The Price is Wrong

Aug 06, 2015

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As homeowners, we all take a lot of pride in our dwellings. So much, in fact, that some of us keep a receipt for everything we’ve put into the property. We remember every cut and scratch we got installing new cabinets and how hot it was the day we hauled 15-tons of river rock around the house in a wheel barrow to do the landscaping—well, not all of us, some of us hired a licensed contractor.

Now that it has come time to scale-up or down we want to see all of that work and money find its way back into our wallet.

Trouble is, the market swings with the economy and no matter how much you’ve invested in your home, you’re subject to its current market value. But, just like everything else, prices tend to rise and if you’ve been in your home for a while you can make some money.

However, if you own the highest priced home on your block and you’ve spent a small fortune on the latest energy-efficient windows, the reality is you’re competing with your neighbor’s house down the street that’s for sale at a lower price.

While you can hope to be reimbursed for all those expenses, it’s most likely you’ll only recoup a percentage of your investment.

The Good News

If you’ve invested in finishing your basement or adding square footage, you exponentially increase your odds of reclaiming that cash. You can also make your home appear to be worth more by adding some inexpensive fixtures or spice up the curb appeal with landscaping.

Some may say there’s a formula to calculate exactly what your home is worth. That’s true, to some extent, but that formula is tied to square footage and recent sale prices of similar homes in the area.

A Good Trade

Remember the last time you traded in your car? Buyers expect your car to have a body, wheels, windows, horn and a steering wheel—among other things. From there, a prospective buyer will add or deduct from your car’s value.

Have a lot of miles?

Yes. Deduct $500.

Have a sport package?

Yes. Add $750.

Appraising your home’s value works the same way.

Have one more bedroom than a similar style?

Yes. Add $1,500.

Two-car garage?

No. Deduct $5,000.

In my years as a realtor I have come to appreciate how tough the county assessor’s job is. He has to appraise every home in the county and just like the weather guy—he’s never right on the money.

If you’re considering putting your home on the market in the near future but have some immediate needs you can’t live without, it would be a good idea to contact us before you start.

Live in an older home?

You’ll need to be aware of changes in city codes. What you estimated for the new sink and dishwasher could end up becoming a plumbing and wiring nightmare.

Not sure what that means? I’ll introduce you to an interior designer friend. Not long ago they had a $10,000 remodel turn in to a $25,000 overhaul. In the end the project turned out beautifully but the profit-to-loss ratio kept the homeowners in the home for several more years.

As a listing specialist, I’ll help you get the most money you can from your home. Sometimes, however, there’s a little hump that gets in the way—that hump is reality.

You can’t trust Trulia or Zillow to give you an accurate representation of your home value either. They’re in the market to sell advertising, not homes, and they often over-saturate the actual listings in an area to demand higher prices for their advertising. Not surprisingly, this misrepresentation of supply and demand devalues your home. It also lets realtors that know nothing about your area buy ad space where they have no experience. My marketing background has enabled me to see right through these schemes.

So what happens when you can’t get fair market value on your home?

You go all Happy on Bob Barker.

Movie clip © Universal Studios

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About The Author

John Hardy of Team Hardy isn't your typical realtor. John's spent 25-years developing brands and marketing strategies in corporate America. He's lead contract negotiations, started mentoring programs and helped business start-ups, which eventually led him to real estate. Why is this important for you? Simple, this diverse background has enabled John to become an extraordinary realtor with the skills, ability, and experience that gives you the extra-advantage you need to market YOUR property. Get John's full-story here.

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