When you put your home up for sale, one of the best ways to determine the asking price is to look at comparable sales. There’s rarely a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, so a pricing decision often relies on comparisons to several recent sales in the area. Here are five criteria to look for in a sales comparison when trying to determine your home price.
- Location: Homes in the same neighborhood typically follow the same market trends. Comparing your home to another in the same neighborhood is a good start, but comparing it to homes on the same street or block is even better.
- Date of sale: It varies by location, but housing markets can see a ton of fluctuation in a short time period. It‘s best to use the most recent sales data available.
- Home build: Look for homes with similar architectural styles, numbers of bathrooms and bedrooms, square footage, and other basics.
- Features and upgrades: Remodeled bathrooms and kitchens can raise a home’s price, and so can less flashy upgrades like a new roof or HVAC system. Be sure to look for similar bells and whistles.
- Sale types: Homes that are sold as short sales or foreclosures are often in distress or sold at a lower price than they’d receive from a more typical sale. These homes are not as useful for comparisons.
BONUS CRITERIA – Condition: The condition of your house is arguably one of the most important factors in getting a fair price for your house. First impressions matter…a lot. If your house does not show well or has major issues, chances are it will not fetch the best price when potential buyers start comparing it to other houses in the area that are in better condition. It’s a great idea to take an honest assessment of your homes condition and even get a second opinion from a trusted friend, neighbor or your real estate agent.