Your assessment may be the real value of your home, but often it doesn’t quite match the market value.

The best way to find the market value (reasonable selling price) of your home is to look at comparable sales in your neighborhood within the past 6 months or so. These are actual completed sales, not homes that are currently on the market. You can’t judge the value of your house based on what someone is hoping to get for theirs.

Only on what they actually DO get for it. Since most homes near you may not be exactly the same as yours, you’d need to factor that into the equation (their home gets a little more because it has a 2 car garage when yours has only one, or your home gets a little more because it’s brick instead of wood siding, etc.)

Look closely at whatever photos you can see online of the recent sales so you are doing a real comparison of their kitchen & baths to yours, etc. One of the things that a Realtor brings to you if you work with one is a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) in which they do the search to find homes that have sold in your area and get a good idea for you of an asking price for your property. Some Realtors go back a full year, some go back about 6 months. The more recent sales you can get, the better. You can do this yourself with a little digging if you want to do a for sale by owner, but it is free if you call a Realtor, and we do them with no strings attached.

Then, once you have a market value that seems reasonable, price it a little higher than that so you have some bargaining room. But not so much higher that you price yourself right out of the market for your type/style of home. Many home owners are now giving a “seller concession” – which is money you contribute at the closing towards the buyer’s closing costs. The maximum concession for many loans right now is 6%. So – if you want to prepare for any buyers that might ask for that in their offer, add that into your price as well.

Be prepared for low bidders and be willing to counter offer. Everyone not only wants to find a bargain, these days, most people need to find one – so don’t be offended. If you’re selling your home in order to buy another, remember you’ll be on the other end of the deal, soon, and hoping to find your own bargain.

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