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  • Writer's pictureSang Han

Chapter 16. Nine is the Magic Number (How to Sell for More by Asking for Less)

Updated: Dec 19, 2021

We see price tags ending in 99, such as $99.99 very often. What do you think when you see this price tag? To be honest, I get a lot of the feeling "I'm just playing with the price to make $100 look cheap". And I wonder if there are people who fall for that kind of trickery.

However, according to Zillow's big data analysis, ending the last digit of the house price to 9 has the following effects.

What I want to say before the main topic is that “ending with 9” doesn't mean ending with 99 cents, it means setting the number in front of 0 to 9. For example, $149,000 or $149,900.

So let's see what effect it has if we end the last digit in front of 0 with 9.


It is said that among the two houses with the same market value in the same market, a house listed at $xx9,000 by lowering its market value by $1,000 will be sold 4 to 7 days earlier. (eg $510,000 Vs. $509,000)


It is said that a house with the same market value, with the last digit before 0 is set to 9, sells more expensively. The graph below shows how higher the house with ‘9’ is selling by price in percent and $.

As the graph shows, the lower is the house price, the $ amount appreciated by the number “9” is lower but the house price % is higher. A house with a higher price is the opposite. For example, in the price range of $900K to $1M, it is sold at an average price of about $6,000 higher, and about 0.7% higher in percent.

An interesting fact is that the same effect is seen even at houses end with $900.

If you are selling a house in the future, why don’t you use this tactic which could help you sell your house at a slightly higher price?

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