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Today’s Ask the Expert column features Mark Mathis, vice president of Sales at Homes.com.

Q: What are your best tips for pricing listings to sell at asking cost?
A: One of the best ways to inspire confidence in your abilities as an agent is by selling your clients’ homes at asking price. There are a number of factors and steps to consider before making it to that point, though. Here are some tips to help you set the right asking price to make your clients happy and strengthen your business this year.

How should my clients factor into pricing decisions?
We know that the agent is the expert when it comes to selling homes; however, it’s important to remember that homeowners have a strong emotional connection with their home. This can make it challenging to agree on pricing, since clients will often overvalue their properties. Before suggesting your listing price, ask your clients what they believe their home is worth and how they arrived at this figure. This can help them accurately predict the value of their home, while also allowing you to point out some reasons that your suggested price may not be as much as they were hoping. Overall, though, establishing a good relationship with your clients and being sensitive to their opinions are both important ways to be sure they’ll be responsive to your asking price.

How should I determine the right price for my area?
Accurately pricing your listing in relation to the area is critical. Because of this, it’s necessary to know how other homes in the area have been priced. A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) will show you recent sales in your area that you can use for comparison when pricing your own listing. A CMA report is also very helpful when showing your clients why you believe your price is fair. It’s much easier to show a client the facts and figures behind a decision, especially when pricing becomes a point of contention.

How can I use others’ expired listings to my benefit?
Reviewing current listings is a great way to determine where your own listings should fall. One way to do this is by looking for a less crowded pricing bracket. For example, if a number of homes in your area are being priced between $350,000 and $355,000 and the next pricing bracket doesn’t start until $380,000, consider pricing your own listings between $365,000 and $370,000. By doing so, you can avoid being lumped in with the other properties.

Another way to use current listings to your advantage is by reviewing expired listings. Pay special attention to the original asking price and the eventual sale price. Consider whether the sellers were forced to make a significant price reduction and why. Try to determine whether it was overpriced to begin with, and how you can avoid running into the same problem.

By applying these tips, you’ll be able to start pricing your listings to sell at asking cost so that you can make 2019 one of your strongest in years.

Additionally, another way to sell at the asking price is to drive qualified buyers to your listing by giving top-of-page placement on Homes.com’s City Sponsor. To learn more, visit http://go.homes/rismediacitysponsor.com.

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