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What is Your House Worth?

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Posted by: Claire Belby on Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 7:00:00 am

What is Your House Worth?

So you are convinced now is the time to sell your current home and move on to your next adventure. There are two basic, but critical factors in this decision. When and for how much? The when has been established. Now is a great time to list. Prices are up four to eight percent across the region. Closed sales are up 13 percent meaning buyers are out there and, most importantly, inventory is low so any new listings hitting the market really stand out.

Pricing your new listing is an art and a science. Your REALTOR® is highly trained in this regard and will help make sure your home is priced competitively. The chief tool your agent will use is called a comp or comparable. Any agent you interview to list your home should be prepared to show you recent history on comparable homes sold in your area. A true comparable should address area, square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms and other amenities.

The comps represent market value. Market value can often be quite different than assessed value. Local REALTOR® Kathy Hall says, “I typically see homes with assessed values 25-30 percent lower to 25-30 percent higher than their true market value, depending on the county.”

She says assessed values can be off by that wide of a margin because the valuation is based on the most current data. If there has not been a property sold in the area recently, the data used by county assessors could be several years old. Also, since assessments don’t include inspections of the interior of the homes, they don’t typically account for upgrades. The data available to a REALTOR® through shared listing data is vastly more comprehensive.

Online valuations abound as well. Again, the data source is often unknown so rely on your REALTORS®’ advice about pricing. Ask lots of questions about how they arrived at that price point. They should be prepared to lay out their pricing methodology so that you can make the best decision for your listing. 

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