If you’re ready to sell your home, you have to know what it’s worth in order to price it appropriately. Seller’s worry that if they price too low they will leave money on the table; price too high, and their home will languish on the market unsold. In many cases, what your house is worth on the market isn’t necessarily what sellers think it’s worth. It all has to do with what comparable homes which are very similar homes with respect to condition, size, features, and so on that have recently sold. Simply, thoughtful marketing, staging, and preparation will help position your home properly but the current market sets the price. Figuring out the price is called often called “running the comps” and will let you know what your home’s fair market value is in the local market. Pricing in line with market value is critical, here are 5 tips to help you run comps for your house in Westfield, Cranford, Clark, Scotch Plains, Fanwood and Mountainside Areas.
1. Search Listings for Recently Sold Homes
To run comps for your house in Westfield, Cranford, Clark, Scotch Plains, Fanwood and Mountainside Areas, you should begin by searching listings for similar recently sold homes in the same neighborhood and immediate area.
You can start by searching a few of the big online listing sites. Look for recently sold listings that are most like your home. Use listing sites that let you search for ‘just sold’ or ‘recent sales’ and show your search results on a map is helpful too. Here’s how to proceed . . .
- “Enter your city’s name and use the map to explore sold properties by neighborhood.”
- “Filter your search results by details like date sold, price, and the number of bedrooms.”
- “If the site allows it, use other filters — such as crime statistics, school scores, and neighborhood amenities – to get more details for making comparisons.”
- Narrow your collection to a manageable number; a half-dozen is a good goal.”
Currently for sale listings will not help that much because the price could change at sale time. But, it is a good barometer of the current market, and especially at this time if there are many “days on market” it may indicate some issue with the home. Also, try to use listings with plenty of quality photos that give you a good idea of a property’s condition.
2. Apply the Right Standards
The next step to run comps for your house in Westfield, Cranford, Clark, Scotch Plains, Fanwood and Mountainside Areas involves applying certain standards to arrive at a good shortlist, for example . . .
- You should use only listings for recently sold properties. How recently depends on the market. Currently, we try to use only the last 6 months due to upward pressure on pricing.
- Make sure the listings are for homes very similar to yours, ideally with the same floor plan. But, at the least, find “homes that are roughly the same size with floor plans similar to yours – like ranch home if yours is a ranch, [and] search for similar numbers of bedrooms and baths, but similarities in gross living area matter most.”
- Strive to find homes that are very near yours. A good comp should be in the same school district, neighborhood, and must be in the same town if you are near the border.
3. Visit in Person
Then it’s time to hit the streets for the next step to run comps for your house in Westfield, Cranford, Clark, Scotch Plains, Fanwood and Mountainside Areas. Listing photos are great, and they can allow you to learn a lot about a property, but they can also be misleading. And that means you need to get out and do some driving and walking around to see the homes on your shortlist in person – mainly to make sure they are actually similar to yours.
Some of the things you should be looking for include:
- The true location – Is, for example, your home on a cul-de-sac, but the comparable home is located on a busy street?
- Appearance – What is the curb appeal of the neighborhood like?
- Nearby amenities – If the comparable homes are located near many more or far fewer amenities, that will affect value.
- Walkability – Is the walkability factor comparable?
4. Run the Numbers
Now it’s time to actually run the numbers for comps for your house in Westfield, Cranford, Clark, Scotch Plains, Fanwood and Mountainside Areas.
Start by using the results from your online search and your in-person visits to narrow your list of comparable homes to those that are most like yours. Then consider the middle price, adjusting up or down for differences in size, quality, location, features, the number of updates, and maintenance of the home.
5. Compare Against an Expert Opinion in the Westfield, Cranford, Clark, Scotch Plains, Fanwood and Mountainside Areas
Our final tip for running the comps for your house in Westfield, Cranford, Clark, Scotch Plains, Fanwood and Mountainside Areas is to get some expert opinions, comparing your findings against what experts have to say. This will allow you to assess the accuracy of your findings.
The two best ways are . . .
- Request a pricing estimate from a local agent. You can contact me at 917-608-7277 for this.
- Get an appraisal done by a professional appraiser. Just be aware that this will cost you roughly $400.
Or Do It the Easier, Better Way . . .
Or you could just do it the easier and better way from the beginning. Contact an experienced Westfield, Cranford, Clark, Scotch Plains, Fanwood and Mountainside Areas agent and like us and request a comparative market analysis for you. We have plenty of experience doing this, and she will know the local market and local pricing trends. So when you’re ready to run comps for your house in Westfield, Cranford, Clark, Scotch Plains, Fanwood and Mountainside Areas, be sure to contact us at 917-608-7277.