The most common type of home valuation is the comparable method. Finding homes in your neighborhood that are consistent in size (square feet, lot size) and have the same number of beds and baths is an accepted process to determine value.
Seems simple, until you realize your home may be worth 15% less than your neighbor’s house that just sold.
In Pasadena with the median price of a Single Family home in the range of $850,000, that’s easily be a difference of $125,000. In other words, serious money.
Before you decide to put your home on the market, see if any of these conditions can be applied to your home.
- Bad Floor Plan – how you walk through a house is important. Is it laid out well, or do you go through a bedroom to get to another bedroom? You may have a home with a lot of square feet, but does the home feel cramped? Many times when someone considers adding on to their home, the design plan (if there is one) fails to follow the original elements of the property. It just adds incremental space such as bedrooms or a huge living room addition. Plus once the add-on is completed it does not match the neighborhood. Take a look around where you live and you may see some updated modern home that has sore thumb syndrome.
- Corner or Irregular Lot – a house that sits on a corner may have a large yard, but chances are it has an irregular shape. Possibly a small front yard and a large rectangular back yard. So before you think your property value should be higher because your lot is bigger ask yourself, is it desirable and useable? An 11,000 sq ft lot looks good on paper but if the backyard is long and narrow this is probably a liability.
- No Curb Appeal – The inside of your home may be gorgeous and you have spent a lot of money on the latest upgrades. But you failed to address the exterior with any sufficient landscape or color accents, and your yard is full of weeds or just dirt. You may not judge a book by its cover but people make a snap judgment about a property for sale based on first impression.
- Lack of Updates – If the last time you made any modifications to your home was 1985, don’t expect to get top dollar. Colors and fashions change and many of today’s home buyers were not around in 1985. Therefore today’s buyer probably does not have the same appreciation for the mauve fashion palate in your master bath.
- Small Bedrooms – A beautifully updated home can appeal to many homebuyers until they see the size of the bedrooms. If the bedrooms are small it can definitely be a deterrent. You can update a kitchen, replace the bathroom fixtures, but small bedrooms are usually an issue with no acceptable yes, but.
- Street Noise and Traffic – Homes on a busy street or houses that are close to a freeway will experience street noise. Be prepared to lower your price if these conditions are present on your property. Houses in the middle of the street in quiet neighborhoods will sell for a higher price. Many buyers will not necessarily find an issue with noise inside the house but step outside and the noise can become a real issue. I am sorry, I could not hear you, what did you just say? Exactly.
- Other Neighborhood Homes – You may have the best house on the block. If your neighbors have let their property deteriorate or painted it some awful color such as an electric blue there is not much you can do about it. Perhaps a community effort to paint and clean up the offender is in order.
- Poor Lighting – Have you noticed all the lights on when you attend an Open House? There is a reason for it and you want the home to be seen in its best light. If you are selling your home and are leaving because an agent will be showing your property, do yourself a favor. Turn on all of the lights and open the curtains. Most home buyers want a home where the light shines either directly or indirectly. Plus studies have shown that lighting affects a person’s mood. Flip the switch.
- Bad MLS Photos and a Poor Description – if your agent takes bad pictures and can’t describe your home he or she is probably a family friend. If you feel compelled to list with your family friend ask to see some of their other listings. Photography is terribly important. People do not want to see your house if the pictures do a poor job or are hard to see. Notice when you pick up a magazine how organized everything is and well laid out, this is how your home should look when it is marketed for sale.
- You Accepted an Immediate Offer – in today’s fast-paced Seller’s market your home can be listed for sale and in a couple of hours you can have an offer. Accepting the first offer may not be your best strategy. You want to have several offers and you want your buyers to know you have several. Increased demand means a higher selling price.You have one opportunity. Make the most of it.
Market Activity & List Price
Depending upon your home value and current market conditions these ten items may become more or less important. When there is a shortage of homes for sale under $700,000 these conditions may tend to be overlooked by a potential homebuyer. When supply is low and demand is high like we see in Pasadena, affordability is an issue and negative attributes will tend to be minimized.
On the other hand, when 60% of the homes listed for sale are over $1,000,000 and buyers have many homes to choose from they can afford to be more selective and a price adjustment may be needed to overcome some of the perceived negative features.
Another site you might want to look into is Pasadena California Homes. YOu can read the latest articles about buying and selling as well as see this weeks Open House Schedule.