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Paul Suding: Are You a Homeowner or a Seller?

If you're looking to sell, setting the right price is key

Buyer’s market or seller’s market — the simple fact is that your home is worth only what a buyer will pay for it.

The basic law of supply and demand usually determines the final sale price. If there are fewer homes for sale in your area, then buyers must compete for those listings, making it a seller’s market.

However, when there is a surplus of homes for sale, buyers have more choices and more power to dictate price and terms, creating a buyer’s market. Many communities are seeing large inventories of homes for sale because of economic conditions and loan defaults.

So if your home is to get buyers’ attention in those conditions, you’ve got to price aggressively compared to your competition. Do not overprice your home, because you may end up making even less money than if you had priced properly from the start. Why? Because often sellers who overprice end up chasing the market down by reducing their price.

While setting a price is ultimately your decision and your decision alone, do some research and educate yourself first. Obtain a comparative market analysis and/or an appraisal and consult with a professional Realtor to get a realistic figure for your home’s value.

If you choose not to comply with current market value, then you may not be a seller, but just an owner with a For Sale sign in the yard.

Paul Suding, a real estate agent with Cool Santa Barbara Homes and Village Properties, is president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. He can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.455.8055.

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