If your home was built with diamond-studded nails and magical drywall, then this article may not apply to you. However, if you own a home and hope to sell it someday without losing money, you may be interested in knowing what drives the real estate market and what determines home values. You might also want to know how to harness the power of a wicked hot real estate market like the one we are currently experiencing in most areas of Louisville. Many homeowners have different preconceived notions about pricing and selling a home, and a lot of them are incorrect. As a seasoned Realtor® who is involved in around 75 home sales per year, I hope to shed a little light on what matters and, perhaps more importantly, what doesn’t matter when it comes to selling a home in Louisville, KY.
FICTION #1 | What you paid for the home has a lot to do with its current value
FACT #1 | Your current home value does not depend on the previous purchase price. Sure, some buyers may ask the question, but that doesn’t make it relevant. The real estate market works in cycles, so if you purchased a home at the height of the market and you want to sell it somewhere along the downslope, you can’t use the price you paid as a bearing for its current value. The market went down since you bought it. Similarly, if the situation was reversed and you bought your home at the bottom of the market, and you’re ready to sell it now on the upslope, you wouldn’t want the price you paid to be considered relevant. The market went up since you bought it, and you stand to make some good money in return.
FICTION #2 | You don’t need an agent. You can sell your home by yourself and save money
FACT #2 | Homes that were listed and marketed by a Realtor® in 2015 sold for an average price that was 14.3% higher than homes that were sold without a professional according to data of all national home sales compiled by the National Association of Realtors. So, those sellers could have made a better return on their investment even after paying commission to a Realtor®, had they chosen to use one.
FICTION #3 | Selling your home today will be the same as the last time you sold your home
FACT #3 | The housing market in Louisville, and most of the country, is changing constantly. Not to mention that people sell their home every 6-8 years on average, so the last time you sold a home was a long time ago. Even if you sold a home last year, I promise it’s different.
FICTION #4 | You can get a better deal by paying a flat fee for a limited service agent / discount brokerage to list your home on the MLS
FACT #4 | “Limited Service” is exactly what you get when you hire a discount brokerage.
The old adage, “you get what you pay for” comes to mind here. Listing your home on the MLS isn’t what sells it. A solid marketing strategy is an absolute must. Who are your home buyers? How do you capture them? How do you maximize the effects of this strong housing market? That’s a full-time job in and of itself. A good Realtor® doesn’t simply place your home on the MLS and wait. We will price your home properly using local sales data and market knowledge. We will develop and implement a marketing strategy designed specifically to gain the greatest exposure possible for your listing. We don’t want just one buyer, we want multiple buyers. Multiple buyers means that the power is in the seller’s hands.
FICTION #5 | Zillow’s home estimates are pretty accurate. You should use their price and list it on Zillow.
FACT #5 | Zillow’s method for home valuation uses a computer model, some algorithms, and a public record search. Unless someone came to your home to make note of the condition of your home, and the updates and upgrades that have been made to your home, all they can do is blindly compare numbers. You know as well as I do that all 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom brick ranch-style homes are not created equally. One of them might have a new HVAC, one of them might have a leaking foundation. One of them could have been completely remodeled, and the other one falling apart, but Zillow would never know. In order to accurately price a home, you need accurate data and honed market knowledge. You also need to see the interior of the home. Even Zillow will tell you that only around 38% of all of their home estimates are within 5% of the actual sale price, while 20% of all estimates on their website are off by more than 20% compared to the actual sale price. Zillow also states on their website that they encourage buyers, sellers, and homeowners to get an analysis from a real estate professional. You simply can’t trust a computer valuation method.
The bottom line is that your home could be worth more than you think it is. It could also be worth less, but wouldn’t you want to know whether or not now is a good time to sell before you go through all the hassle of listing it on your own and dealing with a whole bunch of garbage only to find out that it’s really not the time for you to sell? I would love to give you more accurate information about your neighborhood and what your home is worth. Call or email 502.509.9278 – firstname.lastname@example.org