In my capacity as a Western Slope real estate information-gatherer, I really couldn’t pass up a recent ad I saw: “How to Sell Your House for More than It’s Worth.”
I know, I know: that’s the kind of web clickbait we’ve all learned to avoid—like popups announcing “New Law Cuts Grand Junction Residents’ Tax Bill in Half!” or “Secret Diet Miracle Food Celebrities Won’t Tell You About.” By now, we’ve learned that the “new law” will turn out to be an obscure exception that applies only to some very small group and the “secret miracle diet food” is water. But despite all that, the “Sell Your House” essay turned out to be thought-provoking—although not in the way the authors probably intended.
First, about the article itself: its how-to guidance was organized into subtitles like “Quick Fix” and “Face Lift.” The “sell your house for more than its worth” premise hinged on surface maintenance coverups. A final “Important Tip” turned out to be a whole bundle of tips—all of which boiled down to the caution, “selling a house is not easy.” I would add, especially if you ask for more than your house is worth.
But the authors were onto something—which is why their title works to attract readers. It is a fact that most otherwise sensible homeowners would be all ears if only it was possible to sell their house for more than it’s worth. Why not? And on first blush, it might actually seem possible—probably because of the free-floating nature of residential real estate price-setting. But there are two ironclad reasons why that’s an illusion.
First, in a free market like ours, a house is worth what it sells for. When someone actually pays X dollars, the house is worth X dollars. That may seem like a word game —but it is in fact definitory.
More importantly, just about every one of today’s home buyers will make their offer contingent on an inspection—and our local home inspectors are extremely talented when it comes to uncovering any of the article’s “quick fixes” and “facelifts,” which were at the core of the “more than its worth” come-on.
Long story short: it’s more astute to plan on selling your house for what it’s worth. Those who try to sell for more than that will probably find themselves drumming their fingers, waiting for a buyer who agrees.
Right-pricing means getting an analysis of the latest Western Slope market returns for homes similar to yours. Give us a call for an up-to-the-moment property analysis!