“If you’re a seller in this buyer’s market, determining how much your home is worth can be a frustrating process, as listing prices can be—in general—off by 10 percent or more,” says Mary Lynn Stone, President of Century 21 New Millennium. When demand for housing is low, and the inventory of available homes is high, buyers are able to make more demands, and the difference between your listing price and your actual selling price can be significant. To speed up the selling process, making sure you list your home at an appropriate price is crucial.
“There is more than one way to determine how much your home is worth,” notes Stone. “A comparative market analysis and an appraisal are two of the most reliable methods, and often it is worth doing both to get a good feel on where your pricing should lie.” A comparative market analysis is an informal value estimate based on the selling prices of similar properties in your area, usually sold within the past year, as well as the asking price on sales in your neighborhood that are currently for sale. “Taking a look at both of these factors—homes in your demographic currently for sale and homes recently sold—is a great way to avoid over or under pricing because, chances are, buyers are going to be looking at those properties, too.”
Getting an appraisal by a certified appraiser is another way to get a handle on the value of your home. “An appraiser comes to your property to inspect the types of things that will affect your home’s worth, such as size and square footage, number of rooms, neighborhood statistics and any work that needs to be done on the property,” says Stone. While the appraised value, the price determined by an appraiser, could be different than the market value—or what the house is worth during a given market—getting an appraisal can still be a helpful guideline.
“The listing price, what you ask for your home, and the sales price, what your home actually sells for in the end, may be very different, but doing research and finding a realistic selling price right from the start can negate disappointment and frustration while you look for a buyer,” explains Stone.
CENTURY 21 New Millennium. Smarter. Bolder. Faster.
CENTURY 21 New Millennium, www.c21nm.com, is a full service real estate brokerage company specializing in residential and luxury properties. The Virginia locations are in Alexandria, Centreville, Culpeper, Fredericksburg, Gainesville, McLean, Stafford, and Woodbridge. The Maryland offices are located in Annapolis, Dunkirk, La Plata, Lexington Park and Lusby. Its core services include: mortgage financing, investing, settlement services, property management, property insurance, global relocation assistance, and commercial real estate.