How much can I get for my house? Do I have enough equity to cover my costs and make a down payment the new home? You know the new home itch is serious when you start to ask those questions. Researching your home value is a detailed process best began early in the decision to make a move. A process Brain calls the “pricing plus one”.
First, research all the activity in your neighborhood over the past 12 months. This includes active, pending (under contract to close) and sales. What is the ratio of active to pending to sold? Review this material from a macro perspective and get a general idea of price points.
Step two is to look closer at the details. Identify and compare features of the three most similar homes. A proper comparable home should be one of similar size, style, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. Is the condition of your home better or worse than the apparent condition of the comparables? A licensed agent has an advantage completing these comparisons due to first hand knowledge visiting many of the homes and listening to immediate buyer feedback.
The Pricing Plus One adds a third and final step, a competitive analysis. This is an often overlooked step by many real estate agents. You should ask for this. Here is where you anticipate market demand and supply. A proper review of the competition can be the difference between sitting on the market or leaving an extra few thousand on the table.
Pricing Tip Number One: A great starting place to research your home value should begin with the Douglas or Sarpy county assessor. Here you can begin to see how your home’s tax assessed value compares to other homes around your neighborhood. Keep in mind this ‘tax assessment’ value is a general value often lower than true market value, but we won’t tell Uncle Sam.
Pricing Tip Number Two: Zillow.com’s new zestimates have become a popular reference to home value but there are drawbacks. Just like your county property tax assessors, Zillow professionals have no good way to assess interior condition. You may find your home’s value being compared to the foreclosure sale down the street. Statistically lumping all similar sales of a zip code will come up with a ballpark value potentially equating to thousands lost proceeds.
Pricing Tip Number Three: Location, Location, Location! Every neighborhood has a price ceiling. Your competition may come from a few miles away but ultimately your home’s value will be determined by recent sales in your immediate neighborhood. In a good sellers market that ceiling can be pushed but watch out for potential appraisal issues.
Additionally, the further east you get in Omaha the more difficult it is to determine neighborhood boundaries. In areas like Field Club, Morton Meadows, and Dundee home values aren’t contained in neat little neighborhoods but jump block by block. This melting pot of home values is very appealing for many buyers but also makes it difficult to properly identify comparable home sales.
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- Comparable sales should come from the immediate neighborhood and rarely outside one mile away
- Any comparable sales selected outside of the immediate neighborhood need evaluated on neighborhood similarity.
- In Omaha, the typical home buyer will search in a 3 mile perimeter with hard parameters east and west, north and south.
- North or south of Dodge is also a frequent preference for some buyers.
- The ratio of active to pending homes will be a good measure for current market activity.
- Buyers begin to get extremely particular above $400,000 and are much less urgent on average.