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Washington DC Real Estate Resource Center: Pricing Your Home

The Do's and Don'ts When Pricing Your Home

If you are a resident of Washington DC, you are no stranger to the fact that the metropolitan area has one of the most difficult housing markets in the country. According to Forbes, DC is the 13th most expensive housing market in the nation, behind San Francisco, Los Angeles, Honolulu, New York city, and San Diego. This is due in part to the young average age, combined with high education levels. These individuals know that they will be making a lot of money down the road. Home and condos therefore become an investment. Economists call this the "permanent income hypothesis". One spreads out consumption over one's lifetime based on your projected average annual income over the rest of your working years. Lets say that you have lived in Washington DC for many years now and its time for you to sell your home. We will operate under the assumption that you are selling your first home and are somewhat clueless about pricing your home.

When pricing your home it is important to follow a couple Cardinal Rules. Many homeowners will be tempted to sell their home for more than they believe it is worth. This will cause your home to lose the overall appeal about it has been on the market for a couple weeks. You should also avoid pricing your home too low. Where this may draw more offers made on your home, homebuyers may doubt the quality of your home, they may grow to think that the home is "too good to be true". Like any product for sell the price is heavily dependant on supply and demand. Think about your home, its location, and what it has to offer. Than assess the area in which you live in. Are there other homes that offer the same? What advantages does your home have over others? This leads us to our second point: comparing listings and sales.

When selling your Washington DC home its ok to compare it to the others surrounding you. As consumers we do this in our everyday lives. We compare products to find out which one is the best. Heck, we even compare ourselves to others to gauge how we fit in. When comparing your home pay attention to neighborhood dividing lines and physical barriers. Major streets, freeways, railroads, parks constitute dividing lines. DO NOT compare your home to a home that is past these dividing lines. In the real estate, it is not uncommon for two homes across a dividing line from each other to vary by $100,000. Make sure these homes are located with in a 1/4th to ˝ mile radius from your home and have around the same amount of square footage.

When selling your home, especially in the Washington DC area, it is imperative that you look at the overall age of the community. For example, if you are selling a home in the historic Georgetown area (founded in 1751), located in the Northwest quadrant of DC, along the Potomac River waterfront, you would want to price your home higher than, lets say, an individual who lives in Chevy Chase. Comparing two homes in two different areas is like comparing apples to oranges, they may be fruit but they differ in every other aspect and characteristic.

Only look at homes that have been listed in the same neighborhood over the past six months. As you all know, the economy is constantly changing and with the economy the housing market changes as well. Homes listed outside of six months have had their prices adjusted to the current state of the market. It is fair to assume that a Washington DC home listed more than six months out can have a higher (or lower) asking price than what is appropriate for your home.

Michelle Buckman of Buckman Realty has experience selling in the Washington DC and Maryland area. Michelle works to get top dollar for your home. If you are looking to buy a Washington DC home, search for a mortgage, or are preparing to sell your Washington DC home, Michelle can assist you. If you are looking for a devoted individual who will provide you with the time and attention you need, contact Michelle today.

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Michelle Buckman Real Estate

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