How do you figure out it's worth?

swhite10November 29, 2010

Our house has been on the market for 6 months and we finally have an offer. It's a low-ball offer and we're not thrilled but it's a start. Very few homes have sold near us in the past 6 months so our only comparables are for houses like ours currently for sale. How in the world do we figure out how much our home is worth so we can counter offer? Of course, our agent thinks the offer is a "good deal." This offer is 55K below our starting price and almost 100K below assessed value. We are not desperate to sell so we're not going to give it away.

We have 2 acres of wooded property with a 13 year old, nicely kept 2400 square foot house with a 2 car attached garage. We have a paved drive, very large fenced in rear yard, a 17X30 deck with an attached screened gazebo. We are 10 minutes from town. Our agent keeps comparing our house to houses 15-20 minutes out further, which are going for cheaper. Does location not have any value?

Needless to say, while we are encouraged that we have an offer, we are frustrated because it's difficult to put the information together to make a counter-offer.

Any opinions?

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Your house is worth what someone will pay for it. Asking prices are irrelevant. Sorry to be so blunt :-)

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 8:39AM
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RE is local, not national or regional. the distance from town could be important and worth more, or not.

really its what has sold recently in your area will determine worth. barring good comps its all a guess and adjustments.

think about what you want to buy. if you feel your house is super discounted compared to what you want to buy, it sounds like you should stay put. If you think you're getting a screaming deal on the buy side... well so does your buyer...

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 11:05AM
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How recent and how accurate is your assessment? I don't know if your is similar to ours. Ours has dropped more than 10% over the last two years in recognition of lower sales prices. In our area the assessment is pegged unusually close to market value, and we are assessed annually.

Is property close to town more desireable in your area? Better schools? (Some people would prefer to be farther away from some towns.) Is the farther-flung construction newer?

If you don't have to sell, wait. You may wait several years until the market recovers though -- depending on local conditions. There is a glut of housing yet to come on the market nationally -- failed mortgage loans that banks have yet to own up to and claim.

How far below asking price is the offer? (Percentage please.)

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 2:19PM
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I didn't ask how 'clean' the offer is. Cash? Big downpayment? Qualified buyers?

Also, you might contact your bank to see what they would loan on your home. That would give you an idea of how the bank values it -- and what your buyers could expect the house to assess for if THEY need a mortgage.

There are many ways to make a deal. Banks are currently loathe to make any but the most secure loans. Would you be able to help finance your buyer?

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 2:24PM
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Can you look at completed transactions in your area? If so, compare the ratio of sales price to assessed price. If most houses are selling below assessment, chances are yours will too.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 2:36PM
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Go visit what your buyers are looking at and see what you think putting yourself in the positon as a buyer. But don't forget askin ain't gettin. You can put your house on the market for any price but doesn't mean you'll get it. A buyer doesn't care what you think you need to get from it, it's what the market will bear. Good luck

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 1:08PM
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Just curious - did the buyers have a clause in the offer that specified that the house had to appraise for the selling price or the deal is off? A lot of offers now have that contingency. Do you know what your house would appraise for?

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 8:53PM
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Thanks for all of the comments. We sold the house with some negotiations and some help from the agents. Glad it's done. The cleaning frenzies are over!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 9:59PM
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So what did it go for?

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 11:15PM
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