Someone called me last week in a panic because he’d visited one of the big real estate sites (like Zillow or Trulia) and the value listed for his Wasilla home was $40,000 less than what his neighbor recently got for his home. Yes, he said, the homes are nearly identical.
This is a common complaint from homeowners who attempt to get the current market value of their Wasilla homes from websites that make “guestimates,” based on very limited information. Hey, your home may be one of your largest investments – do you really want someone who has likely never been to Wasilla let alone your neighborhood to guess at its value? Feel comfortable getting a home evaluation from a site that not all MLS sites provide information?
So, today let’s take a look at how homeowners in Wasilla determine the listing price for their homes.
The best listing price should reflect the home’s market value. To determine this, you’ll need a real estate agent that is familiar with Wasilla and who has been in the business long enough to be an expert at analyzing market data.
Simply put, market value for any home is what a willing buyer will pay for it. How do we figure that out? By looking at what they’ve been willing to pay recently for homes similar to yours – homes that have sold.
Now, unless you live in a cookie-cutter housing tract, your home is not going to be identical to anyone else’s in the neighborhood. So, here are a few things we compare when coming up with the market value of a home:
We look for homes that were built around the same time, typically trying to stay within 3 years of either side of the date yours was built.
Next, we’ll choose homes roughly the same size as yours. Square footage is important, but so is the number of bedrooms and especially bathrooms. Everything else being similar, a home with more than one bathroom will be worth more than a home with a single bathroom.
Location is paramount in real estate sales so we try to use homes that have sold in your neighborhood. It’s not always possible, however, so we will gradually enlarge the search, trying to remain within one mile or so of your neighborhood.
4. Upgrades, amenities and condition
This part of the process is where experience in analyzing market data is critical. We will compare the other homes’ amenities to those in your home. Professional appraisers will give more value to a recently remodeled home than to one that hasn’t been remodeled. Updated kitchens get favorable treatment as does a well-maintained home.
Once we’ve analyzed these four factors when comparing yours to the recent sold homes in your area, we are able to determine market value, and a suggested asking price, for your home.