If you're getting ready to sell your house, it seems like there is a never ending to do list just to get your house listed. Whether your home is designed for a young, first-time buyer or is a luxury property, setting the appropriate price is always a concern.
Home sellers must balance wanting to get top dollar for the home vs. a property that languishes on the market.
One of the top reasons homes sit on the market is because of the price.
We're all tempted to list a home on the high side, thinking a price reduction can easily be made down the road. It might be the location or the home features that prompt a person to want to "sell high." But often, people exhibit too much bias on the true value of their home. Memories, home decor and home improvements suited more to a specific lifestyle can often get in the way of valuing a property appropriately.
Some homes are surely worth more than the first valuation you receive. But deciding to work with a real estate agent simply because they give you a higher price isn't always the best option. It turns out that many houses end up sitting on the market or selling for below market value just because they were originally priced too high.
Home values are always changing
The tough part about the real estate market is that there are no set numbers. As we saw in 2007 and 2008, changes in the housing market can happen suddenly without much advance warning.
The job of a good real estate broker is to help clients figure out market timing with insider knowledge of how homes are selling and have been selling over the course of the year.
The market is still giving home sellers in Denver top dollar for their home as home values are among the highest in years. So what changes things in times like these?
Seasons plays a role
Even weather can change the value of your home. It's important to consider the climate of your area and know how optimal time to list your home.
Home prices dropping in the winter is a common trend as there are fewer buyers willing to make a purchase (and move) when there's a foot of snow on the ground. Summer is traditionally the most popular season for buying and selling.
But this doesn't mean that you should avoid selling during the winter at all. In fact, there can be some benefits to selling your home in the winter. Because the inventory is traditionally low, a motivated buyer is more likely to agree to the asking price. Less competition may provide an opportunity for your home to stand out and be noticed.
Ways to find your home's value
When it comes to finding out your home's value, you have a number of options.
Getting a real estate brokerage like Usaj Realty to take a look at your home and give you a price is one option. You will want to make sure that your real estate agent has a successful record of getting their clients a sale with a good price!
You can also use websites and online tools that give you estimate of your home's value. However, this method can only give you a partial valuation since a "formula" doesn't take into consideration neighborhood, recent sales and unique features of your home.
Because homes aren't one-size-fits-all, your two bedroom, two bath home may be similar to your neighbor's but in fact, may be worth a much difference price.
Usaj Realty has knowledgeable agents who can research your neighborhood, area trends and establish a price that reflects the true value of your home.
Staging your home is an effective tool to help sell your home faster and hit your asking price. Professional home stagers can be worth the investment with proper placement of furniture and visually pleasing home decor that will make your home stand out. Even if you can't hire a specialist, many Usaj Realty brokers specialize in interior design and can assist you with priceless tips and tricks.
Knowing the style trends, and decluttering your home are steps in the right direction. Removing excess furniture enables potential buyers to envision themselves as owners of the house and help formulate ideas on how they would personalize the residence.
Making small updates to your light fixtures, kitchen and bath, and applying a fresh coat of paint to the walls can all help your home sell faster.
Landscaping is another element of your home that can impact the value. During the winter, make sure snow is cleared from the driveway, sidewalk and deck/patio. Shrubs should be trimmed and flower pots stored. In the spring and summer, weekly lawn maintenance is critical. Brighten up the surroundings with seasonal flowers and fresh greenery.
We all like a good makeover, so take a look at your house and consider whether or not a new coat of paint could spruce up the exterior. Make sure all necessary repairs are made to roof shingles, shutters, doors and fences.
The visual appeal of a home is a very subjective matter and, as a result, hard to value. People may enjoy the warmth of a French country style home while others prefer a more contemporary feel. Still others may place more importance on the neighborhood in which the house is located. Whether there are good schools or inviting parks nearby, some people choose a home more for the surroundings than the actual residence. All of these elements come into play when placing a price tag on a house.
Who should determine your home value estimate
When establishing a price for your home, keep in mind the following tips:
- Online tools are a great starting point for home owners who want to explore the possibility of selling their home.
- You can check out comparable houses in your neighborhood, start looking for your next home and get your first estimate all from the comfort of your couch.
- Be wary of these tools when establishing a price for your home -- they may not be as accurate as they seem.
- Make sure you keep the receipts and detailed information of all the home improvement projects you've completed. These records can be invaluable in helping establish a competitive price for your home.
- To get the best and correct price for your home, seek a professional recommendation from someone with expansive experience in selling homes for top dollar.
Usaj Realty brokers are more than happy to do this for you using their market insight, access to a suite of industry-related resources, and research knowledge. Please contact us if you are considering selling your home.
(Editor's note: This blog was originally published in December, 2016. It has been revised and updated to reflect current market trends).