INSIGHTS AND TIPS – Netting Top Dollar for Your Home by The Langrocks

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We hope this significant information will give you an edge in achieving top dollar in the least amount of time when you consider selling. The highlights below are a summary from two articles in two previous blogs: “Mistakes Sellers Often Make” and “Sellers May Need a Reality Check on Price” with our comments and tips added

In a recent article, “…a new study finds…Homeowners tend to overestimate the value of their properties by about 8% according to a study published in the Journal of Housing Economics.”

“The Seattle Times asked appraisers why homeowners tend to overvalue their homes. The appraisers said homeowners tend to have unrealistic expectations about how much their improvements add to the home’s resale value.

“Consumers may think they can get back what they put into the improvements they’ve made over the years,” says Tom Horn, an appraiser in Birmingham, Ala. “But it doesn’t work that way.” “Appraisers also note that home owners often don’t realize that they may have over-improved their home compared to others in the neighborhood, which can lead to overestimated values.”

“Too often, what the seller believes their home is worth is not realistic…. Home owners tend to get a much lower price when they overprice a home at the onset and then drop the price several times. The longer the home lingers on a market, the more likely it will receive a deeper discount, notes®…McEnearney Associates, a real estate company in McLean, Va., found that to be true. “Homes for sale in August 2013 sold within the first week on the market for an average of 2.08 percent above list price, while homes that stayed on the market four months sold for an average of 11.53 percent below the original price.”

“A reasonable price would be based on comparable properties which are selling for a home’s appraised value…. No offers within a 30-day period means the price is too high,” real estate sales associate Diana Morris told The Washington Post.”

As homeowners, we understand. As Realtors, these articles echo what we see playing out across our local landscape. Throughout our career we have seen value studies showing $.80 on the dollar, at most, for a new kitchen and it goes down from there for other upgrades. So it’s important to be mindful of this. And, oftentimes, homeowners tell us they’ve checked their home’s worth online with websites like One of THE best sites out there is – we are Zillow Premier Agents – but Zillow, along with the other online real estate websites, contains inaccuracies. That’s because they’re not a Multiple Listing Service nor are they current with the real time MLS. These sites are fun and have value; they have excellent maps and do reflect overall market trends. However, specifics are skewed. Their estimates of value rely solely on, and are limited to, public tax records. Multiplying your home’s square footage by the average sold price/sf found in tax records does not convey true and fair market value. These “comparables” are unseen, possibly not like-kind, with no consideration for condition, upgraded/dated, contemporary/traditional, lot size, waterfront, view, schools, etc; these directly impact evaluation. We’ve researched online estimates of value and while sometimes the prices are in the ballpark more often their assigned worth is higher or lower than fair market value. A genuine comparable market analysis (CMA) or appraisal does you justice and nets you more money.

Empirical evidence reveals pricing a home too high or not high enough negatively impacts a seller’s net; pricing on the high side of reasonable is the wisest strategy. Our time tested 30-day marketing plan starts with a plausible and mutually agreeable listing offered realistically high to a CMA. This insures no money is left on the closing table. During the listing, our communication and review of the incoming data (feedback, number of showings, etc) is key to our successful approach. We fine tune as needed, generate offers, negotiate the best acceptable high end contract and, nowadays, pray it appraises. We will net top dollar in the least amount of time. Call and see.