What is my home worth?
With so many sites at your disposal like Zillow and Trulia that give you immediate “estimates” of your home, from hearing your neighbors tell you what their home sold for or another neighbor’s home sold for, you may have many different figures and still be wondering what is my home worth?
Several important factors of pricing your home correctly include:
1. Market conditions when you are selling your home: The real estate market is constantly changing each year and sometimes each month. Market conditions depend on many factors including the economy, politics, season, competition. There are more specifics on some of these factors below.
2. Your home is UNIQUE: Rarely are two homes alike. Even if they are the same size with the same amount of bedrooms and bathrooms, most likely there is something in each home that differs from the other. What about a newly constructed home with homes the same size and style as yours? One may have different upgrades than the other. Even if they have the exact same upgrades, once the new owners move in, who knows what they’ve done in the home to increase or decrease the value?
3. During what season are you selling your home and what’s the competition? When are you selling your home? Are you selling during the spring, summer, winter or fall? Some factors to include in this situation are the market you are in as well, but typically, the spring and summer are HOT markets - Buyers are preparing to move after their children are done with school or when they will have more time in the summer and quite frankly, the weather is nicer making the process of searching for homes a bit more enjoyable. Once the fall comes, buyers with children like to be settled in to their new home. In the winter, there are many distractions, mostly holidays and depending on where you are, typically weather that makes it a bit more unpleasant to trek around and search for a new home. BUT, don’t let that be your final decision on when to sell your home. Being that the market is slower, there is typically less inventory for sale, meaning, if you do want or need to sell your home in a “slower” market, you may have less competition and if your Realtor is a go-getter, they will make sure that all buyers and their Realtor’s that are in the market for a new home (even if they want to take a break from searching) know that your home is available.
4. What’s the competition in my area? How many homes are for sale in your immediate neighborhood, town and surrounding areas? If there are less homes for sale, your value should be higher. The more homes for sale, the more you are competing with those other homes for a certain pool of buyers and your price may have to be adjusted to make it stand out. As always, there are other factors included in this. How is your Realtor marketing your home? How easy is it to show your home? Is your home staged or buyer ready or is your home cluttered? Is your home move-in ready or a fixer or somewhere in between?
Photo courtesy stockmonkey.com
Ultimately, your home will sell for what buyer’s decide your home is worth. What did she just say??? Yes, this may sound horrendous to you, but it’s the ultimate truth in Real Estate. A home is only worth what a buyer will pay for it, without a buyer, there is no sale. It’s important to factor in the above with your Realtor to come up with a strategic market value of your home, but in the end, the buyer or pool of buyers making an offer on your home will decide what it’s worth. A buyer may love your home so much that they will offer significantly above asking (be sure to talk to your Realtor about how to navigate this process to make sure you can actually sell for over “market value”) or buyer’s may offer less that you desire because of many of the factors above and it will be for you to decide how motivated you are to sell the home and possibly figure out if the estimated market value of your home that you and your Realtor decided on is correct.
So, what do you do when you’re wondering “what is my home worth”? How do you know what factors affect the value of your home and how to price your home correctly? Talk to your Realtor and make sure that your Realtor has seen the inside of your home, has a list of upgrades or improvements needed and that they are familiar with the homes in your market. There’s no formula that you can put into a computer, or that zillow can come up with to strategically price your home without knowing specifics and exactly when you plan to sell your home. This is an in-person and researched decision to be made by yourself and your Realtor and then it’s up to you and your Realtor to make sure they take the steps to make your home sale ready and marketing steps are in place to sell for the highest amount possible within your desired time frame.
Would you like to hear how I would market your home? I’d be glad to sit down with you and go over the steps in detail. AgentMaya@gmail.com 510.387.3100