I touched on pricing in an earlier segment, but it really cant be stressed enough how important pricing is when selling your real estate. No matter how beautiful your house is, no matter how you prepare it for sale, if the price you are asking is not supported by recent sales in your neighborhood then you are going to lose money.....period.
A year and a half ago, sellers and agents enjoyed the hot market and had more leeway with pricing homes. Now that the market has cooled a little and there are more homes sitting on the market for longer, it's extremely important that sellers are realistic about what they ask for their home. When homes sit on the market for months at a time, 90% of the time the reason is simply price. When property is overpriced, it turns off prospective buyers instead of arousing interest. Why would someone take the time to get in their car and drive to a home they beleive is overpriced when they saw the ad?
A much better approach is to price your home slightly below the last comparable sale in your neighborhood. This is what generates the type of interest that usually results in multiple offers which can in turn mean getting more than your asking price. If three or four parties are interested in your home, then one of them is going to have to outbid the other. These multiple offer situations are what led to properties selling for 30-50k over asking price routinely as little as a year ago. These days, it's much less common for properties to sell for much over the asking price. A good rule of thumb is, if a property has been on the market for three weeks and there are no offers on it, a price reduction of a minimum of $20-30k is in order. The reality is that the market sets the price of real estate, not you or me.