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What You Need to Know About Researching Home Prices

When it’s time to sell your house, you may be feeling a little anxious. A chapter of your life is closing. There’s a lot of money on the table. You may be thinking “Is my house priced too high?" "Too low?" "Am I leaving too much money on the table?” These are big questions.

Luckily, you have a few resources at your disposal to figure out where your house stands among the crowd: a listing agent’s expertise and guidance, plus online property sites to get insight into the market.

So take a deep breath. Then do your homework. The more you know, the more confident you’ll be when it’s time to make those big decisions. 

Turn to Local Experts — Because They Really Know Their Stuff

The good news: Local market info is freely available online, so you, the seller, can get a sense of what your house is worth.

The bad news: Local market info is freely available online, so most buyers will also have a general idea of what they think your home is worth.

When pricing your house, a listing agent has your back in a way an online property listing site just can’t. An agent:

  • Has real world experience in your community. 
  • Knows the nuances of your neighborhood’s micro-market. 
  • Can expertly assess how your home compares to similar ones recently sold in your area.
  • Can tour your property to determine, inside and out, where your house fits in the real estate landscape. 

A website will do none of the above. 

An agent will, yes, consider online market data to help you set the price of your home. But he or she will also rely on first-hand knowledge about your home’s unique perks (and quirks), as well as about the neighborhood, to better inform your listing price. 

He or she can also recommend ways to market your house (Instagram-able photos, blog-worthy descriptions, etc.), pro stagers who can set your home up to dazzle buyers, and inspectors and contractors who can make any needed repairs.

That being said, you’ll want to have your own sense of what your house is worth too. As invaluable as a listing agent is to your selling journey, being the seller means you’re also the final decision maker. 

So keep your laptop out. We’re going to do a little research.

Search Online Property Sites — Because They’ll Give IRL Experience Some Context

Millennials are the largest group of home buyers today, according to a NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ (NAR) report, and they overwhelmingly start their buying journey — where else? — online.

The internet is there for you as well — to an extent — when you’re ready to sell your home. 

Online property sites like realtor.com can give you a sense of local real estate trends, including your city’s median listing price, median closing price, and the average price per square foot. As you search, there are a couple important things to do:

  1. Pay attention to houses in your area that are similar to your own in terms of size, attributes, and location. When you work with a listing agent to price your home, these houses will provide the main criteria for setting the amount. 
  2. Take notes about {{ start_tip 101 }}what makes your house different{{ end_tip }} from the pack. As you look at online listings, think carefully about why your house is worth more or less than similar houses in your community. The better you’re able to articulate these nuances to your listing agent, the better prepared the agent will be to list your home at an accurate and competitive price. 

Having this information can also give you confidence in the price your agent ultimately recommends — you’ll know what’s standard for the market, and how the price determined for your house lines up. If there are discrepancies, talk to your agent about how he or she arrived at their price. Unlike the internet, he or she can give you a complete picture of what your home’s price should be and why. 

Also, as you search, be aware that not all real estate listing sites are created equal. Realtor.com® aggregates listings from Multiple Listing Services (MLS) around the country, which provides the most up-to-the-minute data about home sales. (By the way, realtor.com® is the official listing site of NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, which operates HouseLogic.com.)  Most of 'for sale' listings at realtor.com®, for example, are refreshed every 15 minutes — so what you see is likely what you get. Another big property listing site (and brokerage), Redfin, also aggregates data from MLSs.

Trulia and Zillow, on the other hand, collect their listing information from a variety of sources, and may not always be as up to date as the MLS. 

The takeaway: Seller, beware. Consider your online source. Take what you’ve learned from online listings to your agent to talk about what’s really best for you and your home. 

Related Topic: Sell a Home: Step-by-Step

Try Online Price Calculators — With Caveats

As long as you’re on the internet, you might decide to try an online home price calculator. With these calculators, property sites use sale prices near you (and overall market data) to approximately predict your own home’s value.

You’ll find an online home price calculator at almost any property site, and they all work a little differently. Realtor.com®’s home estimator tool, for instance, factors in your home’s square footage and recent home sales in your area to calculate an approximate recommended sale price.

Plug your ZIP code or address into a site to see:

  • Homes for sale in your community, which can give you a sense of the overall market
  • Estimated prices of similar homes in your area, which can provide a general range of home prices in your area
  • Property descriptions and photos of local homes for sale, which can give you a feel for how other homes are being marketed to buyers (and how you can do even better)

Info like this is good to know — particularly because most buyers will see similar numbers when they to online research, too — but you have to take what online home price calculators tell you with a grain of salt.

Online price calculators can be useful as a reference, but they have limitations in terms of their scope (they can’t read nuances of the market like a human can), as well as their reliability. Some, including Zillow’s Zestimate tool, which estimates market value, have been challenged by some users for inaccuracy.

Your listing agent’s knowledge and expertise are more reliable measures for determining your own home’s price — he or she knows the subtleties of your home, neighborhood, and real estate market inside and out. Before you and your agent can confer, don’t get your heart set on a sale price.

Speaking of: The sale price is one thing. Potential profit is another.

How much money you’ll pocket after selling your home depends on a number of factors, including the amount of debt you still owe on a current mortgage, property taxes, and your real estate agent’s commission. To get an idea of your potential profit margin, use a net proceeds calculator, like these from United Heritage Credit Union or Oklahoma’s Credit Union. 

Again: These are only estimates. A lot of variables are at play between the time you set a sale price and the time you close. The home will be appraised and inspected, and those results could affect your out-of-pocket costs or the sale price. And you’ll likely be negotiating the price with buyers. So use a net proceeds calculator with some care.

OK, you’ve done your research. Now it’s time to find that listing agent who’s right for you.

 

Visit www.houselogic.com for more articles like this. 

Copyright 2018 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

 

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    Fairways Edge at Sagamore Project Overview

    Fairways Edge at SagamoreAs a follow up a previous post from February 28, we would like to shed some more light on the Fairways Edge at Sagamore project currently being proposed by Bonvie Homes.  

    The first matter to be addressed is a vote to amend the town zoning laws. Fairways Edge at Sagamore is a proposed 55+ residential community consisting of 154 attached residences built around Sagamore Spring Golf Club. The project would be built under the Lynnfield Elderly Housing bylaw if approved by voters at the April 30th Town Meeting.

    Voters are being asked to rezone 105 acres on the first nine holes of the course from single-family residential into a senior housing zone. The additional 66 acres across the street which comprise the back nine holes, is not a part of this project or proposed rezoning.

    Until the town vote on April 30th, the project is still in proposal stage. That is why we are working hard to educate residents about it and ask for support.

    In an effort to answer specific questions about this project please download this helpful PDF: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Fairways Edge at Sagamore. And look for more information to come on our Facebook page and Twitter.

     

     

     

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    Congratulations to Our Top Producers for 2017

    During our recent annual meeting and awards breakfast, we honored our Top Producers for 2017. These individuals are outstanding members of our team who have demonstrated leadership and empowered homebuyers and sellers to achieve successful outcomes. Pictured (from left to right) are: Marcia Poretsky, Maureen Rossi-DiMella, Helen Bolino, Eric Doherty and Debra Roberts.

    Taking top honors was Helen Bolino. Helen has been the number one agent in Lynnfield for sales and listings for 18 consecutive years. This award represents Helen’s investment of many hours of personal service and attention to her customers and clients.

    Maureen Rossi-DiMella was once again recognized as a top producer after a very successful year.  Maureen continues to create lasting relationships with all of her clients by ensuring that each transaction is handled in a personalized and professional manner.

    Throughout her career, Marcia Poretsky has consistently been one of the region’s top producers, specializing in single-family and condominium sales, she has built a loyal clientele as a result of her attention to detail and problem solving skills. This is a well-deserved recognition of all of her hard work.

    Eric Doherty achieved Top Producer status for a second consecutive year. He is a rising star in the real estate community. His goals are to make each transaction as seamless as possible. Being honest, diligent and accessible are guidelines that he strives for with each and every client.

    Debra Cuozzo Roberts prides herself on a high level of honesty, accessibility, and personal service. She is successful because she is a proactive thinker, a problem solver and a reliable communicator. Those attributes make her a super effective representative for her clients.

    As a locally owned and independently run office, Northrup Associates strives to provide the highest level of service. That has been the secret to our success in the past and will remain our guiding principle in the future. Congratulations again to our top producers! We couldn’t do it without you!

    New 55+ Active Adult Community Being Proposed in Lynnfield

    Ron Bonvie of Bonvie Homes recently attended our 66th Annual Sales and Awards meeting and briefed our sales associates on his proposal to build a new 55+ Active Adult Community in Lynnfield. The planned residential community, called The Fairways Edge at Sagamore, would be located on 105 acres around Sagamore Springs Golf Course. It would also be the biggest new housing project in Lynnfield in the past 20-30 years.

    Should voters at the Lynnfield town meeting on April 30th approve the needed rezoning, the golf course would remain and 154 attached units ranging from 2,400 - 3,000 sq. ft. would be built in clusters of duplexes, triplexes, and quads. Each residence would feature a first floor master suite, full lower level, and attached two-car garage. 

    Ron Bonvie is a nationally known developer specializing in over 55+ communities. His award-winning developments have been recognized by the National Association of Home Builders 55+ Housing Council for "Best Active Adult Community in America" and "Best Home Design in America."

    In the months leading up to the Town meeting, there will be a number of meetings and presentations scheduled for Lynnfield residents and neighbors to learn more about this exciting new community.

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    7 Reasons to Work With a REALTOR¬ģ

    7 Reasons to Work With a REALTOR®

    REALTORS® aren’t just agents. They’re professional members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. This is the REALTOR® difference for home buyers:

    1. Ethical treatment. Every REALTOR® must adhere to a strict code of ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a REALTOR®’s client, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. The first obligation is to you, the client.
    2. An expert guide. Buying a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes. Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved, so you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.
    3. Objective information and opinions. REALTORS® can provide local information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They also have objective information about each property. REALTORs® can use that data to help you determine if the property has what you need. By understanding both your needs and search area, they can also point out neighborhoods you don’t know much about but that might suit your needs better than you’d thought.
    4. Expanded search power. Sometimes properties are available but not actively advertised. A REALTOR® can help you find opportunities not listed on home search sites and can help you avoid out-of-date listings that might be showing up as available online but are no longer on the market.
    5. Negotiation knowledge. There are many factors up for discussion in a deal. A REALTOR® will look at every angle from your perspective, including crafting a purchase agreement that allows enough time for you to complete inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase.
    6. Up-to-date experience. Most people buy only a few homes in their lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. Even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS® handle hundreds of transactions over the course of their career.
    7. Your rock during emotional moments. A home is so much more than four walls and a roof. And for most people, property represents the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on the issues most important to you.

    HOMEBUYER TAX CREDIT

    littleguyCongratulations! Congress has increased the homebuyer tax credit to $8,000 and has made several improvements concerning this credit. This bill provides for an $8,000 tax credit that would available for first time home buyers for the purchase of an owner occupied residence on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009 and the best news is that this credit does not require repayment. The credit will be claimed on a tax return to reduce the buyers income tax liability. If any credit remains unused, then the unused amount will be refunded as a check to the purchaser.

    (Article Courtesy of Peabody&Lynnfield Weekly News-March 5, 2009)

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