What’s my house worth?
In answering you, let’s start with the part of my answer that you won’t like: there is a chance your house may not sell at the amount it’s worth TO YOU. That’s primarily due to it being “worth” different amounts to different people. All people don’t value the same traits and features equally, and neither do banks and appraisers.
The real question then becomes: “What is my house likely to sell for in today’s market?”
The answer depends mainly on 3 things:
1. The amount that you, the seller will accept,
2. The amount that the buyer is willing to pay, and
3. The amount an appraiser can justify based on
recent comparable sales.
Let’s say your house was purchased a few years ago for $250,000. Since then you made improvements totaling $20,000. If you figure in some appreciation, you’re likely to expect it will sell for at least $280,000 or more and that’s what you’d accept.
Let’s also say that the first buyer through the door loved the house and offered you full price. So far we’re doing well.
The buyer applies for a loan and the bank sends out the appraiser. Much of his focus will be on WHAT those projects were, the overall condition of your home and the extent of value and buyer appeal the updates added to your original investment. It also depends on the sale price of other comparable homes and whether they truly are similar. Example: the appraisal value at time of selling won’t be equal for a new kitchen of quartz and custom tile flooring vs Hi-Mac counters and laminate.
Although interior painting in the currently trending neutral colors won’t typically entitle you to a huge increase in asking price, it may very well push a buyer to choose your home over others and give you a quicker sale.
What sometimes happens: the appraiser reports back to the lender that the house isn’t “worth” what both you and the buyer thought it was. Maybe a custom-designed multi-color counter, with the embedded recycled glass shards, didn’t add as much value to the appraised value as it did to you. He’s looking out for the bank’s interest in making that loan and something so unique in personal taste can have a lower value to someone else than to you, who chose it.
This creates untold frustration all around and may even cause you to waste a lot of time going back on the market to look for another buyer.
How can you avoid that nightmare?
By setting the correct price. Not so high that it doesn’t stand out when compared to other homes in that price range, and not too low either, because you don’t want to leave money on the table. The right buyers will see your home and you’ll receive the highest return on your investment. And let’s face it: no one wants the hassle of having showings indefinitely, right?
Being passionate about top-notch photography and marketing, I ensure that your home look it’s very best and most appealing to buyers. With just about everyone starting their home search online, showcasing your home with great photos is A MUST if you want to encourage appointments. Many agents haven’t caught on to this yet and the MLS is proof of that. There’s no lack of poor listing photos to be found.
Many of my listings will be outfitted with either a 360º interactive self-guided tour, or a walk-thru video tour. These are in addition to premium photography. Buyers love being able to walk through your home, virtually, from their laptop, tablet or phone. And, when they do schedule an appointment to view in person, they already feel comfortable there because they “walked through” the house already. Just like they’re coming home.
These enhancements, combined with effective social media marketing, work together to cultivate a buyer’s interest and draw them to your front door. From there, the staging you’ve done and attention to detail will encourage buyers to envision their bright & happy future in the house and compel them to make an offer before someone else does. That reaction is precisely my goal.