Zillow said it was valued at $620,000 the pre-appraisal said $509,900 based on condition...So What Did It Sell For?

Real Estate Agent with EXIT Realty Associates 0225018862
So how does a homeowner figure out how to price a home in today's real estate market?

Well, here in Prince William County Virginia that can be tricky...

Well let's take a look at 12290 Pondwater Ct, Woodbridge Virginia as an example. Zillow is reporting the home is valued at around $620,000. Yet the appriasal the seller got before he listed by a certified appraiser was only $509,900!

How can the two values be so far apart?
Well  when the sellers called me to list their home, I had already sold two similar homes
in the community. 
Both were on acreage, one was updated on a corner lot, the other was not updated, howeverWestridge Subdivsion home-Lake Ridge VA
has amazing street appeal with a stunning floor-plan and massive deck. Each were different yet in next to each other.
The home on 12291 Tilney Ct,Lake Ridge VA was listed for $629,900. We had an offer on the home however in the end the VA Appraisal came in lower and the sellers agreed to sell the home for the fair market appriased value of $575,000. By the time I took the listing the relocation company was involved and they said..just sell it. Note: this home only had updated baths and granite counters, it was on a corner lot with virtually no rear yard.
Just Sold

Fast forward to 12291 Tilney Ct- This home had amazing street appeal, however the buying public was devaluing the home since everthing was original to the home except for the granite counters and the newer roof. This home went unsold with previous attempts to sell above $600,000. When the owner called us to list it, I said, let's drop the price to for $589,900. In the end the home went under contract in 55 days and it ultimately appraised at $565,000 and the sale went through.

Fast forward to 12290 Pondwater Ct. When the sellers called I requested that they have an appraiser, appraise the home before we list. The home was three sided brick, had a huge waterfall and massive fish pond in the rear yard. The home would have to sell by Short Sale since the sellers purchased in the height of the 2005 real estate market. That appraisal came in at $509,900!!!! Say what?
Westridge Subdivision home
"Maybe another agent would have listed that home for $509,900 but there was no way, I would do that to any owner, no matter what community it is. A good Realtor will look at everything including current market conditions to come up with a fair list price. Just because a seller by short sale, doesn't mean we need to sell it so low....it is still an acreage home in a great neighborhood in good condition."
So,I took the listing and we priced the home at $599,900. The sellers were transferred, not late on payments.We recieved  two offers within two weeks. One was from an investor offering cash. The offer was $350,000! I'm not kidding. Well, the seller as well as  myself were only two happy to reject that offer. The second offer was from folks who were relocating further north from the Stafford Virginia are due the traffic hassles. The BRAC realignment was causing the couples commute to be an hour longer each way. They had, had it!
So they made a reasonable offer of $575,000 based on the comparable sales. The seller accepted that offer and it was submitted for bank approval. Seven months later the home closed successfully at $575,000. ( there is nothing short about a short sale!) So in essence, the house sold for more than pre-appraisal and I feel that I helped shore up the neighborhood values by not listing at the $509,900 price that others may have. You decide...

To view these three homes on MLS click here
Fair Market Value is based local real estate market conditions, available financing, condition of the home, marketing and negotiations. Homes that are "Regular Owner, Healthy Sales" in good condition will command the highest price. Don't always rely on Zillow, or a recent appraisal for Fair Market Value. Talk to a few top producing local REALTORS® who serve your community to figure out how to price your home.
"In today's economy every $ counts!  If you list  your home with me, I will make sure that you maximize your bottom line.
It's my job!"

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Connie Goodrich
Keller Williams Realty - McKinney, TX
CRS ABR (McKinney Realtor)Texas

I spend more time fending off the buyers who rely on Zillow.  It is no better than the tax entity that goes by price per square foot and knows nothing about the recent improvements or finishes.  Great job on doing your homework and looking at the comparable sales - they are the story tellers.  Congrats on getting the right price settled.  As for appraisers - see my latest post and that explains why we have such issues. 

Jan 10, 2012 12:18 AM #1
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Peggy James

Woodbridge Virginia Area Real Estate Specialist
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