Quick Takeaways

  • Some sellers are pricing their homes higher than ever just because they can, but this may drive away serious buyers and result in unapproved appraisals
  • The highest offer is not always the best offer – consider cash options and contingencies that could work in your favor
  • Hire a REALTOR® to help you navigate this once in a lifetime seller’s market

Source: 7 Tips and Tricks to Capitalize on Selling in a Seller’s Market (HomeLight, Apr. 29, 2021)

According to the 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, pricing a home competitively is one of the top three reasons why sellers hire REALTORS®.

Pricing a home fairly and competitively requires both evergreen knowledge and a finger on the pulse of market trends. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented seller’s market, and some homeowners are pricing their homes at “ridiculous” prices to see if they can get one high enough to convince them to move.

REALTORS® can be an invaluable resource to their clients as they prepare to place their home on the market and determine the asking price. Sellers are looking to you for advice, tools, tips, and tricks from basics like calculating their home price to whether or not they should consider a backup offer.

See References for more information.


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.

Top 5 Things Sellers Most Want from Real Estate Agents

  1. Help find the right home to purchase
  2. Help buyer negotiate the terms of sale
  3. Help with the price negotiations
  4. Help with paperwork
  5. Determine what comparable homes were selling for

Source: 2020 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Two of the top 5 reasons that home buyers and sellers hire REALTORS® has to do with pricing – helping with price negotiations and determining what comparable homes were selling for. Determining the asking price of your home is a huge step in your home selling process, and your local REALTOR® can help!

Determining the Asking Price: The Basics & Trends

16 Factors to Help Determine the Right Property Price (Forbes, Jul. 21, 2020)

While physical condition, “location, location, location” and other classics still ring true, micro and macro trends may play a role in pricing now more than ever.

‘Make Me Move’: Sellers are Listing Their Homes at Ridiculous Prices Just to See What Happens (Money, Jun. 23, 2021)

Aspirational pricing is risky, and can certainly backfire, but this couple priced their home $30,000 above their agent’s suggestion and ended up selling in less than a week!

4 Essential Steps to Determine a Home’s Value (Opendoor)

Opendoor provides four essential steps for sellers hoping to determine their homes value. Start with online tools, consult a REALTOR®, hire a professional appraiser, and research the size, price history, and features of your own home.

Advice for Your Customers

Backup Offers are a Good Idea for both Buyers and Sellers of Home (Miami Herald, Jul. 16, 2021)

“If the house didn’t appraise for the first buyer, it probably won’t for you, either. So you can try to renegotiate as best you can. Perhaps the seller will agree to lower the price. The same goes for the home inspection: Once problems have been uncovered, you must be informed of them.”

7 Tips and Tricks to Capitalize on Selling in a Seller’s Market (HomeLight, Apr. 29, 2021)

In a recent survey, 97% of agents agreed that the current market is a seller’s one. You may want to reconsider some classic techniques when determining your asking price, like spending less on cosmetic upgrades and staging and preparing for a bidding war.

A Wild Market Means More Home Appraisals are Coming in Low. Here’s What to Do if a Bad Appraisal Threatens Your Deal (Money, Aug. 12, 2020)

“According to the National Association of Realtors, 9% of contract terminations were caused by appraisal issues in June, up from 3% in April. In both months, problems with the appraisal caused 18% of closing delays, trailing only challenges obtaining financing.”

How to Price Your Home for Sale (The Balance, Apr. 17, 2020)

When pricing your home, it’s easy to forget or overlook small details like neighborhood boundaries, which side of the street your home is on, and if it is close to train tracks or a highway. According the The Balance, “Identical homes directly across the street from each other can vary by as much as $100,000 in some neighborhoods. Perceptions of desirability have value.”

Home Price Calculators

Are You an Owner? Track Your Home (realtor.com®)

HPI Calculator (Federal Housing Finance Agency)

What's Your Home Worth? (Bank of America)

Home Value Estimator (Chase)

eBooks & Other Resources


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Selling Your Home (eBook)

The Future of Real Estate Home Pricing (eBook)

How to Sell Your Home in Any Market (eBook)

Sell Your Home Now (eBook)

Selling Your Home in 45 Days or Less (eBook)

Seven Steps to Sold (eBook)

Tips & Traps When Selling a Home (eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Think Sold!: Creating Home Sales in Any Market (Washington, D.C.: BuilderBooks, 2009) HD1379 .L96 2009

NAR® Guide to Home Selling: Insider Tips for Home Selling Made Easy (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2007) HD 1375 N21n

Pricing Your Home to Sell — DVD, Item # 141-177

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