Thanks to the Internet, it is now incredibly easy to sell properties, as you can reach numerous buyers Picture of House for salesimply by putting up a classified ad.

However, there are no guarantees that you will sell your home if it doesn’t meet the buyer’s criteria. Price plays a very important role, which is why it is important that you find out what buyers are willing to pay before listing your home for sale.

The Importance of Pricing

Affordable housing has always been a top concern for many Ghanaians. The deputy minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing has recently promised new measures to reduce costs, but many citizens are still worried about high property costs. As a result, sellers must have a fair price to close the sale.

Further, many citizens using classified ad sites are very price conscious. If you price your listing too high, then you may drive away potential customers. On the other hand, if you price it too low, then you will never find a buyer for your home.

Pricing Strategies for Your Classified Ad

Many Ghanaians are very frugal with their money, but they will still be willing to pay a decent price for the right property. That’s why you need a sound pricing strategy to earn their business. Here are some tips to establish the price buyers are willing to pay:

Be objective about the state of your property

You are probably proud of the property you own, but it likely won’t seem quite as special to potential customers. For this reason, you need to be honest with yourself about the value of your property relative to others on the market.

There are a number of factors that affect the value of your property. According to a recent report covered in News Ghana, the shortage of developable land is a major issue that has led to housing problems. If you are based in an area with a growing land shortage, then you may be able to charge a higher price for your home.

If you really aren’t sure what your property is worth, you may want to get it appraised, as the estimated value of your units can be a good starting point for setting your asking price.

Whether you hire out an appraisal or do it yourself, you need to take a look at every element of your property. Is the space smaller or larger than most other listed properties in your area? Do the plumbing and cooling systems work properly? You may need to charge a lower price if there are any problems, as buyers will need to spend more money fixing them after the sale is finalised.

2. Review similar ads

Picture of house for sale

Compare with others like it

Next, take a look at similar ads on meQasa and other classified ad sites. Keep in mind that some of these landlords may be overcharging or undercharging, so take their prices with a grain of salt. However, if a large number of sellers are all listing a home like yours for a given price, then you can consider that to be a good indication of what buyers are willing to pay.

As you are searching, look specifically for properties of similar size and account for the income of potential buyers. Keep in mind that many people living in the centre of cities like Accra have more money than those living on the outskirts. If your property is located away from a city centre, you may not be able to sell it for as much.

Here are some tips for finding comparable properties on meQasa:

  • Always use the regional dropdown boxes to find property listings in your own community.
  • Use the property type field to find similar types of properties for sale (i.e. houses or offices).
  • Use the names of specific streets in the keyword field to find properties located near you. Other advertisers don’t always mention the street in their ad, but finding ads that do include them allows you to make a more accurate comparison.
  • Conduct additional searches using keywords including the features of the property you are selling.
  • Make use of the advanced search options which you can access on clicking “More options” to narrow down the results to match exactly what you’re searching for.

For example, if you’re selling a two bedroom house with swimming pool access, then you will want to conduct two searches: one that includes the term “two bedroom apartment” and another that includes the phrase “swimming pool.” You may not find any listings that match both criteria, but looking at them independently can give you an idea of what customers would be willing to pay for your unique home.

3. Start by listing an ad as “Best Offer”

When it comes to selling your home, you can start off your ad by stating that you’re willing to take the best offer you get. This will likely draw a number of responses from potential buyers.

Pay close attention to the offers that you receive. Remember that many of these people are going to be making lower-priced offers, because many low-income people (and sometimes, cheap people) will want to get a nice deal. If you feel that the highest offer that you get is reasonable, you may want to accept it and close the deal.

Keep in mind, though, that a lot of people will back out of this type of situation. You have a couple of options here:

  • Take the second highest offer if they are still interested (and if the offer is acceptable to you).
  • Take the average of the top two or three offers and create a separate ad with that as your asking price. You may need to consider lowering your price if the first interested party changed their mind due to the quality of your home. Try to keep an open mind and remain objective.

It’s best not to get offended if customers are telling you that your home isn’t as valuable as you want to think. Customers are always the final decider when making a purchase. If they think your home is overpriced, it’s best to just lower it.

4.     Ask your most honest friends first

It’s usually a good idea to ask your friends for input before setting a price on the property you are selling. However, it’s important to remember that not all friends can – or will – give you the best advice. They may lie to you to avoid hurting your feelings, or they may not be adequate appraisers of your property.

In either case, there are a couple of things you want to keep in mind when looking for friends to give you input:

  • Speak with friends that are brutally honest with you. These are the kinds of friends that will tell you when you are gaining weight or let you know when something is your fault. They will be frank about letting you know if you are asking for too much for your home.
  • Make sure that they have some knowledge of real estate. This will enable them to better appraise your property.

If you trust your friends to give you good, honest advice, then it’s definitely worth asking their opinion before setting a price for your classified ad listing.

5. Emphasise amenities

People will be much more willing to pay a higher price to buy your property if you emphasise its most Picture3attractive features. Does it come with a swimming pool? Do you live 1,000 metres from the nearest supermarket or playground? Mention or discuss these perks in your ads, because a buyer may happily pay a higher price for them.

Try to think carefully about all the features other property owners like the best about their homes. You may even want to poll other people that recently bought a house to find out what they like best about their properties. Their feedback will give you some ideas of the kinds of things you’ll want to cover in your classified ad listing.

6. Cold call local real estate agencies

Your competitors can be another great source of information when it comes to setting prices. Of course, they are not going to want to openly tell you what they are charging, because they don’t have an incentive to help you out. However, you can get information from them if you don’t let them know that you are a competitor.

You could contact one of your competitors and ask them what they charge for a particular property. You don’t have to outright lie to them, but you can lead them to believe that you are interested in buying a home. Doing so will encourage them to give you an idea of the prices that they charge for different properties, which you can then use to set the right asking price for your own listing.

 

Use Your Own Discretion

These guidelines can help you set a fair price that will attract people interested in buying your property. However, you need to use your own judgement before anything else. If you are charging a higher price than your competitors, but are still attracting plenty of buyers, then you don’t need to lower your price to get more offers. You may have an advantage because you provide more comfort or because your properties are located in an area with higher demand.

Either way, you will need to test what prices yield the most interest. The only way you can ever be sure you are pricing your home right is to experiment. If you think that a homebuyer may be willing to pay a little higher than you are currently charging, try raising the price and see if you get any responses. Unless a quick sale is a must for you, it never hurts to try.

What other tips would you offer on pricing your classified ad listing to sell? Share your recommendations by leaving a comment below:

 

Image: Wikimedia Commons

 

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