Here are some of the most important factors that
determine home values, as well as a guide to setting the optimum price
for your home.
Ask any Realtor the most important factors in determining home values,
and the most likely response will be location. Everything else hinges
on that one factor. The value of two houses with a similar floor plan,
lot size and features, may vary by up to several thousand dollars, depending
on where they're located.
There are a number of other factors which come into play with regard
to location, including:
Good Schools, preferably within easy walking distance.
Even if you do not have school-aged children, this will make a difference
in your home's resale value. · Convenient access to shopping and business
centers. You'll also want easy access to major thoroughfare, or a
freeway. However, you don't want to be so close that noise or traffic
congestion becomes a problem. Houses directly adjacent to main roads
may have a lower value than similar houses slightly further away.
A low crime rate. Everybody wants to feel safe at
home. The presence of a neighborhood Block Watch program is also beneficial.
A clean well-kept neighborhood with a variety of residents,
including young families, singles, and retirees.
Houses on a cul-de-sac are especially appealing because
there is minimal traffic and it generally comes from people who live
Features Buyers Look For
Taste and style varies in different areas and among individual buyers.
It can be difficult to generalize, there are a number of features buyers
look for which can enhance the marketability of your home, including:
An open floor plan and lots of windows that make the
house feel bright, roomy and comfortable. For houses larger than 2,000
square fee, many buyers will prefer multi-levels.
A large kitchen that provides easy accesses or is
open to the family room. Buyers want plenty of counter and cabinet
space and an island can create an easily accessible work area. A breakfast
bar and up-to-date appliances are other key selling points.
A large family room and master bedroom suite is very
popular now. Today's buyers prefer walk-in closets and plenty of storage
Vaulted ceilings are popular in newer homes and create
a feeling of spaciousness.
Porch or Patio can also be an important selling feature,
a place where people can easily entertain. Covered patios are especially
popular, as are screened in patios.
Finding The Right Selling Price
This is an area where my experience can really help you. You need to
set a price that gives you the return you want, but are not so high
that your home lingers on the market for lack of potential buyers.
The first step is to compare selling prices in your area. I can research
the sale prices for the past six months to a year on houses similar
to yours, as well as the assessed value of your home.
Next, I'll evaluate your home's location, lot size, age along with
size, condition and number of bedrooms and baths. I'll also factor in
extra features or improvements you've made, such as the addition of
a swimming pool, that make you house stand out from others.
Finally, I'll look at what cosmetic or other improvements you can make
to increase your home's curb appeal and help it to show well. There
are a number of low-cost fix-ups you can make that will enhance the
marketability of your house and increase the potential for a higher
With all these factors in mind, the right price is usually within 5%
of the fair market value, which itself is a constantly changing factor.
Avoid Pricing Errors
The best opportunity for selling your home is during its first 30
days on the market. That's the period when the greatest number of buyers
Set the price too high, and many potential buyers won't
even consider your home because they can find a better value somewhere
else. If they don't believe your price is justified, they won't even
bother to look at it, let alone make an offer. Even if they can afford
it, a lender may not approve a loan if the appraisal is lower than the
contract price, and you may lose your buyer.
In addition, the longer your home stays on the market
the more difficult it may become to sell. Potential buyers who found
your price too high have moved on the look at other houses leaving you
with a smaller pool of prospects. Buyers seeing your home on the market
for several months may assume something is wrong with it. You may even
have to drop your price below competing houses in order to attract prospects.