Once you decide to sell your house, you'll likely ask your real estate agent how much they think you can get for it. In fact, appropriately listing your home can attract more prospective buyers, making for a quicker sale. While several elements play into the final answer, including what buyers may want, agents rely on a few key factors.
Become Familiar with the Current Housing Market
A main consideration in determining a home's listing price is the state of the housing market, especially whether it's trending toward a buyer's or seller's market. This will influence how much sway agents have in asking for the seller's top price. For example, if there are more homes than buyers in a buyer's market, there'll be less flexibility. While in a seller's market, there is more competition for fewer homes, and the price can be towards the higher end of your asking price, with a chance of the seller getting more from a possible bidding war.
If you or your agent are unaware of the state of the market, you could jeopardize your financial circumstance by having the property on the market longer than intended.
Consider the Surroundings
Another thing an agent will research is "comparable properties" in the area, commonly called comps. With their pulse on the market, your agent should be able to tap into comparable home sale data to get you the most accurate value price. You can also assist by sharing your findings from real estate sites, which almost always have a listing price, but be aware these do not always accurately reflect its value.
For more precise evaluations, look for recently sold homes with similar features, including the year it was built, whether a one or two-story and its square footage. You should also consider selecting a comp in the same subdivision as yours that is subjected to similar HOA rules and belongs to the same school district.
Surprisingly, the property's location can be more important than its size and condition. Associated with noise pollution, proximity to a busy airport or major highway can significantly hurt its sale. However, facets like the school district, a nearby lively downtown area or a shopping and recreational center may positively impact the sale.
The Features of the House
Once these external factors have been explored, the agent will focus on the property. While most features are subjective to potential buyers, for instance, some may believe there is more value in a spacious backyard than an extra bedroom, the second most popular reason for home purchasing is size.
The official value of a property is centered around price per square foot. This estimation is collected when the sale price is divided by the home's square footage. However, garages, attics and partial basements are not tallied into this total. These are considered independent, unusable, versus usable spaces, like bedrooms and bathrooms, which are highly valued and can contribute to a better sale price.
While you can't change the age of your home, you can update its systems for a higher appraisal value. Buyers are more willing to pay for a newer, move-in-ready home, knowing these revisions will generate savings in the long run. The areas worth the most attention are plumbing, electrical and the roof, which could cost a homeowner over $14,000 if a replacement is needed. But that doesn't necessarily mean you need to invest all your time upgrading and updating; not every new feature holds a similar weight.
Depending on the current market and your existing home value, you should focus on the smaller upgrades rather than the bigger ones. For example, focus on minor updates for a less expensive listing, like remodeling the kitchen, and update the flooring for more expensive listings. At NMC Realty, we pride ourselves on being clear and concise and acting as equal partners with you on the real estate journey.