When preparing to list your home, care should be taken when deciding the initial listing price. It’s pretty easy to overestimate the value of your home, and pricing it outside of what buyers expect can lead to disappointment. Here are some things to keep in mind.

First on our list is to make a pricing contingency plan before you’re ready to list your house on the market. A recent post from Reader’s Digest explains the importance of having a backup plan:

Work out a pricing contingency plan before you put your home on the market

Sometimes, sellers have high expectations about their property’s appeal and they want to ask top dollar for it, even if their agent doesn’t believe they’ll get it. Or perhaps another agent they talked to planted a high price tag in their mind.

Whatever the reason, as a listing agent, I’ll agree to try and sell the home at the higher price. But before the “For Sale” sign goes up, I always try to work out a contingency plan with the seller, in case the property doesn’t go for the desired price. By having everything on the table from the get-go, we’ll have a plan B should the first plan fail. This saves time and helps set the appropriate expectations in the seller’s mind, so there are no unpleasant surprises down the road. Via rd.com

It would be nice to always get what you initially ask for, but having a backup plan, whether it be to end the sale or reduce the price, saves you from indecisiveness later on.

Next is to consider the condition of the local market. A good REALTOR® will have extensive knowledge of whether the current market favors buyers or sellers (or neither):

Buyer’s Market or Seller’s Market?

A CMA often includes a Days on the Market (DOM) value for each comparable house sold. When real estate is booming and prices are rising, houses may sell in a few days. Conversely, when the market slows down, average DOM can run into many months.

Your REALTOR® can tell you whether your area is currently in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market. In a seller’s market, you can price a bit beyond what you really expect, just to see what the reaction will be. In a buyer’s market, if you really need to sell promptly, offer an attractive bargain price. h/t vogtrealtygroup.com

Currently, Fort McMurray seems to be settling into a balanced market, a noticeable improvement from where we were last year.

Price your home against comparables in the area!

Lastly, while it seems pretty obvious, bringing on a REALTOR® early in the process will save you from potential disappointment later on, as they will temper expectations by being realistic:

Importance of an Agent

The earlier you bring a local real estate agent into the fold, the better. Top agents tour properties regularly, and know their market inside and out. They can likely explain the seemingly inexplicable, and offer tips to help make your home more valuable.

A good agent has the inside knowledge on pending homes sales and their finger on the pulse of the market 24/7. But remember to research independently, and never rely solely on the advice of your agent. read more at zillow.com

A good agent will give you an overview of the market and what you can expect during the selling process. The A-Team handles this part with an in-depth listing presentation.