Should Sellers Preview Similar Homes in Their Neighborhood For Sale?

When you are considering placing your home on the market, there is one vitally important step that is often overlooked, but will tremendously help you and your Realtor decide on proper pricing: a face-to-face meeting with the competition.

Now, of course you will want your Realtor to provide a Comparative Market Analysis for your home so that you can see at what price homes have been selling that are similar to yours, and to get a snapshot of the competing active listings. There’s no question that it’s a great tool, but, a CMA is just numbers on a piece of paper (and sometimes a picture or two).

What I like to do is take it a step further and actually take the seller out with me to tour the competing homes that are actively listed or have recently went pending.

Why is this important? Because it is so easy when looking at things on paper to think, “My home is better than that home,” or “I have 50 more square feet than that home, so mine must be better.” By not seeing these homes in person you may not be able to realize that the competing home may show better than yours or that, even at 50 square feet less, the floor plan flows better than your home. What if your home is 50 or 75 sqaure feet larger, but your floor plan has oversized hallways or a slightly wider 4th bedroom? What if your master bedroom has a sitting area or your kitchen has a butler’s pantry that is not currently in demand by buyers in your current market? How should that affect your pricing decision?

Sellers can be biased toward their own home, and they usually are – which is only natural! Even when touring the comparable homes, I will still hear comments like, “Our home is better that this home because ours has ___ and this home has ___ ,” which may be true in your opinion…but the key here is to listen to your Realtor and learn what they are hearing from their buyers. As buyer demands and tastes change through time, it is essential to hire an experienced Realtor who has their ears to the ground and knows exactly what buyers are looking for. This information is crucial to preparing your home for the market, and for effectively pricing it.

If you are considering selling your Austin home, contact me today and let’s talk about finding the right value for your home. Rest assured that you will get an opportunity to meet your competition, and you’ll be glad that you did when we’re under contract and they’re still racking up days on market!

About Shannon Ensor

Shannon Ensor is a Broker Associate with Sky Realty, the founder of our team and a published author. She began her Austin Real Estate career in 2005 and has earned her ABR and GRI designations. Shannon helps residential real estate buyers and sellers all around Austin and Central Texas. Shannon graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University, earning her degree in Journalism/Public Relations from ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications and a minor in Business Advertising & Marketing.


  1. This is also a great way to impress on sellers the importance of Staging. A well Staged home in the competition will do wonders as a motivational tool. Sellers can see firsthand if their home stands up to the competition… How many homes for sale in the neighborhood had toddler toys strewn about? How many toiletries were in the master bathroom? etc… Great article…Michael

  2. Good points, Michael. Staging, when done properly, can make a HUGE difference!

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