How Much Should You Sell Your House For? Pricing it Right in 2024

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If you’re thinking about selling, you may be wondering, “How much should I sell my house for in 2024?” Determining the right price to list your house is a pivotal decision in the selling process. It’s a balancing act that requires a keen understanding of the market, the unique qualities of your property, and the psychology of potential buyers.

Price it too high, and you run the risk of it sitting on the market for too long. Set it too low, and you might sell quickly, but at the cost of losing out on potential profits.

We’ll discuss the factors that influence your home’s market value and offer insights on how to pinpoint that sweet spot for pricing. Whether you’re a seasoned homeowner or a first-time seller, understanding how to accurately price your home is key to a successful sale. To help you out, we spoke with the experts and reviewed the data for you to price your way to success in 2024.

Get an Estimate on Your Home's Value

If you’re thinking about selling but wondering how much your home is worth, an online estimate is a great place to start. Then, when you’re ready to sell, your agent will perform a comparative market analysis to nail down your list price.

Start with an automated home value estimate

Figuring out how much to sell your home for can be overwhelming without knowing where to begin. An Automated Valuation Model (AVM) can be a powerful starting tool to help you estimate a price.

AVMs utilize proprietary algorithms and a huge pool of data to provide a value estimate on your home. Estimates are based on details such as location, property size, and local market details. This approximate home value allows you to be better educated when it comes to putting your home on the market.

It’s important to note that some AVMs miss crucial data points that provide inaccurate or way out-of-scope home values. HomeLight’s Home Value Estimator asks the right questions about your home’s condition to give a more accurate number. Our tool uses property information provided by the user (that’s you) and compares it to the local housing market. It acts as a great starting place when it comes to setting your home’s sales price.

Work with a top agent to develop a winning strategy

AVMs can give you a ballpark idea of your home’s value, but for an accurate price to maximize your sale, consider working with a top real estate agent.

An expert agent like Marcile Sims, who sells properties 66% faster than the typical agent in Mobile, Alabama, can help you understand the value of your home as well as the market you’re selling into.

“The buyers in the market have become much pickier than in previous years,” she says. “They don’t want a lived-in house anymore; they want a house that looks like it came off Pinterest. This can be a difficult market to sell into, with little to no gray space. Your home is either in top condition to receive top dollar, or it’s the exact opposite.”

Agents bring the advantage of having the experience, trend knowledge, and ability to optimize pricing to attract buyers who are house hunting, no matter how exact their specifications.

A tactical agent becomes even more essential when there’s a decline in home sale activity and higher interest rates. This unique combination of factors present in the 2024 market means the right levers need to be pulled by a top agent, including some of those listed below.

Utilize a comparative market analysis

To start, an agent will perform a comparative market analysis (CMA), which is a crucial step in getting the price right.

“It is still a seller’s market today, but it’s already experienced a lot of changes over the past two years or so,” Sims shares. “It’s not the type of seller’s market where you’ll see ten offers on a house within 24 hours on the market.”

A home that’s priced too high won’t receive the initial traction that leads to a fair sales agreement. You may even have to decrease the price of the home, which could be viewed as a red flag to buyers.

On the other hand, a home that’s priced too low may help you sell faster, but it means you’re leaving money on the table.

By utilizing a CMA, your agent becomes deeply educated on recent comparable home sales that can indicate or influence where your best price lies.

What goes into the CMA?

An agent will perform a CMA to determine a price range, balancing the analysis with the unique features of your home. These include everything from property size to home upgrades.

1. Square footage

A CMA will look at the gross living space of your house. These include bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, living room, and dining room. You might even be able to include a finished basement or an indoor porch in your square footage, depending on what state you live in.

2. Bedrooms and bathrooms

The number of bedrooms and bathrooms is one of the most basic statistics used to evaluate a house, but counting them can sometimes be tricky. Keep this in mind: just because you count it as a bedroom doesn’t mean you can advertise it as such.

That little alcove with your child’s crib probably isn’t considered a bedroom. Similarly, your weekend project of putting up insulated walls in your basement for guests would need to be built to specific standards to be counted as a bedroom.

3. Lot size

The lot size is the amount of land your house sits on, and bigger properties tend to be attractive with their potential for expansion, room for a pool, or privacy from neighbors. To find your lot size, review the plat map that you received when you first purchased the property. Your local government offices might be able to help if yours has gone missing.

4. Age

Some people are charmed by older houses with a lot of history, and others prefer new construction. Preferences aside, your CMA will use your house’s age as a point of comparison to recent sales in your area.

5. Location

We’ve all heard the real estate mantra “location, location, location,” but do you know why it matters? Here’s that long-awaited answer:

  • Home values vary depending on your state and county.
  • Buyers review information on your neighborhood for elements like walkability, transportation, and proximity to amenities like grocery stores, schools, and parks.

6. Condition

There’s a significant difference between a home needing a few repairs and one that’s in poor condition. However, you can still sell without a complete overhaul. You just have to be more creative and expand your profile of an ideal buyer and price. Major issues like roof damage, electrical or plumbing issues, or nonfunctional HVACs dramatically lower the price of a home.

“The first few questions we always get are, ‘How are the roof and HVAC?’ These two systems are the top things you should consider replacing, especially if they’re older,” Sims advises. “A good benchmark is 10 years on an HVAC and 15 years on a roof.”

7. Upgrades

To boost your house’s listing price, consider making a few upgrades that will increase the home’s value. A small investment now on new appliances or finishing your basement can lead to a high return on investment when you sell.

8. Comps

A comparative market analysis essentially compares your home to other, similar properties, called comps, that have been on the market. This is why timing becomes tricky with getting an accurate CMA.

In a constantly changing real estate market, data can become outdated rather quickly. Your agent will want to ensure they’re building a CMA with recent data collected over the past few weeks as opposed to a longer timeframe, and the goal would be a max of three months. Depending on how long you go from dreaming of a home sale to being ready to move, another CMA may be called for to ensure accuracy.

Other factors influencing how much you should sell your house for

While the physical aspects of your home that go into the CMA are relatively unchanging, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other things to consider. Pricing is as much a strategy as it is a science, and it can be influenced by how people look for homes and even the time of year.

Price for online home hunters

All home buyers use the internet in their home search, so it’s important to make sure your number reflects a price point that a buyer would be searching for online. Most common filters would be set in increments of $25,000. Setting your price to a multiple of that increment ($325,000 versus $335,000) means you are showing up for these online house hunters.

Sims works with all of her clients using this strategy. “If you’re close to the $50,000 mark, get that bottom number under that point. Because buyers are going to go up to $150,000 or $350,000 and stop, you’ll get so many more viewers when your price comes within those parameters.”

Have the real estate pricing pyramid handy

The real estate pyramid helps you visualize the accessible buyer pool at market value, below market value, and above market value.

A pricing pyramid can be an especially powerful tool in a challenging sales market where even a slight difference in above, below, or at market value could make a sale. Sims shares, “We do a range pricing model instead of a flat price. Our rule of thumb is to go $10,000 below and $10,000 above our number, which opens up the pool of viewers for you. Listing a flat price narrows the playing field.”

As you might suspect, the biggest piece of the proverbial pyramid is pricing below market value, which opens you up to 75%–90% of the buyer pool. Yet, there are specific reasons an agent would price you in any one of the three categories. But be warned: pricing above market is often not a smart strategy.

Don’t forget seasonality

Did you know that the seasons can affect your pricing strategy? Even though your favorite season may be the coziness of autumn, that doesn’t mean it’s a great time to sell your home for top dollar. Seasonality somewhat depends on your geographic location and weather conditions.

A good rule of thumb is that spring and summer tend to be ideal seasons to sell in many parts of the country. Fall and winter tend to be busier times for people, with the holidays, the start of the school year, and snowy conditions dampening buyer interest.

An expert real estate agent will consider the season — and how that impacts the number and seriousness of interested buyers — and reflect that in your pricing.

To get an idea of the best time to sell in your market, use HomeLight’s Best Time to Sell Calculator.

Remember: Who You Work With Matters

How much your home ultimately sends for certainly depends on the market and the specific features of your house, but who your agent is can make a difference as well.

HomeLight data shows that the top 5% of agents across the U.S. help clients sell their homes for as much as 10% more than average agents.

How to maximize the listing price while attracting discerning buyers

There’s no standard formula for pricing, as every home and location is different. Top agents will be uniquely prepared to maximize listing price by using the right tools that take into account market data and trends, your home’s unique features, and your goal as a seller.

Agents will also guide you through staging your home for maximum impact and help you prioritize small renovations that will increase your home’s value.

Whenever you’re ready, HomeLight can connect you with an expert agent who will be the right fit for your selling situation by just answering a few questions.

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