For Sale By Owner – How to Price Your House
For Sale By Owner – How to Price Your House

How to Price Your House

You’ve probably been giving a lot of thought to the question of “How much can I sell my house for?” That’s a great question, particularly if you’re serious about selling your house quickly. One of the most common mistakes made by For Sale By Owner home sellers is asking too high of a price for their house.


Of course its human nature to want to be able to sell your home for the most amount of money, but if the price you are asking is unjustifiably high, and out of line with existing market conditions, then you are very likely to damage your chances of making a fast sale, and it can actually have a negative impact on the eventual selling price.


How a Realtor Would Establish a Price – You Can Do the Same

The method that real estate professionals use in establishing a realistic market price for a home is the “comparison approach”. What this means is that the value of your house is probably very close to the value of similar, or “comparable” houses that are currently for sale, or have recently sold in your neighborhood.


So this is the first place that you’re going to look, and you will focus on houses that are similar to yours. If your house is a 2-story house with 4 beds and 3 baths, then you want to look at what other 2-story houses with 4 beds and 3 baths that are similar to yours are selling for or have recently sold for.


Properties Currently for Sale in Your Neighborhood

An easy way to find out what the prices of homes for sale in your neighborhood are is to go to At this site you can find every property listed for sale if it’s listed by a real estate company (no For Sale By Owner on this site).


Drive around your neighborhood and jot down all of the addresses of all the homes for sale. Then go to and look them up by typing in the property address. Make note of the property features, try to gauge what, if any, upgrades the seller have made, and keep record of the price.


Properties Recently Sold in Your Neighborhood

The price of recently sold properties is really the most accurate measure of what home prices in your neighborhood are, because these prices reflect what other people have actually been willing to pay for the property after negotiating with the seller and having reached a price that was mutually agreeable.


This data is a little more difficult to find but here are two sources. The first is Look for the “recently sold” tab and then be sure to fill in the property details to match your home’s description.


Online Sources for Home Valuations

You now have a little bit of data to begin working with, but the more data you have, the better. Here are four more sources that will give you estimated values for your home based on sales data of comparable homes. The first one is at


This is very simple to use. On the home page, in the box labeled “Find Homes”, type in your property address. Zillow will allow you to claim this property as yours, and then it will allow you to update your home facts and list any improvements. 

You will then create a Zestimate, Zillow’s estimate of the value of your house. One last source is ElectronicAppraiser. Unlike the other two sources that I’ve recommended which are free, ElectronicAppraiser charges a modest fee for their report. Their report is very comprehensive.


However and will provide you with an estimate of the current market value, highest and lowest reasonable price range, neighborhood property value average, comparable sales data, map showing comparable sales, tax assessor data, lot size, square footage, and a legal description and sales history.


Calculating Your Sales Price

You now have plenty of data to work with. You have a list of houses that are currently for sale, so calculate the average sales price of these homes. You also have a list of homes that have recently sold in your neighborhood, so calculate the average sold price of these homes. You still have two more prices to factor in: Zillow’s and RealQuest’s.


You should now be able to calculate the “price range” of your home which is in between the highest price and the lowest price. The most realistic price that you can expect is probably somewhere near the middle of this range.


If you are satisfied with this mid-range price, then you want to establish the asking price at not more that 5%-7% above the expectant price. This is because you can anticipate that any potential buyers will make an offer at less than your asking price. If homes are priced well then the final sales price is typically 93%-95% of the original asking price.


If you initially price the home at 10% or more above the realistic market price then you can expect a significant decline in the number of interested parties, as well as the number of offers. It could result in your house staying on the market for a long time and developing the stigma that “there must be something wrong with the house”.


Use Common Sense

The methods described above are intended to be guidelines for establishing a fair market price for your home, generally follows the methods used by professionals. There can be, of course, many variables that factor into the price of your home.


So be sure to take these into consideration. Example, your house backs up to a busy street and theres lots of traffic noise when you sit on your deck, and view out of the master bedroom is of busy intersection.