I'm going to be honest with you. Your home is worth whatever someone is willing to buy it for and not a penny less. That's the bottom line. Anyone that tells you different is trying to get a listing that will eventually lead to lowering your price, or doesn't know what they are talking about. It really is that simple. If you can't find someone to buy your home for the price you want, your home will not sell. The good news is there are a few things you can do to increase your success and make your life easier during the process. Here are some things you will need to know before you determine what your home is worth.
You live in Idaho. Idaho is a non-disclosure state. What does that mean? It means that when property is sold, the seller and buyer are under no obligation to disclose the purchase price to anyone, not even the county! Non-disclosure is a wonderful thing. It protects you from people and the government keeping track of your transactions. However, it is also a frustrating thing. You see, when nobody is disclosing the price of home sales, it makes it really hard for others to know if they are pricing their home near market value. Price it to high and nobody will show up to make offers. Price it to low and you could lose money. Some unwise sellers turn to the Zestimate on Zillow to find out what their home is worth. The problem with that is Zillow has no idea. Zero. Their numbers are a guess based on tidbits of information they find. But because the homes are in Idaho, there is no record of what they actually sold for. So Zillow is just a guesstimate, and it is usually pretty far off.
The only true record of what homes have been selling for is in the Realtor database, which is the Snake River MLS around here. Because we have access to sold data, We can do a comparative market analysis of homes similar to yours and the numbers are actually accurate because we have the real data. These numbers cannot be published, but we can give you a personalized report. You can request a CMA here.
When pricing your home to sell, you have to be an optimistic pessimist. An optimistic pessimist is a person who looks at the reality of the condition of their home and then prices it as optimistic as possible given market conditions and home condition. For example, if you have a 2,400 square foot home built in 1997 that has never been updated and your neighbor has a 2,400 square foot home built in 2018 with upgraded cabinets, granite, and super deluxe everything, your home probably isn't going to fetch as good of a price if they are both on the market unless there is something very unique about your home. We will help you look at the market to determine what is available and what similar homes are selling for. Then, based on the market, we will help you come up with a price that will get you the most amount of money the market will allow in the time-frame that you need to sell. This leads to the next important aspect of determining what your home is worth. Time.
There are a lot of reasons why people move, but usually it is because they need to be somewhere else and there is usually a time table dictating when the move happens. Usually it has to do with a job change or family situation. How fast you need to sell can determine what your home is worth to you. If you need to move from Rexburg and be in Idaho Falls before the snow flies and it is March, you can ask a little more initially for your home because you have the whole summer to sell. That means that you have more time to get your home in front of more potential buyers before you have to be moved. On the other hand, if you need to be at a new job in the next month, pricing your home too high could delay your move and lead to financing problems and two mortgages. The cost of not selling fast are too great so a lower price to sell fast is practical. Another reason time plays a role in value has to do with preparing your home. In some cases, you may need to hire a professional house cleaner to prep for a fast sell. In other cases, when you have more time, you can put in your own elbow grease and get your home prepped for less. The bottom line is your market analysis may say that your home is worth $180,000 but your may need to lower that to $170,000 to sell it quicker because of limited time. Or you may choose to leave it on the market longer to find that one special buyer that loves that one specific tree that you have in your back yard.
At the time of this writing, real estate in Idaho from Island Park to Idaho Falls is hot. Home prices are going up and inventory is low. Homes that are priced correctly are not staying on the market long. Somewhere around 30 to 45 days. In some price categories, like the under $130,000, homes can sell in as little as 24 hours. Demand has an effect on what you can ask for your home. It is important to know that demand has long cycles and within those cycles there are highs and lows. For example, the market right now is hot, but when winter comes and the temperatures fall, demand temporarily recedes. So does inventory. That is why it's so important to work with a real estate agent familiar with the area and the current market. Getting the wrong pricing advice could lead to a long drawn out sell or selling for too little.
There are other factors related to pricing your home and getting it sold. National statistics show that home sellers that use a real estate agent are more likely to make more money and sell in less time than those that don't. You can get a no obligation visit from Bob or Carolyn Canning and they can show you the current market and list your home for the right price.