How Much for My House?

Try betting on more price choices for the buyer

Having a tough time selling your home? Consider offering buyers a range of prices instead of just one.

Real estate agents call this strategy Value Range Marketing. It's meant to bring in more potential buyers and prevent seller resentment of a buyer's low-ball offer. Prudential Real Estate introduced the concept to the U.S. real estate market. Its origins are in Australia.

How does Value Range Marketing work? The real estate agent comes up with a price range that encompasses the price the seller wants, the market value of the house and the price buyers might offer. A sample range might be something like $149,000 to $169,000. 

The range brings in buyers who, otherwise, would not look at your house, says Joe Farry, vice president of Prudential Manor Homes in Albany, N.Y. If a buyer tells the real estate agent, "My top price is $155,000," and your house is priced at $169,000, your house wouldn't be considered. But with the value range, the potential buyer may come to look at it.

Do buyers go higher than their limit?

"All the time," Farry says. They fall in love with a house and that gives it more value in their eyes.

A price range also keeps sellers in the game who otherwise might drop out in a huff instead of making a counteroffer to a buyer who makes a low-ball offer.
 
"It takes the hurt feelings out of the process," says Nancy Creech, marketing director for Prudential Carolinas Realty in Raleigh, N.C. "People can be so sensitive ... 'Well, my house is worth more than that.' " 

"It kind of takes the emotion out of making an offer," she says. "It opens up that negotiation."


(Information from Scripps Howard News Service was used in this article)

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