As our market has began to shift we are now going through the growing pains of it seeming to slowly but surely be changing from a buyers market to a sellers market. In Roanoke, Virginia we still have quite a bit of inventory on the market but we are starting to see homes sell faster than they have been in the last several years. As of today we have about a 9.26 month’s supply of inventory, down from what it was last year at this time at 11.03 month’s supply.
With comps coming from the soft market its making it tough for both Agents and Appraisers to determine the true market value of a home. Tax assessments are no longer the factor they once were in market value because they were still elevated when the market was down. Finally they lowered them to meet the market conditions only a day late and a dollar short for homeowners, now that the market is improving they’re still low instead of high which can lead buyers to believe the homes are overpriced in relation to the tax assessed value. Honestly tax assessed value has never truly been the best way of determining the right price anyway because many times the assessors don’t go inside and have no idea what the home truly offers but consumers and agents have used it as a factor and still do.
The owner of my Title and Settlement company the other day said “I’m swamped this is like 2006 all over again”. That was a terrific email to read and I think we are definitely headed in the right direction. We’re even starting to see multiple offers and bidding wars on some listings. This primarily happens when the homeowner prices the home competitively to sell vs overpricing it. No matter what an agent does to market, advertise, and expose a home in the end, it boils down to three factors, price, condition, and location. These are the biggest factors buyers use to determine which home they’re going to actually place an offer on.
It may be smart for sellers to pay for an appraisal up front as we transition through the next year or so and are able to get sufficient comps to price property. Especially if you’re working with a new or inexperienced agent who hasn’t specialized in listing and marketing property. I would highly advise you to interview a few companies and agents before choosing the one that’s going to list your home for you. Find out what their track record is for actually getting listings sold. Working with buyers and working with sellers are truly two completely different businesses.
Having an appraisal done up front will give you something to provide to other Realtors, buyers, and to the appraiser who comes out for the buyer’s loan. It will cost anywhere from roughly $300-$550 and the buyer’s lender won’t be able to actually use it because of underwriting guidelines being changed as a result of the soft market and lenders can no longer choose which appraiser they use like years passed. An agent can do very similar research to that of a formal appraisal but having the formal report done by a certified appraiser can hold more weight than an agent’s opinion.
To determine the value I am looking at what homes similar sold for back in the decent market years ago, what we’re in competition with meaning what other homes are currently for sale that buyers will also be looking at Because that’s critical, you certainly don’t want to be the one priced higher than all the others unless you have something to substantially justify it. And last, looking at what’s sold in the last 4 to 6 months since the market has shown consistent improvement.
There’s no magical way to determine exactly the right price for a home, and honestly you could stand 10 agents in a line and get several different opinions about the right listing price that will cause your home to sell. It’s a tough conversation to have for many agents as well. I coach agents across the United States in addition to selling homes here in Roanoke, Virginia. And one of the biggest challenges my agents have is discussing price with potential sellers and being able to tell the seller the truth and not what they want to hear because they’re afraid of offending them or losing the listing.
As a professional I believe we owe it to you as our consumer to be honest and up front with you about this and not just take the listing at any price. It only hurts you in the end as a seller to sit on the market month after month at a price that isn’t causing the home to sell. One of the first questions buyers ask is, “how long has the home been on the market?” the second question generally is, “have they had any offers?”, if not next is, “what’s wrong with, why do you think it hasn’t sold”. The best route to take is to be pro active and competitive with price this will cause the home to sell, remove any concerns about appraised value, and get you to where you need to go.
If we can be of support to you with buying or selling a home in Roanoke Virginia and surrounding areas, we would love the opportunity to interview with you and apply for the job of helping you. Our team has over 25 years combined experience and have participated in closings thousands of homes. I truly believe we have the experience, expertise, and service you’re looking for. Please visit our site on Zillow.com to see some of our recent past client reviews:
http://www.zillow.com/profile/thecrouchteam/. And I invite you to visit our website as well at thecrouchteam.com to see some of the wonderful homes we currently have for sale and to discover more about our team and how we can help!