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How to Price Your Home
If you’re thinking about selling your home, you first need to know it’s value. There are 4 common ways to determine your home’s value, but only one method is considered accurate. We’ll explain how to choose the right option to make sure your home sells fast and for the highest possible price.
Home Value Methods
The four common ways to determine your home’s value are:
1. Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)
Commonly referred to as “Comparative Market Analysis”, CMA’s are a professional estimate of your home’s value. The term, “CMA” is Realtor-speak for searching similar homes for sale with those that have sold recently and then comparing those homes to yours using a sophisticated market analysis. Similar homes that have sold in the past 3 months are considered the most accurate comp.
2. Internet “Estimates”
A number of internet website now offer home estimators to lure you onto their site. These sites attempt to provide a CMA, but there’s one big problem. They’re usually not very accurate. For example, Zillow’s home estimator, called Zestimate, attempts to give you a “ballpark” figure of what your home’s value. Unfortunately, when we compared our professional CMAs to Zillow’s estimates, their Zestimate have been wrong by $100,000 in some cases. In fact, we sold one Clovis home for $75,000 more than Zillow listed its value as. That can mean only 1 of 2 things. We’re either a fantastic real estate company, or Zillow was flat out wrong.
Zillow and similar online companies are “fun” to browse though, but remember that a computer can’t know the condition of your home or determine whether you just redid your kitchen or put in new hardwood floor and paint. Plus, you don’t want to risk throwing away tens of thousands of dollars because some computer miscalculated the value of your home.
An appraisal is another form of home value estimator done by a licensed appraiser. Appraisers crunch numbers like a Realtor does to arrive at a home’s value. Most appraisals are conducted by independent appraisers. Unfortunately, many home appraisals these days are done by outside appraisers who don’t live in or know the area. Because of this, their appraisals often times are much lower than expected. You can appeal low appraisals, but it’s a time-consuming and complicated process.
In addition, appraisals are expensive. You’ll have to pay $300 to $400 for a home appraisal. That’s money you could use to stage your home or spruce it up so it sells faster.
4. Fair Market Value
The only real way to know the true market value of your home is to put it on the market and sell it. You may think your home is worth $1 million dollars and it might be to you. But in real estate and economics, your home is only worth what someone else will pay for it.
However, fair market value doesn’t help much when you’re just trying to figure out what your home is worth in order to decide whether it makes economic sense to sell in today’s market or wait a bit longer.
Pricing Your Home
Before you put your home on the market, you’ll first want a CMA to know how much others have paid for similar homes. Remember, a CMA will tell you about other homes for sale in your neighborhood, how much they’re listed for, and what other similar to yours homes have sold for in the past 3-6 months.
There’s nothing wrong with an online home value estimator. Just don’t rely on it exclusively to price your home. It could be off by tens of thousands of dollars since a computer can’t “see” inside your home and therefore determine the condition and value of your home and whether you’ve made any upgrades, etc.
Instead of guessing the value of your home, just contact us. We’ll provide you an accurate CMA by looking at your entire neighborhood and evaluating what homes have sold for and then compare them to yours. We’ll then tell you what’s the top price you can expect to sell your home in today’s market.
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