List Price is More Than Just a Number

When you're getting ready to sell your house, the list price is a big part of the equation. It's a delicate balance of hitting the right spot — one that's not too high or too low that you miss potential buyers. Every house has unique factors to consider, but at the end of the day pricing your house well will increase your chances of selling it at or above the number you're looking for.

While it might seem like every home in Redwood City is selling way over the list price, this isn't the case at all. So far this quarter, homes in Redwood City are selling 4.75% over asking on average. If a house is priced too low, people may think there's something wrong with it or it may end up selling for less than it could if it were priced higher. On the flip side, if it's priced too high, it may sit on the market or even sell for less than if it were priced lower.

Let's look at a couple of recent sales in Redwood City, both of which are excellent properties in their own way:

177 Fulton was on an oversized lot, had a separate living and family room, and spacious master bedroom suite. It was originally listed at $1,795,000. Twenty-four days later the price was reduced to $1,595,980. The property sold 11 days later for $1,575,000, which is $220,000 or 12.26% less than the original asking price. Pricing the house too high can mean it ends up sitting on the market too long and people lose interest, so it ends up selling lower than what it could have if it were priced lower.

1827 Madison had excellent expansion possibilities — you could add a family room and master bedroom suite and still have plenty of backyard space. The property was listed at $779,000 and sold 8 days later for $1,070,000. That's $291,000 or 27.20% over asking. The low price incited a bidding war and it did sell significantly higher than asking. However, they may have missed out on serious buyers who may have written an even higher offer, but didn't want to jump through hoops of competing with twenty offers, so they kept looking.

Both homes had a lot of great qualities and were impressive in their own way.  The purpose of these examples is to show that it can really go either way, and some properties will sell at asking. When it comes to pricing your house, unfortunately, there aren't any steadfast rules. There is a lot that depends on the property, the market, and the buyers. A good realtor can help you tune into these things and determine the right price to list your house for.


Cliff Whearley has been a resident of Redwood City for 23 years. He is a Realtor at Dwell Realtors, Inc. and has been practicing real estate since 2007. If you have any real estate questions, he would love to help!