Get More for Your House with an Odd Price

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by: Roger Dooley

I love research findings that run counter to intuition, or are at least unexpected, and the idea that you can get more for your house if you market it with an odd price is certainly unexpected. That’s what University of Florida researchers found, though:

They looked at five years of real estate sales in Alachua County, Florida, comparing list prices and actual sale prices of homes. They found that sellers who listed their homes more precisely—say $494,500 as opposed to $500,000—consistently got closer to their asking price. Put another way, buyers were less likely to negotiate the price down as far when they encountered a precise asking price. Furthermore, houses listed in round numbers lost more value if they sat on the market for a couple of months. So, bottom line: one way to deal with a buyer’s market may be to pick an exact list price to begin with. [From Scientific American Mind – Why Things Cost $19.95: What are the psychological “rules” of bartering? by Wray Herbert]

With the sub-prime meltdown still hammering real estate prices, getting your asking price for your home may be difficult. Just maybe, though, you can get a little closer with a price that’s not a round number – that “odd” price will provide an unconscious implication of precision compared to a number that is too even-looking.

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