The secret to selling a home

If your home is sitting and sitting on the market, you would no doubt like to know what to do to guarantee a sale. But you might not like the answer.

"If the price were right, it would sell," said Pat Hiban, with the Pat Hiban Real Estate Group at Keller Williams Crossroads Realty in Columbia.

He knows that buyers might say they're turned off by other things. Too few bathrooms, say, or an overgrown yard. But he thinks every problem is ultimately fixed by the right asking price, so unless you plan to spend the money to build those bathrooms or fix the yard, that's the way to go.

Hiban chatted with me Monday for today's story about February home sales. While we were on the subject of price, he told an anecdote about a real estate agent who asked his advice about how to drum up interest in her two listings that had been on the market for almost five months.

"I said, 'Well, drop the price,'" he said. "She said, 'How do you know that? You haven't seen them, you don't know what neighborhood they're in, you don't know anything about them.' ... I said, 'I don't need to.'"

Hiban said he realizes it's not the answer that wins friends. "Nobody wants to hear that," he said -- including that particular agent.

Do you think price is always an (if not the only) answer? Is there a price that would sell any house?

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