Blanco County News
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The Real Estate Corner
Do you have an idea what your home is worth?
Wednesday, July 27, 2011 • Posted July 28, 2011 2:43 PM

Despite the fact that you know your home better than anyone, you may not be able to easily gauge its value. Setting a price that will lead to a quick sale for the highest possible amount is no easy task.

Don't count on it

Realistic pricing of any product requires two things: the ability to look at it with unbiased eyes and solid knowledge of the market for that product. When you put your home up for sale, you should consider it a commodity in a business transaction.

Many homeowners have a hard time emotionally detaching themselves from the home, and naturally so. It has been the setting for your family's memories for many years. Also, you probably invested a great deal of money and sweat in home-improvement projects. Here's the thing about remodels and improvements, though: most projects return less at the time of sale than what you spent on them. Seller expectations are not factored into the market value of a home.

What's the bottom line to you as a seller? Unless a factor directly influences what a buyer is willing to pay for a given property, that factor has no bearing on the market value of the property.

PotentiallyInaccurate.com

Many real estate websites provide tips, listings, warnings, suggestions, news, opinion, interactive maps and property valuations. Some of this content is helpful and compelling; some of it is cynical, misguided, exceedingly general or utterly inaccurate.

How do these sites relate to pricing? Well, one of the most common real estate-related searches is "how much is my home worth?" In your search results, you'll see destinations like Realtor.com, Zillow.com and RealEstate.Yahoo.com. While these sites are loaded with good information and the results of your home valuation may be intriguing, I caution you against over-relying on them to accurately assess the market value your home.

So what does count?

Local market conditions are extremely important. In a buyer's market, or when inventory is high, overpriced homes will sit... and sit... and sit. Eventually, the seller has to come down on the asking price to stimulate more interest. In a seller's market, properties get snatched up quickly, sometimes with multiple offers, which can end well for the seller.

Recently sold homes in close proximity to each other that have similar characteristics and amenities provide valuable information when developing an asking price. However, even next-door houses can vary significantly in square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and improvements, creating a large disparity in market value.

A combination of location and buyer preference is also significant. Buyers will pay more for homes with location-based amenities they value, like a spectacular view, proximity to shopping, work, or hospitals, a pedestrian- or bike-friendly neighborhood, and good school districts.

Outside factors also influence our market. Buyers' ability to borrow and lenders' willingness to issue credit are both heavily influenced by the prevailing economic conditions. Interest rates, available mortgage products and terms, downpayment assistance programs and other factors all influence what a buyer is willing or able to pay for a property.

Here to help

Accurate pricing is a critical consideration in a home sale. Every property will sell, if priced correctly.

For more information about buying or selling real estate in Texas, or to find a Texas Realtor®, I encourage you to visit TexasRealEstate.com.

For your real estate needs, contact RE/MAX Genesis at 830-833-2000.

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