February 10, 2014

What's Your House Worth? Compare Your Home to Similar Properties

It's time to move on; it's the end of an era. You need to sell your home. The thought may be overwhelming: the sorting, the packing, the good-byes. Overshadowing it all is the hope that your house will sell well. 

Will potential buyers care about the hours you spent choosing the bathroom tiles, the many carpenters that you interviewed for those bookshelves or the special care you took with keeping the kitchen appliances in tip-top shape? How much can you ask for the home that housed all your memories, good times and family milestones? How can you best determine what your house is worth on the real estate market? 

Why price right? 

The key to selling a home is the asking price. Pricing the home too high will bring a lower number of interested buyers, which may cause your home to sit on the market for too long, losing its appeal. Pricing the home too low may cause buyers to be skeptical and hurt your pocket if multiple offers don't drive the price up to market rate. So how can you determine that magic number to advertise as your asking price? 

Comparable sales 

The simplest way to figure out the right dollar amount to ask for your home is by comparing similar homes in the neighborhood. Compare apples to apples.  While other homes may not have those nice chandeliers or the fancy woodworking you commissioned, you can still get a general idea of how much to ask by looking at other homes of similar size and style. Compare houses with the same number of bedrooms, bathrooms and overall square footage. 

If you can compare those with similar floor plans and outdoor space size, even better. During the past three to six months, how much did other three-bedroom ranch-style homes sell for within a half-mile radius of yours? What did other owners of four-bedroom Victorians in your neighborhood ask for their homes recently? Also consider the ages of the homes you are comparing. If a similarly sized new-construction house on a cul-de-sac sold for top dollar in a nearby subdivision, you may not get the same amount for your 100-year-old house in town.  Make sure your comparison is a fair one.

Market history 

To get an even clearer picture of the real estate market in your neighborhood, check for the history of homes' listings. Compare the original asking price with the final sale price, and calculate the amount of time the house was on the market until it sold. You can then use this information to determine how to price your home as related to the length of time you can keep your house on the market. If you are looking for a quick sale, you may want to price your house a bit lower, but if profit is your motive, you may be willing to wait a few more months and hold off for a sale on the higher end of the sales spectrum. 

Special improvements 

Consider whether you've done any major improvements to your home that would warrant a higher asking price. If you've remodeled the kitchen and put down a new parquet floor, or if you really feel the special woodwork details are what will clinch the sale, you may wish see those enhancements reflected in your asking price. But be careful here; if the costs of these improvements drives your home's price over comparable homes, it may languish on the market.  The buyer may not see the same value in your upgrades.

Supply and demand 

Now that you've determined a fair range for the price of your house based on comparable listings, you will need to consider supply and demand. In a buyer's market, when there are many homes on the market and lots of competition among sellers, you may want to ask a bit less for your home to make it more attractive to a buyer. In a seller's market, where there is very little home supply and much buyer demand, you may want to ask a bit more for your house and maximize your profit.  

Call Greg Rapp

While much of this may seem like common sense, you would be surprised how many people overprice their homes in today's market.  The current real estate market is a buyer's market.  The buyer has many homes to choose from at a variety of prices and styles.  A professional Realtor® can help you price your home to sell.  Call Greg Rapp at 704.213.6846 to get your home positioned on the market such that it will MOVE!!!

Adapted from an article in Realtor.com by Aviva Friedlander

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