A simple internet search will tell you what a home is worth. Or will it? Just because a website shows you an estimate of a home’s value doesn’t mean that’s what you can buy or sell the house for. In fact, many home-valuation websites include disclaimers about how inaccurate their information may be. The internet also has plentiful data on median home prices in an area, the number of properties sold, days on market, housing inventory, etc. But even if that data is accurate and up to date (is it?), you may not know how those numbers translate into home values for the property you’re selling or buying. And how do you take into account the differences from one neighborhood to the next or one home to others nearby? Thankfully, your REALTOR® can show you accurate, comprehensive data relevant to your situation and provide the context to help you make sound real estate decisions. REALTORS® have the training and experience to explain what the latest market data mean for your situation. So before you get too excited or distressed about the real estate data you found online, talk to your REALTOR®.
It’s exciting to update a kitchen, remodel a bathroom, add a master suite, convert a garage to a workout room, or add skylights. However, homeowners are sometimes surprised to learn how remodeling projects affect a home’s price when it comes time to sell. Consider the Personal Value You Get If you plan to live in your house for some time before you sell, don’t overlook the enjoyment or utility you will get from a remodeling job. Regardless of the eventual sales price, that may reason enough to embark upon the project. Appraised Value Matters, Too When a homebuyer applies for a loan, the lender usually requires an independent appraisal to determine if the value of the home is in line with the purchase price. That can be when the seller ultimately finds out the return on the project. For example, a pool that cost $85,000 to install could add only $30,000 to the appraised value of a home compared to a similar home nearby without a pool. Remodels May Improve Marketability Some improvements don’t raise the eventual sales price of a home but may still make the home more attractive to buyers. A remodel may even be the difference between not receiving any offers and getting multiple offers on a property a short time after it goes on the market. Don’t Assume a Dollar-for-Dollar Return Some projects add more value to a home than others—a new front door often tops the list—but a host of factors can influence how much any specific remodel pays off. Variables include the quality and appeal of the finished project as well as how it compares with similar features of other homes in the neighborhood. In many cases, a home’s sales price will increase but not by as much as the actual cost of the project. Your REALTOR® can help you understand how remodeling projects can affect marketability and sales prices of homes, and can offer guidance on all your options when considering buying or selling a home.