When it is time to sell the house, there is one thing that should always come to your mind – the price tag your house will carry. The price that you set on your beloved home will affect everything else during the selling process. It will affect the number of phone calls from your agent, the carry-out dinners and sleepless nights till that house get sold. And it will affect the number of negotiating conversations made with potential buyers as well.
With so much happenings around that price tag, you may be wondering where to start and how to fix it for time being. Well, do not worry because this information is written to give you an overall picture of setting house price. Remember that, prices are never set in stone. There will be room for negotiation; sometimes houses will end up under-priced due to urgency of the situation or overpriced because the seller thinks that the house has special features that the neighbor’s doesn’t. Then there are several solid paths to pricing the house.
Tax assessment office is where you want to begin. This is for those sellers who don’t want to ask real estate agents. Most tax assessment figures may not give you the exact value of your house but a rough figure of what the base price should be. This is because, in many localities, the assessments are 70 or 80 percent of the market value of the property. Again, even if the evaluation is 100 percent, the number may be inaccurate due to other factors such as market condition, demand and supply. Still, by all means, your tax assessor’s office can be of great help in determining this valuable number.
Next thing to do is to self-assess your house by personal comparison shopping. Tax records will show what you neighbor property sold for in the recent years. Compare the actual selling price of similar houses in similar neighborhoods. Where does your house stand? The larger the number of houses sold in your area, the clearer the picture you will get to estimate its value. If possible, call agents and ask their opinion about setting a particular price for the house. You won’t regret making that call because some agents even go to the length of providing you with a comparative market analysis (CMA) tool that will gather data from various levels. Try to get as many comps as possible from different agents. Then compare each property with that of yours.
Of course, you cannot bring that Victorian era house to a state that looks like it was built yesterday, but whatever replacement cost that you figure out is needed to make the place livable and salable should be considered here. Besides, there are only a handful of craftspeople with the skill to remodel old homes like yours without losing the style. Most sellers don’t have the time or money to spend on ‘not-so-perfect’ homes. Instead they incorporate this cost to the asking price. But if you were bold and went ahead with complete overhaul or tweaking here and there like new carpet, special lighting fixtures or custom-made draperies, kudos to you! You can now add that cost to the tax assessment number. Still, you will have more zeroing in to do.
A professional appraisal is the conventional form and the most accurate form of finding the value of a house to be sold. A licensed real estate appraiser will make a careful inspection of your house, measure the rooms, determine the condition of the structure and note down features and extras. Then he or she will research more on the house based on the record from past sales in the neighborhood. He may seek help from agents, people around the place even city officials for the purpose. He will then judge based on this information and arrive at a price that he thinks an ideal buyer will pay for the house.