Once you’ve narrowed your search to local agents selling homes of the same home type as yours, in your neighborhood, and within more or less the same price range, look at Above At Below to see agents’ pricing strategies and results. Caution, whenever one agent sells similar homes inconsistently - i.e. one home sold above while another sold for below asking -, or whenever different agents use opposite pricing strategies for very similar homes, or whenever an agents list prices diverge much more from selling price than those of other agents, red flag.

Because a buyers market, a balanced market, and a sellers market can all co-exist in the same neighborhood at the same time, an agent’s pricing strategy (listing above, at, or below the anticipated selling price) may change depending on the type of home and its target selling price.

Different pricing strategies may be used by different agents in your neighborhood simultaneously, and sometimes to sell very similar homes. Or, an agent may use a particular pricing strategy because of their experience with it, personal preference, or for other reasons. The Above At Below graph lets you see pricing strategy - sold home by sold home - as well as the degree to which the agent set the listing price away from the price that a home sold for.

Caution When Different Agents Price Similar Homes Differently, eg. One Above and the Other Below the Selling Price

Take note whenever different agents use different pricing strategies to sell very similar homes in the same neighborhood and in the same +/- 15% price range. Different agents choosing different strategies to sell similar homes - like yours - is something for you to inquire about and think over, a good topic to get into with the agent you’re interviewing.

Because one pricing strategy is not necessarily superior to another - depending a great deal on the home and the market situation - the takeaway for the home seller is to choose an agent who uses - and is good with - a pricing strategy the home seller is comfortable with, and can live with/see through to the sale. Pricing a home above the market - for instance - may mean that the home will have few visitors, no offers for a long time, and take longer to sell than other similar homes, even in a sellers market. But this strategy can fetch a superior price if the seller can stick with it without panicking.

Whenever different agents put similar homes - ideally homes like yours - on the market at vastly different prices -on different sides of the expected selling price - ask them to explain the pricing strategy and whether the rationale behind the strategy they used would still apply to your home or whether the market has changed; and if the market has changed ask them to explain how that change would change their strategy.

Caution When the Same Agent Sells Very Similar Homes One Above And the Other Below Asking Price.

Pay particular attention when an agent sells similar homes, one above and the other below the listing price. If the agent used the same pricing strategy for both homes, with vastly different results, it follows that something went very wrong.

If other agents on your shortlist performed more consistently, you may want to consider choosing a more consistent agent. Or if other factors incline you to hire the agent with inconsistent results, delve into the details of the inconsistent sale(s).

Whenever All Agents Use the Same Pricing Strategy for Homes Like Yours.

Whenever all of the agents you are looking at use the same pricing strategy, then the market has made the choice of pricing strategy for you, and, since that strategy is one that the market apparently requires and that you can’t control, pricing strategy is not something you need to worry about so much as something you need to accept.

Next, compare the degree to which - depending on the pricing strategy - your shortlist of agents overpriced or underpriced similar homes that they've sold; a list of all of the homes each agent sold is below at the bottom of that agent's page. For comparison, best to use homes most like yours that sold within 15% of your home’s anticipated selling price.

Please refer to the article explaining Sale-to-List ratios about how to use Above At Below and Days on the Market to identify a category of agents you may want to avoid.

Above At Below breaks down the inputs making up an agent's Sale to List ratio, letting you visualize an agent’s pricing strategy by type of home. Above At Below highlights market conditions when divergent strategies may be used effectively to sell similar homes, distinguishing them from those markets when all agents use the same pricing strategies. Finally, checking an agent’s Above At Below lets you identify agents with inconsistent results, who may warrant caution.