too!" If those two thoughts run through the minds of those that come to see your house, then the buyers will run to their agents to write you some offers.

So the two things you must do, epecially in this market are:
1) present it as well as possible. This means professional staging or at least have a your realtor consult you if you need to use the furniture you have. You want the buyers to fall in love with your home.
2) Compared to other properties in your neighborhood(both for sale and solds), your 's house must look like the best deal out there.

If you do those two things right, I guarantee you will get offers quickly. The trick is to get the buyers to compete for your house. And that will happen if the buyers are convinced they have found a geat house at a great price. But what they don't stop to think about is the effect on your final sale price once the bidding is done--which will be what you are hoping for--THE MAXIMUM SALE PRICE.

Send me a quick email and I will show you some examples of recent homes that have sold quickly and for over asking price. We can discuss how you can make that happen for your home as well!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 24, 2007
That could be good or bad depending on the appraisers.... The bad -If someone wnats to buy it, they have to get it appraised. No appraisal - no loan. You can use the "replacement value method" or how much it would cost to replace what you have.

I would need more information to determine why it doesn't appraise. If they say there aren't any comps that justify the price and its in a well established neighborhod.... That typically means that you are the highest bidder for your own property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 24, 2007
DOn't worry about the maximum sales price in this market. Price your home competitively and then drop the price below everyone else and you will be the only successfull sale.

This market is all about price. Terms are helpful but if you can't carry the mortgage, then you are in the same market with everyone else.

Sell it... move on...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 23, 2007
Viewing comps at this point is not the best way......it helps but comps are the floor in the market. In otherwords comps are the recent sales and your home should not be priced above them....they should be below them. It is always better to underprice than it is to overprice. Our average days on market is 41 days...just because we took a couple that were priced too high. You should price your home at a 90 day listing....anything more than that and you are losing money.
Michelle Shelton
Web Reference: http://www.azmastermind.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 23, 2007
Hi Susan, you need to start with the comps to get a jumping off point and then you need to get a Realtor in there to see your house in person. Ultimately, you need to be the one who comes up with the price you fell comfortable with. Your Realtor should give you suggestions, but you need to go with the price you feel right with. You can always adjust after you get some feedback from the open houses. Dan Nolan, Marshall Realty.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 23, 2007
Susan, I wish it was as simple as determining the maximum sales price and getting your home sold. The actual sales price is determined by the buyer and you, the seller, after the property has been marketed correctly.

Your goal right now would be to ensure that you price the property correctly and market it in such a way where you would attract the maximum number of potential buyers.

Work with your real estate professional who will then based on the current market trends and activity will help you position your home for the highest possible SOLD price.

Good luck,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
Your price will be determined by the market, property condition, location and a few other variable factors. Consult with three local Realtors to view the property and give you pricing based on todays market. Hope this helps.
Web Reference: http://pamwinterbauer.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in Danville, VA
Don't know how long you've owned this house, and what improvements you've done, but you might want to see how much properties have appreciated since you've purchased the home and adjust the sale price accordingly. So if you purchased it at 500,000 and the rest of the neighborhood has appreciated 100% in 10 years, you would get an estimated list price of $1M...however it also matter what the other homes in the neighborhood are selling for now. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
Statistics are overwhelming to support the fact that overprcing ulitmately leads to a lower, not higher sales price. It is counter intuitive to think that you can list higher and come down later, or negotiate.

I'm all for getting the highest price, and you might well be worth more than your neighbor's home. The best way to get the highest price is by being competitive in your market. If you have more to offer than the neighbor, that might mean a higher list price. I cannot emphasize enough that pricing too high will cause you more loss than gain. To find out what a good suggested pricing strategy is for your market, meet with a few Realtors. Hear their proposals for marketing and reveiw their CMA's.

Even Realtors have a terrible time being objective about their own homes, so third party opinion from a knowledgeable source is what is needed.

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
Susan, I am going to answer your question just as you asked it, but I wanted to point out that the list price and sales price might be different. If you have an agent who knows your market well they may tell you to list low to bring in more people or list high to have some room to come down depending on market trends. So to get to your question, the maximum sales price is tough to predicate. Being a veteran in real estate, I have seen some sellers amazed for what their home went for (especially those exceptional houses). You can try predicting by taking the average price per living area square foot and multiplying that by an appropriate factor (also do a similar calculation if you have a larger lot). You can also add reasonable values for upgrades you have done and landscaping. I know it sounds generic, but a good realtor should be able to come see the property and give you a good ballpark max.
Web Reference: http://www.realpayam.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
Susan...it is a good idea to find out from your local area specialists (Realtors) what the comparables are - even though your home is unique in your area, the Realtors will be able to keep this in mind. But remember - just because you list at a high price, doesn't mean you will sell at a high price. In the Bay Area, as you most likely know, homes are often bid up over asking price, and this usually happens when a home is reasonably priced in the first place. In other situations, when sellers price too high, a home can sit on the market for awhile and ultimately go through price reductions. Your Realtor will also have access to this kind of history for listings. Happy selling!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
Interview 2-3 Realtors with experieince on your area. They will provide a comparative market analysis and provide with you with the info you need to maximize the sales price of youre home. Good luck!
Web Reference: http://www.cindihagley.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 18, 2007
The Hagley G…, Real Estate Pro in Pleasanton, CA
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