When you’re listing your home for sale, it’s important to list at a price that represents the current state of the market. Over or under pricing your home can be detrimental to your sale and leave a lot of money on the table.

So how do you know what your home is worth?

The first step is to call a local real estate agent. Many REALTORS® will provide free home evaluations to help you understand the market value of your home. Market value is very different than your home’s tax assessment value, an important piece of information to keep in mind when you’re trying to find the right price. These home evaluations do not come with any obligation to list your home for sale with this real estate agent and it is often beneficial to get more than one opinion.

When choosing your REALTOR® remember than the highest price isn’t always the best agent. Though more money is attractive, there is more to a sale than the listing price and it is important to align yourself with a real estate salesperson who has the skills, resources, and systems to get the most buyers through your door. More of the right buyers leads to more favourable offers.

Ensure your real estate agent has a plan in place more detailed than simply posting on MLS and crossing their fingers. Professional photography and intensive marketing are key.

To determine the market value of your home effective asking price, REALTORS® (and buyers) will look at a lot of information. Some of those pieces being:

  • Comparable sales – The most recent similar home sales in the area
  • Adjustments – Minor discrepancies between comparable properties
  • Community – Where is your home located and what is the neighbourhood like
  • Features – What does your home have that makes it more attractive to buyers
  • Market trends – What is happening in the real estate market that may impact value

Comparable sales are recently sold homes that match your property. It is always best to look at the most similar properties when determining the market value for your home. Some of the considerations for finding a comparable sale would be property size, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, neighbourhood, age of the home, and the condition of the home.

Other factors like heating source, roof style and condition, air conditioning, and insulation also come into play once comparables have been found. These elements are more easily adjusted.

Adjustments are made when two comparable homes have minor discrepancies. For example, a home listed for sale has a two-car garage but the closest comparable had a one-car garage. An adjustment is made to the calculations to factor in the more valuable larger garage size.

One common adjustment in the Quinte area and Prince Edward County is heating source. Forced air powered by natural gas is more valuable than baseboard heaters based on the long term cost, efficiency, and perceived danger of running the systems.

The community in which a home is located directly impacts the value of the property. A home in Belleville for example isn’t comparable to a home in Frankford. Even within a city or town, neighbourhoods or streets that a home is located influences market value.  

Some features of your home can increase or decrease its market value while others have absolutely no impact. A pool for example does not change the value of a home as the desirability for a pool is subjective to each buyer. However, features like quartz countertops, hardwood floors, and high efficiency lighting can significantly impact the value. Talk to your real estate agent about the features of your home and how they influence market value.

The last piece of this puzzle are the trends in the real estate market. Considering whether a market is a sellers’ market or a buyers’ market, how long properties are sitting on the market, the number of offers homes for sale are receiving, and property appreciation over time all impact the salability of your home and ultimately impact its market value. Trends are hard to watch on your own so seek professional input.

Trends can change overnight so it is important to look at the most recent information on market conditions and patterns.

Listing your home for sale at the right price is crucial to a successful sale. The wrong price will leave your home sitting on the market, selling for less than it could, or deterring buyers who think something is wrong with the property.

At the end of the day, a home is worth what the market is willing to pay for it. Therefore, pricing your home property is one of the most important pieces of the marketing puzzle when you go to sell your home in the Quinte area and Prince Edward County real estate markets.

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