House Selling Questions
How is a home's value determined?
A: You have several ways to determine the value of a home.
An appraisal is a professional estimate of a property's market value, based on recent sales of comparable properties, location, square footage and construction quality.
A comparative market analysis is an informal estimate of market value performed by a realtor based on similar sales in your neighborhood and surrounding area.
What is the difference between market value and appraised value?
A: Appraised value is a certified appraiser's opinion of the worth of a home at a given point in time.
Lenders require appraisals as part of the loan application process; fees range from $200 to $300.
Market value is what price the house will bring at a given point in time. A comparative market analysis is an informal estimate of market value, based on sales of comparable properties, performed by a real estate agent or broker.
Will a neighbor problem reduce the value of my property?
A: While it may not reduce the actual value, a cluttered landscape can detract from the positive aspects of your home.
Review your local laws, which should be on file at the public library, county law library or City Hall.
A typical "junk vehicle" ordinance, for example, requires any disabled car to either be enclosed or placed behind a fence.
And most cities prohibit parking any vehicle on a city street too long.
It also may be worthwhile to check into local zoning ordinances. An operator of a home-based business usually is required to obtain a variance or permanent zoning change in residential areas.
In addition, if a neighbor's repair work produces loud noises, he may be breaking local noise-control ordinances, which are enforced by the police department.
Before bringing in the authorities, you may want to make a copy of the pertinent ordinance and give it to your neighbor to give them a chance to correct the problem.
What repairs should the seller make?
A: Most sellers like to make all minor repairs before going on the market to make their home more appealing.
In addition, nearly all purchase contracts include a buyer contingency "inspection clause," which allows a buyer to perform their own inspection.
If the problems are noted, buyers can attempt to negotiate repairs.
How is the price set?
A: It's very important to price your home appropriately relative to current market conditions.
Because the real estate market is continually changing, and market fluctuations have an effect on property values, it's imperative to select your list price based on the most recent comparable sales in your neighborhood.
A comparative market analysis provides the background data on which to base your list-price decision. Study the comparable sales material presented to you by the different agents you interviewed initially.
If the analyses are more than two or three months old, have your agent update the report for you.
If all agents agreed on a price range for your home, go with the consensus.
Watch out for an agent whose opinion of value is considerably higher than the others.
What is the difference between list and sales prices?
A: The list price is the price tag put on a house in a real estate listing; it usually is only an estimate of what the seller would like to get for the property.
The sales price is the amount a property actually sells for. It may be the same as the listing price, or higher or lower, depending on how accurately the property was originally priced and on market conditions.
A seller may need to adjust the listing price if there
has been no offers within the first few months of the property's listing