Whoever Told You Your House is Worth Half a Million Dollars is Giving You Bad Advice
About two weeks ago, I received a phone call from a homeowner who wanted to list her house for sale. But here's the catch. She wanted her home listed for what she had determined it to be worth. She wanted $500,000.
I'm familiar with the home, but I made a trip to meet with her and to discuss recent sales in the neighborhood. After showing her detailed information on area market trends, recent sold properties and market times, she pushed aside the information I brought her, commenting "I need to get five hundred thousand for my place. If you can sell it for that, I'll list my house with you".
I reminded her that all the market data we had reviewed points to a likely sale at just under $400,000. She acted outraged. "My house is worth way more than that".
My next question to her was "where are you getting your information on the value of your home?"
She launched into a lengthy speech about how her daughter (who lives in Utah) told her that the houses "just like" mom's place "are selling for half a million out here". And her elderly neighbor told her that listing agents are all "pricing houses ridiculously low just to make a fast buck" and advised her to "stick to your guns".
Sellers, where on earth are you getting your advice about the value of your home??
If you don't trust what an agent is telling you, do some research. Don't waste time listing to your grown children (who have a vested interest in the value of your estate) about how house prices are supposedly the same all over the United States. When a neighbor starts to offer advice, try asking them how recently they've sold a home in your area.
Do your homework. Turn on the news or read the business section/real estate section of a local newspaper. I'm not talking about the National Enquirer.
Learn how to use the Internet and Google Search. Gather some reliable statistics about what homes are selling for in your neighborhood or vicinity. Your laptop computer is capable of more than sending and receiving email. There is an abundance of available information on the Web about specific real estate markets, organized by city, state and zip code.
Turn off the "Oxygen Channel" or "Lifetime Television" and watch a little financial sector news. Pay close attention to statistics about foreclosure rates and the backlog of bank owned properties waiting for qualified buyers.
Don't point to your property tax statement or pull a five year old appraisal out of a desk drawer and tell me that's what your house will bring in today's market. If you don't like my advice, show me some tangible proof which demonstrates your knowledge of the area market is more accurate than what I'm providing.
When you've done your homework, let's chat again about how much you "need to get" for your home.