Why Do Some Homes Sell While Others Don’t?

Two Homes

What causes one home to sell, while the same floor plan in the same neighborhood languishes on the market? You might boil it down to location, condition, and price. And you’d be right, except it isn’t always the home with the best of those variables which sells first.

A Tale of Two Homes for Sale

Take a recent sale of a property we represented in Bernardo Heights. It was a 2-bedroom home in good condition, with a reasonably nice location. The homeowners invested in a fresh interior paint job in a neutral shade of white. While all of the artwork was removed, and furniture set aside during the painting, we collaborated with them to decide how much to put back. They ultimately re-hung only a few key pieces of artwork and hand-selected a few decorative items to tastefully stage the basic furnishings. The rest went to the garage.

The result was stunning in its clean simplicity. Their two young children were engaged in the project, and everyone was committed to keeping the home in top showing condition for the brief time it was on the market. No one who viewed the home guessed that four people actually lived there.

The other key component to the quick sale was the pricing, but not the way you might think. We used a range instead of a fixed price to attract more showings and encourage offers. Another home of the same floor plan hit the market at an asking price of $625,000 two weeks before we were set to launch. That property was located on a cul-de-sac street, had a remodeled kitchen and master bath, and each room was painted a different, bold color.

The home we represented was on a busier street, was updated, but not to the same degree as the $625,000 home. For our pricing strategy, we gave some consideration to this property, our direct competition, and also evaluated recent sales of the same floor plan, with sale prices just above and below $590,000. We brought the property to the market using a range of $550,000-625,000. Though not part of the strategy, the top of our range was equal to the asking price of the competition.

The Rest of the Story

Our client’s home sold in just 10 days for $597,500, the highest price to date for that floor plan. The professionally painted interior, DIY staging and the strategic use of Range pricing allowed them to move up to a larger home which fit their family’s needs better.

As for the other home, at this moment it’s almost two and a half months after our clients closed escrow on their sale, and our competition is still on the market. Several price reductions later, their asking price is $595,000.

Right before we brought their home to the market, our clients briefly wondered whether to compete with the more upgraded home or wait until it sold, but they wisely followed through with a well-designed plan and they are living happily in their dream home.

To learn more about the advantages of Range pricing, see this post.

Sara Driscoll is a Broker Associate at Pacific Sotheby's International Realty, serving San Diego home buyers and sellers since 1988. Realtor, DRE# 00988097

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