Whether you’re trying to get ample insurance coverage or you’re preparing to put your home on the market, learning how much your home is really worth is a great first step. There are many things to consider when it comes to putting a value on your home, though. Here’s what you need to know.
What’s the Most Effective Method?
By far, the best data to use if you want to calculate the value of your PA home is called the CMA, or Comparative Market Analysis. This uses real market samples of homes sold in your local area, down to your neighborhood or subdivision, to give you an accurate price based on location, square footage, and current demand. There is no other method more accurate, and it works automatically to provide you with your home’s estimated current market value. Trends change quickly, so being able to stay up-to-date with the most recently sold homes can help you list your home for the right price.
What About Tax Assessed Values?
If you’ve thought about setting the asking price for your home at the tax assessed value, you might be selling yourself short. Most states set the tax assessed value at anywhere from 80% to 90% of its Fair Market Value, or FMV, which is determined by using the CMA. This means that putting a home on the market with a price determined by its tax assessed value can result in losing 10% to 20% of the potential funds you can get from it. It’s always best to stick to an estimation of the current market value.
Should You Call an Independent Appraiser?
There are certainly some benefits in contacting an independent appraiser when you want to know how much your PA home is worth. An independent appraiser is a fantastic choice when you are considering purchasing homeowner’s insurance. It’s also a great option if you’re truly interested in buying a home, but you want the opinion of someone you trust and who is working purely for you. An independent appraiser can also provide you with more relevant information, particularly if the figures that are available for the home are outdated.
How Often does the Value Change?
When it comes to FMV, which is what you should ask for your PA home when you sell it, keep in mind that it’s the fair price for your home given current real estate market conditions. Should real estate market conditions change, then your FMV also changes. This figure is based on the notion of supply and demand, as well. The longer your home is on the market, the more its FMV drops. If your home is customized or has luxury features, you may be able to ask more than the FMV.
Understanding how much your PA home is worth can help you make many different decisions. It allows you to purchase the right homeowner’s insurance, set the right asking price for a home you want to sell, or even make sure that you’re getting a great deal when it comes to buying someone else’s home.
If you’ve been thinking about putting your home on the market and you’re ready to take the plunge, it can be difficult to decide when you should get started. Should you list in the spring when the real estate market is booming, or should you wait until the fall, when there are fewer homes and the buyers are feeling more pressure? Here, you’ll learn the best time of year to put your home up for sale.
By the Numbers: A Recent Study
A study conducted by a group of researchers at Zillow found that homes entering the market during the first half of the month of May sold about 18.5 days faster than all other homes listed during the same year. What’s more, buyers paid an average of 1% more for those homes, which means the sellers earned themselves about $1700 extra on average – just for listing during this timeframe.
This Year’s Smaller Inventory
The National Association of Realtors says that a record low number of homes were on the market this spring season. This means that the inventory was much, much smaller than previous years, which influenced supply and demand quite a bit. There were more buyers competing for the same small number of homes, which led to aggressive bidding and the willingness to spend more. This seems to have culminated in the first half of May, which means that this is by far the best time of year to sell a home if you want to sell it at a premium.
Will This Change?
Although housing and availability trends seem to change overnight at times, experts agree that May will likely always be the optimal time to list your home. Kids are just getting out of school for the summer, and because parents prefer waiting until summer break to make a major move, the pressure is on to find a home during this month so they can close, move in, and settle prior to the next school year. What’s more, May is typically a nice season in Pennsylvania, with temperatures on the upward rise. Even if more homes go on the market next spring, sellers are likely to get more for their homes if they list them during this time of the year.
The only thing that may truly influence your ability to sell your home in May is a late winter. Believe it or not, people find it hard to shop for new homes, go to open houses, and move into new homes when it is cold and snowy. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen often in Pennsylvania, so the odds are quite slim. If it does, your real estate agent can give you valuable advice as to whether you should list your home in early May anyway or wait until the cold snap relents. Sometimes, it can make quite the difference.
In Pennsylvania and most other parts of the country, the best time to sell a home is in early May. People are shopping for homes with some urgency during this time of year, and they’re willing to pay more for a home that suits their needs, too.
Numerous real estate experts agree that staging can make a huge difference in the way a potential buyer views it, and even the price you might get for it. As such, it’s important to learn about staging and how you should do it if you truly want your home to sell quickly – and for the right price.
What Is Staging?
Staging is the act of setting up your home in such a way that you show off all of its best features. At the same time, potential buyers should be able to visualize themselves living in your home with all of their own furniture, belongings, and more. It typically involves cleaning, organizing, and arranging furniture, but it may also require painting, removing or replacing carpets, and more. A real estate agent can help you decide how much staging your home really needs in order for it to sell.
Staging at a Minimum
At the bare minimum, staging should involve a thorough cleaning, the removal of clutter, improvements in lighting, and the repair of very obvious aesthetic issues. This alone can help buyers see your home in a better light. To take things a little further, consider arranging furniture so that it highlights the focal points in a room. Playing up your home’s best features is a great way to help buyers visualize it as their own and how they would arrange their own furniture.
Things to Consider When Staging
Aside from the bare minimum, there are other things that some experts think can really help your home sell. When staging, consider:
Going for the Maximum Effect
If you really want to go for the maximum effect when staging, consider repainting your walls in neutral colors, hanging only the minimal art, and perhaps even replacing flooring that is outdated or brightly colored. Although personalization certainly has its place, a buyer may be turned off by a bright red wall or hot pink carpeting in one of the bedrooms. Sometimes, these things can be overlooked; other times, you may lose the opportunity for a sale.
Staging is very important to ensuring that your home is visually appealing to potential buyers. It could be structurally sound and complete with all of the latest amenities, but if homeowners can’t see past the clutter or simple disrepair, your home won’t sell very quickly at all.