It’s no big secret that Arlington is a seller’s market at the moment. Quite a few properties are getting multiple offers and selling quickly. In a market such as this, it can be tempting for a seller to set an unrealistically high price at first. It’s basic economics, after all. Low supply vs high demand leads to higher prices. And you can always lower the price little by little if it doesn’t sell right away, right?

Well sure you can! This is still America after all. But even in a seller’s market, pricing your home to sell correctly from the start can make a huge difference in the sale price. To understand why, try putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes. You’ve been looking to buy in Arlington for a few months now, and your real estate agent sends you a link to a brand-new listing. It has the square footage and basic features you’re looking for, is in good condition and looks pretty nice overall. The price is a little high in your opinion, but it may be worth it to put in an offer below the asking price and see if the seller will bite. You offer 10% below listing price, and the seller rejects the offer.

So you keep looking, because chances are there isn’t anything really special about the house that you can’t find elsewhere. It isn’t worth the price right now. A month goes by, and more properties come on the market. Some sell quickly, some don’t. Pretty soon, that listing you put an offer on a while back becomes lost in the shuffle. Even when the listing price is lowered, it fails to interest you as much as it did when it was first listed. If there’s nothing else exciting on the market, you may put in another offer below list price. But more than likely, you’ve already decided to just move on.

If you are the seller in this scenario, the best you can hope for at this point is for someone to put in an offer at the reduced listing price. At the end of the day, you’ll end up settling for quite a bit less than the original listing price. On the other hand, if you had worked with an experienced real estate agent and priced your home competitively from the start, chances are good that you would have sold for your asking price. Chances are also good that you would have sold your property quickly. According to Keller Williams, “sellers who listed their home at the price the agent originally suggested, sold the home 38 days faster.” Current data in Arlington shows that the longer a home stays on the market, the less likely it is for that home to sell for at or above the listing price.

In a seller’s market, if you’ve correctly pricing your home to sell, it will often receive multiple offers, which can lead to a bidding war, and a nice extra little chunk of change at closing. The best time to start a bidding war is when the home first goes on the market. Interest in your property will never be higher, and if your home is intelligently priced, chances are very high that you will sell for at or above the listing price.

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