When I first meet a seller, one of the topics they are most eager to discuss is their listing price. Some sellers have a “magic” price in mind, and others are looking for guidance on finding the perfect number that will attract the most buyers without leaving money on the table unnecessarily. It’s a delicate balance, and there is now another issue to consider: searchability.
Over 44% of all home buyers begin their home search online, and 90% will search online at some point in the process, according to a 2017 study by the National Association of Realtors. That means most buyers are using popular sites like Zillow and Realtor.com, and buyer’s agents are using their MLS, to efficiently narrow down candidates. So why does this change the way sellers should think about pricing?
These and other sites allow buyers to use a dropdown menu to conduct their searches, and the range of options provided are even numbers that increase by $25,000. For example, a buyer is able to search for homes from $300,000 – $325,000 or $350,000 – $400,000 but there isn’t an option to search from $335,900 – $355,900. So, the formerly popular “charm pricing” strategy of setting prices just below a round number, such as at $399,900 instead of $400,000, now has some very real drawbacks of which I want my sellers to be aware. Take a look at the graphic below for a quick primer on how raising a listing price by as little as $100 can make all the difference in the amount of exposure the home will get.