The internet is filled with information overload. How do you find out what your home is really worth?
You’ve started to do like Annette Bening’s character, Carolyn, in American Beauty: decluttering, sprucing, generally getting the house in order… That is scary enough. But you’re thinking, is now the right time to sell for you? Do you want to refinance or look into an energy efficient mortgage? Now it is time to do your due diligence. So you’re looking into how much your home is worth. You’ve checked the dot com bases… Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com. This is at least a good start, because you’ve sort of got your finger on the pulse of what has been listed as public information. You’ve driven around and pulled the fliers on the neighborhood properties that are for sale around your place. You’re on your way, right? You think you know the how you should price your house, but how do you really know what it is worth?
What do the Realtors know, but they aren’t telling you about what the value is of your home?
Well, Realtors have access to prices of homes which are currently on the market, under contract and have sold. If you are working with a Realtor, they will pull all of this information, along with any relevant details about improvements to your home and assess what a fair market value will be for your home in the current market. This is important. The current market value of your home is indicated through the use of that comparable property information that the Realtors pull through the multiple listing service. This information can not be used to project into the future. Realtors don’t have a crystal ball for projecting into a future real estate market. They are pricing your home to meet the current market and hopefully to get you top dollar.
Most important things you need to price your home correctly:
- A Real Estate Professional that you trust for your transaction
- Comparable property information (sold, active and under contract)
- Understand and be realistic with yourself about your home’s condition
- Knowledge of your market area and the current active listings
Interesting tid-bit: What most people don’t realize is who dictates the value of the homes in your area isn’t really you, it really isn’t your Realtor: it is the buyer.
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: When I work for my clients- I will do a detailed comparative market analysis. Yes, all agents should do this for you. A CMA will help to guide you to a fair market value of your home; however, the person who wants to buy your home is the person who decides how much your house should be worth. This is something you should definitely talk with your real estate professional about to understand fully. Make sure you have a real estate professional whom you trust to help guide you through the negotiation and contracts for your next real estate transaction. I will take the time to familiarize myself with your neighborhood, the currently active properties (yep, your direct competition), the properties under contract (the competition which was obviously desirable) and the sold properties (the competition that was so desirable, that it up and sold!). Taking all of these things into consideration, I will prepare an evaluation that I will share with you to help you arrive at a sales price. You are in control of the sales price, but the buyer is the one who will dictates what your homes true value is worth (what they are willing to pay for your home).
When thinking about pricing, we’ll want to look at what your motivation is: why do you want to sell? Do you want to sell the house quickly? Do you want to sell the house for top dollar? Knowing the market and the prices set by current contracts, we can price your house aggressively or as indicated by the top dollar amount you wish to achieve.
Then- let’s get realistic and talk.