What's My House Worth?

Posted on 04 JUL

Q: We are moving out of town and selling  our home of the past 9 years. It’s a little  shabby and could maybe do with a bit of  work. We have had two appraisals from  agents, but they both have given us a value  below what we need to sell it for, and below  what it’s worth. What should we do?

Try another agent or spend some money  tidying it up? Janice W.

A: Many people think that what they paid for  their home, or even what size mortgage they  have on it, makes it worth a certain price. You  may try another agent and that agent may well  give you a price that is close to your number,  but don’t be fooled: At the end of the day, it’s  only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it  and a reputable real estate agent should never  give you a price just to get the listing.

If your property needs “tidying up” then by  all means give it a tidy and a declutter but  don’t go down the renovation road because in most cases you only get back a percentage  of what you spend. Different improvements  offer different returns but in general these  improvements will make your home easier to  sell, but not necessarily increase the sale price.

Finally, remember that everything is negotiable.  Don’t focus just on the sale price – for example  you can perhaps negotiate the price using  some of the chattels that are not normally  included in the sale (maybe include the fridge  that fits perfectly in the kitchen – it may be  worth just $1,500 to you, but maybe more like $5,000 in convenience to the purchaser). The  settlement date can be used as a negotiation  too: Perhaps you can settle early to suit the  purchaser and  save a few thousand on your mortgage even though their offer is a  little below what you really want.

As above, at the end of the day your house  will be worth what a willing buyer is prepared  to pay, and that buyer will be found by a good  agent who reaches as many potential buyers  as possible via a good marketing plan.

Good luck with your sale.

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