Q & A: Should I Price Below Market Value?

Q & A: Should I Price Below Market Value?

Residential News » Q & A with Dottie Herman | By Dottie Herman | March 10, 2014 9:24 AM ET

My husband and I need to move ASAP. We need a bigger house and there is one that we absolutely love, but we first need to sell our home. Should we price below market value? Will that make it sell faster? Or will people think there is something "wrong" with it with such a low price?  

A good guideline to assist you in the pricing of your current home is researching the homes that are currently on the market that are the most similar to yours and ascertaining how  long they have been for sale. Pay attention to the condition of the properties, as renovated homes will be more expensive than those that need renovations. You might also want to consult  with a real estate professional who has expertise in your neighborhood. While underpricing can be a strategy which may attract a larger pool of buyers, you want to have good information to help you decide.   

I have been looking for a home for about 8 months and there is not much to see. We are looking on the South Shore of Long Island. When do new homes come on the market? Some people say the Spring, so should I expect some new listings in the next 8 weeks or so?  

The weather has had a significant impact on the amount of inventory currently on the market. Many sellers have decided to wait for Spring to list.  You might want to consult with a real estate professional specializing in neighborhoods you are considering as they may have properties in the pipeline that they will be bringing to market.   

My home needs some updates before I list it. It is very outdated but it is very clean. What are the most important rooms to a buyer? I can fix-up two rooms, should I fix the kitchen? Bathroom? Make more curb appeal? Paint? 

Many buyers today are attracted to homes that need as little renovation as possible, but you need to first evaluate if the cost of redoing a kitchen and/or bathrooms will give you a return on your investment. This should be able to be ascertained by researching properties that have either recently sold or are currently on the market to determine the impact of renovation on price point. Conversely, there is a large buyer pool who prefer to not over-pay for a renovation and prefer to do one themselves. If you opt to not renovate, fresh paint and new appliances can make a big difference. In addition, other things you can do are to de-clutter, wash the windows, and make the most of your landscaping.   

My husband and I want a pied-a-terre in New York City. Are there certain buildings that won't allow us if we don't want to live there full time?

If you purchase a Condominium, there are rarely any restrictions with regard to a pied-a-terre, but most Co-Ops in NYC have specific rules about them. If you are working  with a real estate professional, they should ascertain the building's policy in advance. 

Dottie Herman is CEO of Douglas Elliman. If you have a real estate question for Dottie, please send it to:

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