Why do you need to avoid overpricing your home

Following a recent listing appointment, I was asked, “If this is a seller’s market, why don’t we list $20,000 above market value and see what happens?”

Believe me, if I thought we could get $20,000 above market value on any of my listings, I would go for it! After all, the more money you sell your home for, the more we both get paid!

To help explain why this is not in your best interest to get the top price, I’ll use a couple of charts below.
One thing to keep in mind is that when your home is first listed is when it gets the most activity (showings). As days and weeks go by, you can expect the activity to subside.
You do get a small increase in activity after each price break, but it won’t match that first week or two. Because of this, we want to maximize our chances at getting an offer (ideally, multiple offers) during that first week or two.
Let’s say we price it at $270,000, but the market value (what the comparable homes are selling for) is somewhere around $250,000. We may get five showings that first week, three the second. These buyers know the market and have seen other homes priced at $270,000. They’ll recognize that your home is overpriced and move along. As the days on the market creep up in numbers, the less activity you will get. At around 30 days is usually when we start talking about price breaks in today’s market, and let’s say we reduce the price to $260,000 after 30 days. We then may get four showings the first week, then two the second. Again, buyers are aware of the market in this price range and feel it’s overpriced. Another 30 days go by and we hit the $250,000 price point. By now, it’s been on the market for 60 days. Buyers that see this often think that something’s wrong with the home. They also see that you’ve made two price reductions so assume you are desperate. You then get offers, but they are low ball offers. Offers like $20,000 below what you’re asking. You then begin thinking, “well, this is the best we’ve gotten, so we should try negotiating.” You then end up selling for the home for less than market value. Here’s a chart that may better illustrate the scenario:
Long story short, we want offers (plural) as quickly as possible. If we price at market value, get a ton of interest, and end up getting multiple offers, these multiple offers drive up the price. Now, this doesn’t always happen, but this is what we try to work towards. Since “Days on Market” are our enemy, I like to do a “Coming Soon” campaign which drives up demand before listing in the MLS. There are many details that have made past “Coming Soon” campaigns ridiculously successful, so contact me for more info!
Another thing to consider is the appraisal process. Since most real estate transactions involve a loan, the lender will only lend an amount up to the appraised price.  What happens if the appraised value comes in lower than the agreed upon sales price? Some appraisers will make things work if you’re within $10,000 of the value. For example, if we get multiple offers driving the price up to $255,000, some appraisers will work the numbers enough to make the value come out okay (some won’t, however, so keep that in mind!). Part of my job as your Realtor is to provide the appraiser with comparable homes that I found to justify the price, explain the activity the home received (if multiple offers, that helps our case!), benefits of the neighborhood, home improvements made since you purchased the home, and any and all amenities that justify the price.
The closer you price to market value, the more money you can expect from the sale!
Posted on March 30, 2018 at 11:34 AM
Derek Goff | Category: Listing, Selling | Tagged , , , , ,

Seller Tips – Tips for a Successful Showing – Expectations

Seller Tips – Tips for a Successful Showing – Expectations

This is Part 8 of a series of blog posts that consist of tips for a successful showing when selling your home.


Unfortunately, some buyers are not as considerate as one would like. Expect the toilet seat to be left up, mud to be tracked throughout the house (despite asking them to take their shoes off), closet doors to be left open, crumbs on the counter, doors to be left unlocked, etc. Keep this in mind as you begin your home search, and be sure to always follow the Golden Rule!

Posted on August 4, 2017 at 12:00 PM
Derek Goff | Category: Selling, Showing Tips | Tagged , , ,

Seller Tips – Tips for a Successful Showing – Part 7

This is Part 7 of a series of blog posts that consist of tips for a successful showing when selling your home.

Provide snacks to keep buyers in your home

We want buyers to stay in your home as long as possible. The longer buyers stay in your home, the more likely they are to fall in love and make an offer. One of the best ways to encourage buyers to linger is to offer them food. You don’t need to cater a lunch, but crackers, cookies, desserts, lemonade, water, etc. are encouraged. As a bonus, when you bake cookies, the home smells terrific! See Part 3 of my Tips for a Successful Showing for more info.

  • Leave a note encouraging buyers to enjoy a snack.
  • Set out utensils/toothpicks, if needed.
  • Provide plates, cups, and napkins. Paper plates and cups make the most sense, so they don’t have to worry about how to care for them.
  • Leave your trash can in plain sight, or provide a tent sign to indicate where it can be found.


Posted on July 26, 2017 at 12:02 PM
Derek Goff | Category: Selling, Showing Tips | Tagged , , ,

Seller Tips – Tips for a Successful Showing – Part 6

This is Part 6 of a series of blog posts that consist of tips for a successful showing when selling your home.

Provide thoughtful notes

Working with buyers, I have shown a few homes where the sellers have left thoughtful notes that provide information that the buyer might otherwise miss or might not know. A common place to leave a note to prospective buyers is a kitchen chalkboard. I have shown a home near Willard Beach that had an arrow pointing to the beach, and an arrow pointing to Scratch Bakery along with the distance to each. Very clever! Others simply add a nice “welcome” message. Here are some other ideas:

  • If you have an antique chandelier, put a card on it providing its age and other important details.
  • Label light switches so buyers know which switches go to which lights.
  • Leave a card on appliances, windows, doors, etc. that indicate when they were purchased.
  • If your basement stairs are steep, add a card to the railing or door that cautions buyers to watch their step.
  • Placing a card that says “Not included” may make a buyer want it. You can work that to your advantage later…


Posted on June 28, 2017 at 10:16 AM
Derek Goff | Category: Selling, Showing Tips | Tagged , , , ,

Seller Tips – Tips for a Successful Showing – Part 5

This is Part 5 of a series of blog posts that consist of tips for a successful showing when selling your home.

Light up the home!

Does your home look its best in the late afternoon with all the lights off? Highly unlikely. As an agent, I’m often running around trying to find every light switch in the house. I often can’t find all of them, so some lights remain off which can affect the buyers’ perception of the home. Does it make or break the sale? Probably not, but if you do a bunch of little things to make your home feel welcoming, it can make a big difference! Your electric bill will rise slightly, but your home will sell quicker. Turn the lights on!

  • Turn on every light in the house, including lights in the closet.
  • Turn on all lamps. Does one room look brighter than the next? Add a lamp to the darker room to add some light.
  • Do your appliances have lights? Under the microwave and the light under the refrigerator water dispenser are common. Turn them on too.
  • Open all the curtains to let in light.
  • Keep blinds partially closed that otherwise show undesirable outdoor scenery such as a dilapidated fence or a nearby structure that obstructs views.
  • Turn off the TV (except when using the TV to play some light classical music).
Posted on June 13, 2017 at 7:41 AM
Derek Goff | Category: Selling, Showing Tips | Tagged , , , ,

Seller Tips – Tips for a Successful Showing – Part 4

This is Part 4 of a series of blog posts that consist of tips for a successful showing when selling your home.

Clean, clean, clean!

  • Clean, vacuum, sweep, mop, and dust everywhere! Buyers love vaccuum lines!
  • Check light fixtures and ceiling fans for cobwebs.
  • Clean windows and mirrors.
  • If you haven’t moved some of your items to storage, place them in your vehicle so they are out of sight while you are gone.
  • Expect the buyers to explore your appliances. Empty the dishwasher, clean out the refrigerator (go on your weekly grocery shopping trip after the showing), clean the oven and microwave.
  • Remove anything from the top of your refrigerator. Remove most magnets from refrigerator.
  • Take out the trash (in all rooms).
  • Hide your kitchen trash can.
  • Close all toilet lids.
  • Open the shower curtain to make the bathroom appear more spacious. Be sure to clean the tub/shower!
  • Clean off your bathroom counter. No brushes, tooth brushes, razors, etc.
  • Leave about 30% of your closet space empty. You’re moving soon, right? Pack away your out of season clothes.
  • Have kids? Pack away half of their toys.

“Clean your home before showings” sounds obvious, but I’m still surprised about some obvious steps sellers miss when preparing for showings. The cleaner your home, the more money you can expect!

Posted on May 30, 2017 at 9:25 AM
Derek Goff | Category: Selling, Showing Tips | Tagged , , , ,

Seller Tips – Tips for a Successful Showing – Part 3

This is Part 3 of a series of blog posts that consist of tips for a successful showing when selling your home.

Play down the scent

  • Many people are allergic to certain scents and deodorizers, try to avoid using sprays or plug-in style air fresheners. Scentsy-style wax warmers are usually okay, but baking cookies or boiling cinnamon in water on the stove  prior to a showing work best to minimize any issues.
  • Burning candles or spraying perfume should be avoided for the same reason.
  • If weather permits, open the windows to allow some fresh air inside. If there is a lot of noise outside, however, you may want to keep them closed.
  • If you’re going to bake cookies or boil cinnamon, be sure to leave out some munchies so buyers aren’t disappointed. Always leave a note encouraging buyers to try.

We want to keep buyers in the home as long as possible! The longer they linger, the more likely they are to buy! Don’t scare off potential buyers with allergy inducing scents or foul odors.

Posted on May 15, 2017 at 5:22 PM
Derek Goff | Category: Selling, Showing Tips | Tagged , , , , ,

Seller Tips – Tips for a Successful Showing – Part 2

This is Part 2 of a series of blog posts that consist of tips for a successful showing when selling your home.

Check the temperature

  • Once your home is listed for sale, your utility bill will go up a bit (Don’t worry! You will make it up when you sell for a higher price!). If it is cold enough to wear a sweater or jacket to stay warm, turn on the heat. If it is warm outside, turn on the air conditioning.
  • Heat or cool your home a few degrees warmer or colder than usual, then turn the thermostat to its normal temperature. This reduces the risk of your boiler, furnace, or air conditioning kicking on while buyers are viewing your home.
  • When selling your home, we want to give buyers a reason to linger. The more time spent inside your home, the more appealing it will be to buyers, right? We don’t want potential buyers to leave because the temperature inside the home is uncomfortable!

We want to ensure buyers feel welcome in your home. Let’s make sure they’re comfortable, and not rushing to get back into their car for a more comfortable climate (and off to the next home on their list)!

Posted on April 26, 2017 at 6:12 PM
Derek Goff | Category: Selling, Showing Tips | Tagged , , , ,

Seller Tips – Tips for a Successful Showing – Part 1

This is Part 1 of a series of blog posts that consist of tips for a successful showing when selling your home.

Be Welcoming

  • Leave the house at least twenty minutes before the expected arrival of any buyers. As a buyer agent, I often arrive at homes 15 minutes ahead of time to make sure lights are on, documents are prepared, etc. for my buyers. Too often, my buyers arrive a little early and the sellers are still rushing to get out of the home. If you plan on leaving 20 minutes early, your chances of rushing out and forgetting some last minute cleaning is minimized.
  • Give the buyers at least an hour to view your home and surrounding property. If driving by to see if the buyers are gone, never turn around in the driveway. This has happened to buyer clients of mine several times. As soon as a seller has turned around in the driveway we all felt that we had overstayed our welcome. The longer the buyer stays in your home, the better! Never rush them.
  • Leave a bowl of wrapped candy or a batch of cookies with a small note welcoming the buyer to the home.
  • A lot of homes have chalkboards or dry erase boards. If you have one, write a small note welcoming the buyer to your home.
  • Leave a 3-ring binder with all home documents in protective sleeves. Your Realtor can help prepare this for you.
  • Provide a list of improvements made over the years (this also helps when it’s time for an appraisal!). If there are before and after photos, leave those for buyers to browse.
  • A lot of towns in Maine have their own brochures highlighting activities, landmarks, and sights to see. Go to the town hall and grab a couple to leave for your buyers.

Buyers are guests in your home. Unlike weekend guests, however, you want your buyers to imagine owning the home. We don’t need to feed them breakfast, but these tips will help to ensure the buyers are felt welcome in your (their future) home.

Posted on April 12, 2017 at 5:23 PM
Derek Goff | Category: Selling, Showing Tips | Tagged , , , ,

Six Reasons to Use Professional Photography When Listing Your Home

All of my listings include professional photography. Who doesn’t like quicker sales netting more money (read #5)!? If your agent insists on using that point and shoot camera, run!

Below are six reasons your home’s listing should include professional photography.

  1. Your home doesn’t up on one of these sites:

    Not yet Bernard. Feeding time isn’t until 6:30.

    Don’t mind me… or the cleaning supplies.

    Take a look at these photos. While the majority of these may be from listings outside of the state of Maine, I have seen several photos from local listings that belong on these sites.

  2. Your home is remembered for its positive attributes and not a blurry photo
    I’ve seen million dollar listings with blurry kitchen photos, photos with the owner walking through the front door, photos with a disassembled toilet, etc. I remember these listings for the photo choices, not for anything positive about the home.
  3. Your real estate agent (most likely) isn’t a professional photographer and everyone can tell
    Dear real estate agents everywhere, stop with the over saturated (your house shouldn’t glow), blurry, fish eye lensed photos!

    Some photos out there may have been taken with a DSLR, some with a point and shoot, and others with a camera phone. I have a DSLR and I can take decent photos with it, but if I want quality photos I go to a professional.

  4. A professional photographer will be sure to remove unattractive items from the photo
    Love that porcelain doll that has been handed down over generations? What about the room full of deer heads from your hunting expeditions? The 2Pac poster from 1995 surely holds up against the test of time, right?


    Everyone has their own personal tastes, and it’s great that you have yours. Keep in mind, however, that we’re trying to reach as many potential buyers as we can with your listing. You want buyers to envision themselves living in the home, not be distracted your décor.

  5. Homes with professional photography sell faster and for more money!
    Research shows that listings that used a high-quality camera and lens for their photos got an average of $3,400 more for their home! Homes listed for less than $1,000,000 sold 6 to 22 days faster!
  6. 81 Dow Road, Dollhouse ViewA professionally produced video and a 3D interactive tour goes great with professional photography!
    Why would any agent create a professional produced video tour, a 3D interactive tour, and not hire a professional photographer as well?

    What? Your agent isn’t doing any of this?! I do for all of my listings, plus each get its very own domain name! Check out www.18StateAve.com for an example of how a professional listing should look. Click the image to the right for a full-screen 3D interactive tour!

    It’s important for your home to stand out!

Posted on June 27, 2016 at 8:05 PM
Derek Goff | Category: Listing, Photography, Selling | Tagged , , , , ,