Real Estate

How to get the most out of home sales

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Most people overestimate the value of things that belong to them. On the other hand, those who want to buy something tend to attribute a realistic value to the object of desire. Business psychologists call this the “possession effect”.

This phenomenon plays an important role in real estate sales. The expert Michael Kiefer knows it only too well: “Private people often set a price that is far too high for their house or apartment.” When selling, many want to get what they have spent in recent years on maintaining and beautifying the property: that Money for the installation of a sauna, for the new ceiling cladding in the living room or for the redesign of the front yard. Owners often fail to recognize that the buyer may have a completely different taste and does not value these things at all.

A starting price that is set too high can have devastating consequences. “With an exaggerated demand, sellers really destroy their property,” says GutachterKiefer. “Again and again I have to do with properties that I have known from internet portals for years. If interested parties notice that an object cannot be bought, it becomes a slow-moving item. “

A study by Sparkasse Köln Bonn shows how negative an incorrect pricing policy can have: If the starting price of a property is initially 20 percent too high, it often takes more than a year to sell – and the average proceeds are 15 Percent below the actually achievable price. If, on the other hand, only five percent are added at the beginning, a new owner can often be found after just two months. And that usually pays the realistic value.

Real estate as a slow moving business

Finding a fair price is the first step in successfully selling your own property. It is worthwhile to observe over a period of a few weeks the prices at which comparable properties are being offered in order to get a feel for the market. Real estate portals also offer ratings for relatively little money. However, Kiefer warns against attaching too much importance to these quick reports: “Automatic systems are no substitute for real evaluation. They are often 30 to 40 percent off. “

If the property is difficult to compare and which, for example, needs a lot of renovation, sellers should always consult an appraiser. This is also recommended if a community of heirs sells the house: the appraisal avoids disputes about the selling price. Often all that is needed is a brief report, which is available from around 500 euros.

Many brokers also offer real estate appraisals – if only to get lucrative brokerage contracts. Professional representatives of the industry will provide a realistic estimate of the property’s value. Nevertheless, one should obtain several opinions in order to secure the result. If a calculation deviates too much, the suspicion arises that someone is trying to do business with the help of unrealistic expectations – often at the expense of the seller.


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