The question of how to price your home in today's market is very important in today's Tampa Bay real estate market.  Unlike just a few years ago when a home might be priced a little higher than market value and the market would catch up to it.  In today's real estate market, especially in the Tampa Bay real estate market, pricing is critical.  If a home is priced above market value today, it is already on life support because prices are still falling and the market train has already left the station. 

The role of the realtor is perhaps more important than in the past many years since sellers may not be aware of the true market conditions, or may be in total denial of the actual market conditions and a professional realtor will provide the dose of honesty needed to get a home priced right and sold.

In the Tampa Bay real estate market, the median sale price of a home in April of 2006 was $220,000.  Today, in the same Tampa Bay real estate area, the median sale price of a home in April of 2011 is $125,000.  Even only one year ago, the median sale price of a house in the Tampa Bay real estate market in April of 2010 was $134,000 and in April of 2011 the mediam sale price of a house is $125,000.  This is a 6.4% decrease in market value in only one year.  In almost every instance, it is foolish for a seller to insist on setting a list price above market value, or above what the house may have sold for only three years ago.  To do so is setting up the seller for failure and will almost surely cost the listing agent time, money and reputation.

Another way to look at price and how competitive it has become is to look at what is on the market today in the Tampa Bay real estate market.  For instance, in the $200,000 to $249,999 price range, there were 1,758 single family homes for sale in April 2010.  Out of those 1,758 houses for sale in that price range, 38 sold in April.  That means that 1,740 did NOT sell.  For most folks, that is a big number and indicates how competitive the market is, and how vitally important it is to price a house correctly.  Failure to do so is almost sure banishment to the lingering death of an expired listing that over six months can cost the seller another 5-10% in value. 

In no price range was the rate of sales compared to listings as high as 8%.  This means in every price category in the Tampa Bay real estate market, more than 90% of the homes for sale DID NOT SELL.

The moral of the story is you can price your home correctly today and get it sold, or you can price it where you "need" it to be, and watch the market pass you by and find better value somewhere else.  This is a harsh lesson.  The current market is harsh.

Act now, be wise and be ahead of the market so when the buyer comes along, you are there and not outside hoping to get a straggler.  PRICE IT RIGHT!!

If you would like pricing information on a neighborhood, visit Sun Bay Associates Market Snapshot for a free and very comprehensive report.