There are times when you just want to sell a property and move on. Maybe you inherited a place that you just don’t want. Maybe you have to move fast for a job, or maybe you are going through a divorce and everyone involved just needs sot move on. There are lots of reasons you don’t have time to or just don’t want to take the time to play the market and squeeze every possible dollar out of a house.
The biggest thing to remember is that, if you don’t have time to play the market, then DONT PLAY THE MARKET. You want to price your house in such a way that it is interesting to a lot of potential home buyers. You also don’t want to spend a lot of time going back and forth on offers.
Where do you start when finding a price for your house?
There are many ways to find value for your house. Not all of them will actually provide you with a number that will accurately reflect what you can get from a buyer, but they can give you some ideas.
Let’s go over a few:
- Property Tax Assessment – These are pretty easy to find online. You just go to your local government site and plug in the address. The property assessors will have provided a value for your house.
While this may seem very official, you have to remember that this assessment is for the purposes of paying taxes, not buying or selling the house. It is rarely if ever a good market value.
- Home Owners Insurance – Like the tax assessor, your insurer will put a money value on your house. This is the amount of money it would take in the current market to totally rebuild your home from the ground up. However, this does not take into account, the actual land that the house is built on (since you won’t have to ever rebuild that).
- The original cost – If you paid a certain amount when the house was purchased, this in no way means that is what the house is worth to a buyer currently. Times change, markets change.
- Desired value – Basically this is what you “want” to get for the house, or what you think it “should” sell for. It’s usually based on emotion, nostalgia, or just dreams. There is no connection between what an owner wants for a house and what a buyer might be willing to pay for it.
- Getting a value online – There are countless sites on the internet that will give you a price or a price range for your house after you put in the address and answer some standard questions. Unfortunately, this range comes from an algorithm that is designed to work on the most average of houses. Those few questions you answered may not begin to describe your actual house.
The best way to find a fair market price for your home is to get a real estate agent or professional to do a comparative market analysis. These pros have access to data on every house that has been bought and sold in your area for decades past.
Pay attention to the comps.
Real estate “comps” (comparables) are a list of the prices for homes that sold in your area recently. Like the name says, these are homes that are “comparable” to your house in square footage, area, rooms, etc. They are used to determine a home’s fair market value and set your selling price.
But, there are a lot of other factors to consider. Just because other houses have sold for a price doesn’t necessarily mean that you should price your house the same.
While the houses are comparable they are not identical. Even the market is not exactly the same as it was when the other houses sold. Comps are just a starting point to finding a selling price for your home in the current real estate market. It is not, necessarily what your home is worth.
Since you want to sell your house fast, then you don’t want to compete with the comps. If the comps say a fair price for your house is $90k but you see other houses in the area that have sold for $100k or $110k, Stick to the $90k asking price.
If you wanted to take the time to play the market, renovate your property, and wait for the perfect buyer you might be able to get that extra cash. Our goal here, though, is to sell the house fast for a fair price. Selling at $90K will get things moving pretty quickly.
Your house will get lots of attention and offers.
For one thing, It already looks like a bargain. While it is a fair price for your house, home buyers are looking at the same neighborhood comps. If they like the neighborhood and see that some of the other houses are priced higher than yours, interest in your house will increase.
You will get more buyers looking and the offers will come fast. These potential buyers will be so close to your asking price that you will be able to accept an offer in no time. You get to close on the house fast, and move on.
Remember, you are not losing money here.
You have just established a fair price for the house and stuck to it. You may not get as much as a neighbor, or get as much as you think you “should” get, but you are selling the house fast and efficiently, and sometimes that can be worth quite a bit in the end.