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How Much Should We Pad Our List Price?

This is among the top questions asked of me by both Buyer and Seller clients. Sellers are afraid if they price their home fairly, they will receive “low-ball” offers and end up with less than if they had started higher.

The fact is a buyer is not likely to overpay for a home, no matter what listing price is. Even if they did, more than likely, the bank appraisal will become an issue.

Truth: Padding the list price of your home has no bearing on the amount of the offer a seller will receive, only the length of time in which they will sell it.

Yes, I’m sure. First, most buyers are represented by an agent who is working in their best interests. Part of the agent’s job is to advise on offer amount, based on properties comparable to the subject.

Second, trust me on this–the longer the house is on the market, the lower the offer price is. The first question a buyer asks after they see a home they like is “how long has the house been on the market?” The longer the market time of the home, the stronger the evidence of overpricing, the lower buyers write.

I would much rather see my seller clients decline a dozen offers because they are too low than overprice the house; overpricing results in weak showings and no offers. Who wants to keep their house clean for that long for nothing?

One to three percent margin, at most, as recommended by your rockstar agent. Your home will sell faster, for money and in less time. Trust me on this one.


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