There are two critical components when judging a price point for your home when you are ready to sell: Data and the ability to interpret it correctly.
The age of the internet allows people to plug their address into a website or search engine and get an instant evaluation. Annual tax assessments that show state estimated values are helpful. Nearby houses that are already listed or have recently sold can also be a good indicator.
But as helpful as those tools are, they offer an incomplete picture of where the housing market currently stands and where it is headed. This is where the expertise of a Realtor® makes a difference and helps sellers mine the numbers for what they really show.
“A Realtor can interpret the data, work through the information and help sellers make the best choice on how to start,” said Julie Rietberg, the chief executive officer of the Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors®. “A professional is going to see a home through all the lenses that exist and present the best opportunity for the sellers.”
Computer-generated values offer a delayed look at the housing market, in hot or cold times. Sellers should approach tax and assessed values with the same caution based on dated figures used in the calculation. And currently listed or recently sold properties may have features that lower or elevate their value.
Neighborhoods, school districts, lifestyle amenities such as walkability and the functional use of space in your home can all influence and affect what your listing price should be, experts say.
A competitive market analysis performed by your Realtor® will show where your house fits in the current market. A house bought just a year ago could be worth much more based on market movements, housing demand and home inventory, Rietberg said.
“Without a Realtor®, sellers really risk underpricing their home and having a sale not represent what the house is worth, or it could lead homeowners to overprice and get frustrated because their house isn’t selling,” Rietberg said. “We always believe, and we understand how self-serving it sounds, that the best move and your biggest need is to hire a Realtor® to be your guide.”