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When to Sell Your Home and For How Much

I am frequently asked, “What is my home worth?” This is a very important question! You need an accurate estimate so you can sell your home at the best time to get the most money. Unfortunately many people go to the wrong sources for their home value. This leads to unrealistic expectations (if over-priced) or missed opportunities (if under-priced). Here are common sources of bad information and where you can go for a better estimate.

Bad Source #1 – Zillow

Zillow Inaccureate
How inaccurate is Zillow?

Many people go online and try to get their home value from Zillow, commonly called a “Zestimate”. Zillow is a bad source for home values because it can be hundreds of thousands of dollars OFF! (tweet this) They are anywhere from $100,000 too low to $100,000 too high.   That is a HUGE discrepancy. You can’t really rely on that can you?

Why is Zillow inaccurate? Zillow bases it’s estimates on public records submitted to the state. One problem, Utah is a non-disclosure state. This means that when you buy a home you don’t have to tell the state how much you paid for it.  As a result, Zillow doesn’t have access to complete or accurate data. Consequently their estimates are off. Additionally, even in states where Zillow does have access to accurate information, their formulas can’t analyze the emotional appeal that some homes offer over others.

Good source #1 – Neighborhood ExpertsFind your Neighborhood Expert

Full-time, professional real estate agents have a good pulse on the current state of the market. Because they’re constantly evaluating homes and writing offers they can give an educated estimate on your home’s value. They also work with buyers and see their emotional reactions to certain features. They can determine trends among buyers and see what homes show well. Full-time agents are not dependent upon a single home sale, so they are less likely to list a home at a high price just to get the deal. They’ll give you a realistic expectation of what your home can sell for even if that means you should not sell you home.

Neighborhood Experts are a rare kind of real estate agent that focus their efforts in a specific geographical area. This gives them intimate knowledge of pricing trends in the market. They usually focus in an area close to their home. This helps them stay involved in the community and they are vested in improving the area. They also know additional factors that can impact the value of your home such as proposed area improvements.

Bad Source #2 – AppraisalsAppraiser Opinion

Many people feel they can rely on an appraisal to determine the value of their home. While this is more accurate than Zillow, there are some drawbacks to appraisals. First, an appraisal is an opinion of value. Do appraisers have different opinions? Very much so! I have had 3 different appraisers do an appraisal on a home and they all came up with a different number. Recently I sold a home that the appraiser said was worth $70,000 less than what a buyer was willing to pay for it. They had a difference of opinion. It took me 2 weeks and 2 more appraisals to prove that the value of the home was what the buyer was willing to pay. My sellers were ecstatic. They were under the misunderstanding that an appraisal is absolute.
Second, there is not an exact number that your home will sell for no matter what. What you sell your home for depends on various factors such as location, condition, marketing, negotiation, responsiveness,  supply, and demand. For example, I have sold a home for $70,000 more than a home in the same neighborhood that was on the market at the same time and was in better condition than my listing. We sold ours for more because the other seller was making a lot of common mistakes. On the other hand, we made the right decisions, valued the propertied appropriately, and got top dollar for our sellers.

Good Source #2 – Local Market Reports

Housing market in your neighborhood
Free Local Market Report

Your home’s value can change rapidly with the market. Keeping a close eye on your neighborhood will help you know when values in your area are going up. This will let you know when you need to contact your local Neighborhood Expert for a complete analysis. You can sign up for a FREE Local Market Snapshot here.

You can also frequent blogs and market reports written by your local real estate professional. The news can provide information about large trends, but it takes a real estate professional to analyze the subtleties of your local market. 

I wrote a blog and put together some charts about the recent housing market here. If you want to be updated when I publish new market reports follow us on Facebook or register on this website.
If you’re ready know what your home could sell for and in what time frame let me know. I will put together a report specifically for your property. You are also welcome to fill out this link for an instant neighborhood report.

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Utah Dave

15 years and over 1,500 homes sold! Dave Robison's passion is in making the buying and selling process better for everyone. As a result, "UtahDave" has been recognized as the #1 re-sale listing agent in South Jordan, Herriman, West Jordan, and Riverton areas. As a local native of South Jordan since 1978, Dave is deeply invested in the community. Dave's friends nicknamed him Utah Dave in high school because it didn't matter where they went in Utah, Dave knew how to get there and someone there. The name sticks today as UtahDave has formed a professional real estate network of Neighborhood Experts all across the state. Dave lives in South Jordan with his wife and 4 amazing children. He enjoys dancing (which is how he met his wife Dawn) as well as traveling, coaching, and learning. UtahDave is constantly serving the community, the local Realtor Association, the State association, and the National Association of Realtors. All his efforts are aimed at making our community a better place. 2007: Rated #4 Realtor in the State for number of existing residential homes sold by Enterprise Newspaper 2008–current: YPN BLOGGER 2008–current: UAR Prof Standards Committee 2009–current: NAR Federal Housing Policy Committee 2010 - Large Sales Team of the Year - Salt Lake Board of Director 2012 - Realtor of the Year Nominee 2013 - Broker of the Year Nominee 2013 – Salt Lake Board of Directors 2nd Vice President 2013 - current Utah Association of REALTORS Board of Directors 2014 - President Elect Salt Lake Board of REALTORS

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