• "Betsy was wonderful to work with. Very professional." -Coleen M.
  • "Betsy worked very hard dealing with our very difficult buyer. The transaction would have fallen apart if not for her persistence." Carol H and David T.
  • "Bette and Betsy were very professional and made themselves available to me at the hours that worked best for me and through whichever form of communication I chose." -Wendy R.
  • "Working with Bette and Betsy put me totally at ease because I was totally confident in them."  -Evan S.
  • "Bette and Betsy are great in every way." - Shelley Y.
  • "I have made 6 corporate moves and Betsy is hands down the best realtor I have worked with. She worked tirelessly to ensure I was paying a fair price and getting a quality property." Tricia B.
  • "Bette and Betsy were both very personable and professional.  They were perceptive to my needs and wants and were also very knowledgable for a first time home buyer." Evan S.
  • "Awesome. No drama. Helpful every step of the way. Very professional and gave honest opinions." Elizabeth and Richard H.
  • "Both Bette and Betsy were awesome to work with.  Their knowledge and expertise in the field of real estate went a long way.  We'll definitely work with them again." S. Goodman & J. Luckett
  • "We were in the process of moving out of state and Bette and Betsy took care of everything for us regarding the closing. We didn't worry-they are so trustworthy." -Barbara and Ted K.
  • "Very professional. Incredibly knowledgable. We had worked with many Realtors and none of them compared to Bette and Betsy. They are fabulous. I would recommend them to everyone." -Jessica J.
  • "Betsy certainly goes above and beyond. Wouldn't use anyone else."  -Julia and Dan L.
  • "Very efficient and professional.  They know what to do and I had a contract in 6 days!" -Penny S. 
  • "Betsy's expertise in Old Town was invaluable.  It was very apparent why she and her mom have such a fantastic reputation."  -Tricia B.
  • "Bette and Betsy represent you not only in making a smart howeowner decision but also in the negotiating process-your agents really are on your side."  -Meleah and Mark B.
  • "This is a true team-both are strong realtors in their own right." -Lauren G.
  • "Betsy rocks!" James B.
  • "First class.  Betsy worked with us for a long time, so we got to know her well.  Her knowledge and professionalism were outstanding."  Julia and Dan L.
  • "They really know the business and what they are doing. They came highly recommended-they exceeded our expectations." -Barbara and Ted K.
  • "Service above and beyond my expectations-highly recommend. Customized level of service to the needs of their clients. Excellent communication and very professional." -Gwen A.
  • "I have bought and sold 6 other properties and working with Bette and Betsy was by far the best sale/buy. Personally they are delightful to work with." -Heather C.
  • "Love the home warranty and help with subcontractors." -Sherwood T.
  • "Bette and Betsy are easy to get in touch with and fast moving." -David M.
  • "We enjoyed the experience of two professional agents who worked together to accomplish our mission." -Katie and Clark O.
  • "Betsy has a strong set of ethics and was excellent in providing her professional opinion at all the right moments. We love our home!" -Lauren G.
  • "The transaction went incredibly smoothly and I knew where I stood throughout the process." -Wendy R.

Betsy Gorman
(703) 861-4825
betsy@gormangroup.net

Bette Gorman
(703) 585-2235
bette@gormangroup.net

Long & Foster
400 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 683-0400 - Phone
(703) 763-5750 - Fax

Pricing Your Home

Every real estate website will tell you that in order to maximize the proceeds from your sale, you need to price your house correctly.  This is true.  But why?  And how?  It’s funny how many sellers know what they “should” list their house for but want to “try” a higher price.  Depending on market conditions, this can be successful but it usually fails.  Here’s why:

Comparison Shopping.  Think about your own shopping experiences-for groceries, a car, shoes.  You, and most buyers, are comparison shoppers.  This means you evaluate your choices in the marketplace and choose the best value based on certain qualities.  When shopping for a car, that might mean extra features, a special color, low mileage, excellent condition, etc.  When shopping for a house, that can mean condition, location, number of bedrooms, off street parking, school designation, etc.  If a buyer has $300,000 to spend on a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom house, that buyer will evaluate all of the 3 bedroom/2 bathroom homes in their price range and desired location and choose the best value.   If you are the seller of a home with 3 bedrooms/2 bathrooms that “should” sell around $300,000, in order for you to be chosen by this buyer, you need to be the best value amongst your competition.  If you know your home is worth $300,000, but you price it at $350,000, you will be competing with homes priced at $350,000–homes that are likely “better” than yours.  The more expensive homes will be bigger, more renovated or in a different location-all factors that may encourage a buyer pass over your home in favor of a better value.

Comparative Market Analysis.  One tool to help you evaluate the marketplace is a Comparative Market Analysis (“CMA”).  A CMA is generated by comparing prices of similar properties in your area that are on the market, under contract or have recently sold.   We look at historical data (properties that have recently sold) to determine where prices are trending and real time data (similar homes currently on the market or under contract) to determine where pricing is currently, so we can best advise you as to a reasonable list price for your home.

Some ideas to keep in mind when setting the price of your home:

1. Abandon your Personal Bias.

In order to determine the market value of your home, you must objectively establish what someone else would pay for it.  This means setting aside your emotional attachment to the many wonderful memories you have enjoyed in your home and focusing on the objective characteristics of your home: total square footage, floor plan, construction quality, condition, amenities, lot size, topography, view, landscaping and neighborhood.  By focusing on the objective criteria, you can start to evaluate how your home compares to similar houses on the market.

2. Educate Yourself.

Visit local open houses and compare the location, condition, size and amenities of these houses to your own as objectively as possible.  A house that has been well-maintained will show better and, therefore, is likely to sell more promptly and for a higher price than one that needs renovation. When a house offers amenities that are currently popular in the marketplace, it will invite a higher price.

3. Consider Market Conditions.

How is the economy? Interest rates? Local job market? What season is it? Homes tend to sell more quickly in the spring and summer months than in the winter because many people prefer to move during the longer warmer days and between school years. Are prices of homes in your neighborhood on the rise? Are homes selling quickly?

4. Listen to Feedback

Pricing a home is not an exact science and sometimes adjustments need to be made during the listing period to attract an acceptable offer.  As listing agents, every time one of our listings is shown, we contact the showing agent for his/her opinion and the client’s opinion of the home and we share this feedback with you, the owner.  It is important to listen to this feedback and react appropriately.  Perhaps changes should be made to the showing condition that will minimize buyers’ objections. Perhaps a price adjustment is necessary if buyer comments are positive but no offers are forthcoming.  Perhaps no adjustment is needed and patience is necessary.  Making adjustments during the listing period helps your house stay in front of the market and attract an offer acceptable to you.