If The Price Is Right, It'll Sell
It used to be "location, location, location" was what sold real estate. In today's market, for the most part, price will determine how fast or if a property will sell at all. The best marketing strategy in the current market of declining prices is to price your property ahead of where the market is today. Yes, I said PRICE YOUR HOME AHEAD OF THE MARKET!
When a property is newly listed there is an excitement and a momentum in the market for a new listing. That's why you'll experience a flurry of showings the first couple of weeks and then showings will typically drop off and the momentum looses steam. If a home is priced too high, two things happen. One, showings but no offers have been made. A rule of thumb I use... 10 showings and no offers tells me the home is over priced. Secondly, the home is losing value every day. In a declining market, even modestly, the erosion of the home owners equity can be a sobering reality.
An example of this on a $200,000 home mortgage and the market declining only 1% per month is costing the home owner almost $3,000 per month for every month the home stays on the market in interest and equity loss. Plus typically, as the homeowner fights the decline in the market, the listing price is dropped $10,000 a pop and if buyers do make offers they see the seller as weak and send him low ball offers. As you can see it's a snow effect.
Pricing a home based on "what I've paid plus what I've put into it", or" I need this much to buy my next house" has no relevance to buyers. This philosophy is the difference in having a home for sale or having one listed. Ask your self..."Is my house really for sale"? On a scale of 1 to 10, and the homeowners motivation isn't at 10 it's going to cost them several thousands of dollars, plus the heartache.
In my opinion a home owners best strategy is to hire a competent Realtor and I don't mean a "Three P" Realtor either. You know, place the lockbox, place the sign in the yard and pray someone calls to buy it. I mean someone who will set down with you and provide you with accurate market information and has an aggressive, property specific marketing strategy for your home. Someone that will tell you what you need to hear not what they think you want to hear so they can get the listing.
Over priced properties hurt everyone...ultimately the seller nets less money, bad feelings generally form between the realtor and seller, and it stigmatizes the neighborhood for being on the market too long.
Hope this has been helpful.