Help for Homesellers

It’s a seller’s market! Should you take advantage of it? 

If you own your home, it’s definitely worth considering. But where do you begin? How do you know how much your home is worth and whether or not it makes financial sense to sell?

I can help you answer those questions in one of two ways. 1) a one-on-one complimentary consultation at a time and place of your convenience; or, 2) via a free, group presentation on Sat., March 11th in West Seattle.

My BHHS (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) colleague, Shari Kruse, and I will be co-presenters. Together, we have over 45 years of experience helping people just like you, buy and sell their homes. Our goal is always to get our sellers the most amount of money in the least amount of time, and we have a proven track record of doing just that. 

If you are considering selling, the first thing you need to do is to get a professional CMA (comparative market analysis) from one or more experienced Realtors®. Not all CMA’s are created equal, however.

My preferred method is to use a two-step process. I make an initial visit to your home to tour your property and discuss your goals, then I go to work finding comparable properties to use in the written report I will review with you a few days later.

At the end, I will provide you with TWO suggested list prices.

The first is the price you should ask if you want to sell “As Is.” I.e. if you want to put your house on the market with little-to-no preparation.

The second is the price you can expect to get if you do a list of recommended repairs.

My presentation will also include a “Net Proceeds” sheet that will show you how much of a profit you can expect after paying off your current mortgage and deducting selling expenses.

It is rarely a good idea to do major remodeling just for the sake of getting a higher price. The chances of your tastes matching those of potential buyers is too low to justify the time and expense. Besides, most remodeling projects do not even re-coup their costs, let alone increase the value beyond that point.

Remodeling Magazine publishes an annual report called “Cost vs. Value.” It includes information about how much you can expect to spend on specific remodeling projects and how much of the investment you are likely to regain in resale value. The report even goes so far as to provide statistics that are geographically specific to various parts of the country, including Seattle. You can download the report here: Cost vs. Value 2017 – Seattle.

You undoubtedly have many, many more questions about the process of selling your home. As I said above, I am happy to help either one-on-one or by way of a group presentation.

Give me a call today to discuss your real estate needs. 206-708-9800.

Posted 2/8/17

 

Determining home value: What makes a good “Comp” for your home?

Photo of home and patio

In real-estate-speak, a “comp” refers to a comparable property used to help you, the homeowner, determine the current market value of your home.

Most any real estate broker will happily prepare a complimentary CMA for you as a preliminary step to listing your home for sale, but a CMA can also be useful in other circumstances. For instance, you may want a CMA to present to your bank prior to paying for an appraisal when refinancing your home loan, or when helping an elderly parent assess their assets.

It’s helpful to note that not all CMA’s are created equally, i.e. with the same degree of attention and care. Don’t be afraid to ask more than one agent to prepare a CMA for you. Their willingness (especially if you are not yet committed to listing your home) and the quality of the report can help you decide if they are the best agent to help you, whether now or down the road.

What should a carefully prepared CMA look like?

First, it will show homes in the same neighborhood with similar statistics for the basics such as number of bedrooms and bathrooms, lot size, year built, and amount of living space. These numbers need not be exactly the same, but the variance should be within about 10%. For example, a home with 1600 square feet of living space could be compared with others in the range of 1400-1800 square feet.

The architectural style of a home is also significant in determining value. Comparing a two-story home to a home that has one-story and a basement or a split-level will call for some adjustment in the value. This is because buyers (and appraisers) tend to assign less value to a remodeled basement than to a finished second story.

Location within a neighborhood can also affect the value of the home. Is it on a busy street? A corner lot? Across from a run-down property? On a dead-end street? If few homes in your neighborhood have sold recently, you may need to look at home sales in similarly valued areas within a few miles of yours.

Older homes should not be compared to new construction, of course. And homes built more than 20-30 years ago should have similar degrees of remodeling/restoration. I.e., a home with the original 1945 kitchen is not going to compare favorably with a home that has new granite countertops and stainless steel appliance. This is one of the main reasons that it is so difficult for automated (i.e. computer generated) home valuations to be accurate. They lack the advantage of the human eye.

Parking accommodations are also a financially significant factor when calculating property value. Is there covered parking? If so, is it attached? Detached? Garage or carport? Is there space for multiple cars, for a boat or an RV?

A seasoned agent will be able to estimate how much each deviation between the properties being used for comparison affects their respective values. For instance, two properties may be comparable in almost every way EXCEPT one has a garage and the other has no covered parking. The agent should be able to tell you that the garage will be worth an extra “X” number of dollars to the average buyer in your market.

As you can see, estimating the value of a home presents some significant challenges. The number is somewhat of a moving target. Keep in mind that list prices are merely a wish, and sold prices are yesterday’s news. That makes pending sales the most valuable source of information because they indicate the price point at which a buyer was enticed to make an offer today.

Contact me today to request a CMA for your home.

Posted 2/1/17