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By John R. Merlino Jr. Esq.
Founding Attorney

Ordinarily, when a house is listed, the sales price is set in stone when the listing becomes public. However, there are some situations where a sales price will change after listing. It will typically go down due to a lack of demand, but there are circumstances where it may go up as well.

Timing a Sales Price Increase

Before worrying about why a sales price might increase, you should consider whether you even can increase the price.

There are circumstances under which it may be difficult to increase the sales price of your home, or at least to get what you’re asking for. With that being said, If you haven’t yet received any offers for your home, increasing the price is quite easy, requiring little more than a phone call to your sales agent.

Here are a few common situations that might call for a higher price.

You’ve Received an Unexpectedly High-Value Appraisal

It’s not uncommon for a seller to get an appraisal for their home after the house is already on the market. If that appraisal turns out higher than expected, you might increase the asking price to reflect its purported value.

Keep in mind, however, that an unexpectedly high appraisal value could be mistaken. You might want to get a second appraisal done to confirm your home’s true value before increasing the sales price.

You’ve Upgraded Your Home

When a home fails to sell, some sellers will upgrade it in an attempt to increase interest. Adding a deck or a garage, for example, could be all it takes to garner more offers. But these improvements also add value to your home, meaning you’ll be able to increase the sales price on your listing.

You’re Looking to Switch to a New Price Category

Many buyers only search for homes in a specific price category. For example, a buyer might search for homes that cost between $300,000 and $350,000. If your home is listed at a price just below a category, you might be able to spark interest by increasing the price a bit.

This may sound counterintuitive, but you could see increased interest if buyers view your home as a bargain in a higher category rather than the top end of a lower category. If this approach doesn’t work, you can always lower the price again in the future.

You’re Trying to Raise or Renew Awareness

In today’s technologically enhanced buying market, potential buyers can flag homes they’re interested in. They’ll then be notified if anything changes about the flagged home. It’s therefore possible to effectively engage buyers by slightly increasing the cost of your home.

While raising the price may not seem like a positive way to interact with a potential buyer, it will get them looking at your home again. And if the price increase is small enough, it probably won’t decrease their interest. In fact, the ping could be all it takes to get them to finally make an offer, especially if they think a good deal might be escaping.

Consult a Lawyer Before Raising the Sales Price on Your Listing

There are scenarios in which raising the price of a home is legal and others where it’s not. For this reason, you should always speak with your real estate attorney before making any changes. Increasing the price when it isn’t allowed can significantly harm your listing and may result in serious penalties.

The real estate and elder planning attorneys at Merlino & Gonzalez can answer whatever questions you may have regarding sales prices and listings in Staten Island, NY. Contact us today to learn more.

About the Author
John is a fierce advocate and the office guru for problem-solving and brainstorming. He guides clients through every stage of a real estate transaction from offer to contract, navigating through nerve-shattering home inspection and title clearance concerns, maintaining constant contact with lenders, conducting the actual closing, and continuing to advise clients with regard to any post-closing concerns.  John brings a practical and fair-minded approach to the process which has earned him the respect of his clients and peers.