Resources to help research home prices

Resources to help research home prices

So you’ve decided to sell your home – congratulations! While there are many reasons to move, there is one thing that links all sellers: anxiety over how to price their home.

Agreeing on an asking price can be difficult. Price too high and a house can sit on the market for weeks – or months – longer than it should. Price too low and risk selling quickly but leaving money on the table.

Luckily for sellers, there are more resources than ever to help them settle on an asking price. Between the expertise of listing agents and the accessibility of online property sites, the following resource guide can help you set the ideal price for your home.

Start with an online price calculator

Online home price calculators are a great starting point when researching the value of your home. Look for an online calculator that factors in information such as zip code, square footage, and estimated price of similar homes in the area; information like this can help create a more accurate home estimate.

Keep in mind that online price calculators can be spot on, wildly inaccurate, and everywhere in between. Don’t get your heart set on a sale price before doing additional research or speaking to a real estate agent.

Use real estate websites for ideas and comparison

A good real estate agent is a valuable resource, but homeowners ultimately have the final say on setting the price of their home. Doing research on property and listing websites can help you better understand local real estate trends when trying to settle on a home price.

Look at similar homes that have the same finishes, square footage, attributes, location, and more. Likewise, make sure to take note of what sets your home apart; an additional bedroom, updated kitchen, or outdoor living space can all add value that may not be reflected in an online estimate.

Beware that not all listing sites are created equal. Realtor.com®, for example, aggregates its listing from Multiple Listing Services (MLS) around the country; listings are refreshed every 15 minutes to provide buyers with the most up-to-date information. Redfin, another large listing and brokerage site, also aggregates its data from MLSs. Sites like Trulia and Zillow, however, collect their listing data from other sources and are not always as up-to-date or accurate.

Check in with a local agent

While online listing sites such as Zillow offer plenty of local market data, these estimates lack nuance and understanding. Unlike a property website, a real estate agent:

  • Has experience in the community
  • Understands local real estate trends
  • Can adjust pricing recommendations based on a thorough tour of the inside and outside of the property
  • Compares your home to similar properties that have recently sold
  • Can make predictions about a home’s future worth, such as how future nearby construction will impact a home’s value

While real estate websites are a valuable tool, they’re not perfect. An experienced local agent can evaluate the pros – and cons – of your home, compare it to similar properties, and help you devise a listing price that will both earn you top dollar while helping the home sell quickly.

Estimates not adding up? If there are major discrepancies between what you think your home is worth and the estimate an agent gives you, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Talk to your agent about how they arrived at that price; unlike an online estimate, an agent can give you a thoughtful and detailed explanation for what your house is worth and why.

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