Price is too high

from: Top 5 Home Selling Mistakes

Here are some reasons why a List Price is too high.


Setting nuances are easy to miss or underestimate! The higher the price point, the more privacy is at a premium and the fewer compromises buyer want to make. Here are some examples:

  • Lots that join or overlook to commercial or industrial buildings – unless they are located in an urban, walkable setting.
  • Corner lots are more exposed
  • Floodplains bring mandatory insurance and site limitations into play
  • Underground pipeline and high tension overhead powerline easements carry a stigma
  • Rubber roar from nearby traffic on major roads and interstates; possible expansion making it worse in the future
  • Lots that include drainage easements and detention ponds are less desirable


Slopes and elevations can play a big role in home prices as the price point goes up. Here are some ways:

  • Homes that are lower than street level are less desirable due to drainage concerns and lesser curb appeal.
  • On the other hand, steep up sloping driveways make it hard for moving trucks, guests and deliveries. Even something as simple as setting the trash bins out.
  • No one ever wants a house looming above them. The worst case is in back where there is no way to screen your neighbor out. Sometimes, it is inevitable to have differences in elevations on the sides if the street is sloped but usually the primary windows are not on the sides.
  • Lots usability is a key component to value. If there is no backyard due to steep slopes, that may be a permanent limitation. This comes into play often when pools are considered. If the only usable flat area is in the front, there will most likely be a discount expected since the norm is for the prime yard usage to be in the back.
  • Steeper topography can prompt the need for retaining walls. Some municipalities have a 4 ft height limitation which means multiple terraces if the area under consideration needs more than that. Retaining walls also require hand rails, drainage measures and maintenance. Walls are usually a good trade off for usability but they are expensive – which buyers tend to use as leverage for looking elsewhere or buying at a discount.
  • Walk out backyards usually command a premium because they are harder to find

Floorplan and Flow

Here are some general considerations:

  • Compartmentalized rooms with dead-end hallways are less desirable than circular open flows.
  • Foyers that lead you head on into a set of stairs to the second level are less desirable
  • Split-level homes have more limitations for renovations due to the stairs and offset levels.
  • Two story homes with 8 foot ceilings are less desirable than ranches in transition neighborhoods because the ranch home’s ceiling heights can be raised.
  • Over about $800k, drive under garages are a huge issue for detached homes in the Atlanta market.
  • The fewer stairs the better
  • Sunken rooms with one or two steps down can be a safety issue for guests and are an irritation for today’s buyers. So much so that some figure out how to level up the rooms.
  • If the house is a good one for smaller children who may be playing outside in back, parents prefer the kitchen to overlook the backyard.
  • Some older ranch homes have the primary bathroom shared between the bedroom and the hall. That is a huge issue for most people and hard to solve.
  • Primary bedrooms off primary living areas is less desirable than having some separation for privacy.
  • Primary bedrooms need to be on the main level or upstairs. If the primary bedroom is below the front door (as is the case sometimes with split-levels), the price needs to be discounted to offset that.
  • Dinky kitchen islands are negative versus average sized ones. Huge kitchen islands usually command a premium.


Architecture is a tricky one. Atlanta architecture is all over the map, so each case is specific. Here are a few examples:

  • Only big new house in a neighborhood of older homes. Caution says buy among similarly or more expensive homes. This is a well-known real estate axiom.
  • Tudor homes have a limited appeal in our markey and some areas have more of this style than others. We are usually painting dark tudor trim a lighter color closer to the exterior facade color to soften the contrast so this style appeals to more buyers.
  • Cedar contemporary homes are connected to a specific time period and that can limit buyer appeal. Typically these homes really need to be very well maintained on the outside and renovated on the inside to price out comparably to more traditional architecture. Otherwise, they sell at a discount.

Lot size and shape

Lot shape and size determine potential and options. Rectangles with the short sides in front and back are best; squares are good too. The more irregular the lot, the more complicated the zoning setbacks will be in those areas. And, the more likely encroachments will be to occur. Pie shaped lots can be tough because the buildable area is hard to figure out without survey stakes in the ground! The other concern is easements and 75ft stream buffer impacts extending onto the property from offsite.