When you want to know how to price your Silver Spring, MD home, consult a Realtor® not Zillow & Co.
I spent hours yesterday preparing a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) for a Silver Spring, MD home owner. I looked up the most recent comparable sales - there were 6 - and pored over every single one, taking notes about features, pulling tax records and comparing it all to the subject property. I calculated the average sold price for all homes as well as the price per square footage.
I then multiplied said average with the square footage of the home in question, made adjustments for additional features or lack thereof and arrived at a price range. As a back-up I also plugged in all the data into the RPR (Realtor Property Resource) which gave me a low and high end for a suggested list price which was in line with my first estimate.
And then, just for giggles mixed with an ounce of concern, I looked up where Zillow, Trulia and Co. would price our subject property. Zillow's estimate guesstimate was off by about $130,000. Trulia did a lot better but was still about 30K+ lower.
Why? They've never set foot in any of the homes for sale. They do not know the neighborhoods. They look at comps in the area, it appears, not just the subdivision. Sometimes that is necessary, if there haven't been enough recent sales we have to look around for comparables. Comparables is the key word here and staying close to the subject property. If there is a sufficient number of sales, however, there is no need to look elsewhere.
Our subject property is also located in an exclusive subdivision that is very different than most in the area. You just can't compare a 12 year old Colonial with a 3 garage garage, library, butler's pantry and high end finishes to a 1970s split level that has 1/3 the square footage and off-street parking. The only thing those two homes have in common is the zip-code they are located in.
So, when you want to know how to price your Silver Spring, MD home, consult a Realtor® and not 3rd party websites.
The same is true when you are a Silver Spring, MD area home buyer and want to know how well a home is priced. The most accurate data comes from our Multiple Listing Service. Your buyer's agent will pull the comps for you and compare those to the property you are interested in. The decision how much you want to offer is yours, of course, but your Realtor® will help you arrive at such. 3rd party websites? Not so much.
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