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Friday, November 05, 2010

How much is Your House Worth? Choosing Comps When Selling Your Brevard County House

Have you ever heard someone state “my house is worth XXXX and I paid XXXX for it.”  When I hear these comments I wonder if they are actually comparing their house with similar properties.

There are a lot of sites online that will "tell you what you house is worth.”  Be aware these sites are not always using current data.

Other things to consider include:

  • Maintenance.  There can be a substantial difference in condition if an owner has stayed on top of the everyday maintenance issues. Routine AC service, pest inspections, tackling little issues before they become major problems all add value when getting ready to sell.
  • Updating. A house is not like clothing that goes out of style every year or two but the same carpet from 1979 may not work, just as the harvest gold appliances.
  • Construction. Compare apples to apples as concrete block, wood frame, brick, etc have different costs.
  • Sold properties. Look at what has sold recently in your neighborhood, not across town.
  • Size. Saying the house down the street sold for X dollars is not a valid comparative unless it shares other characteristics such as the sq ft under air conditioning, garage size, construction material, age, etc.
  • Circumstances/Type of sale. Estate sales sometimes bring less as the sellers are ready to sell with the earliest reasonable offer.  Short sales and foreclosures (distressed properties) exert pricing pressure as well.  Having a "sell by" date also influences pricing.
  • Amenities. Pool, storage shed, privacy fence, screened porch, etc all add value.  A word of caution on pools though...they are not worth what you paid for them!
  • Lot Size/Location. It is reasonable to assume your .5 acre lot is more valuable than the smaller lot just as a lake, golf course or conservation area direct property is more valuable than one that is not so located.   Is your house or the comparable located in a gated community? Also is your home or the comparable house located in a community with a pool, park, tennis courts or whatever?  All of these characteristics create different values. 

This is not an all-inclusive list of considerations.  If you are considering placing your home on the market, call a local real estate agent to provide you with a market analysis.  Most real estate agents will prepare them at no charge and they will use more data than a national database!

Gary L. Waters PLLC, Florida licensed real estate agent, Century 21 Baytree Realty, Rockledge, Florida serving Florida's Space Coast including the cities and communities of Melbourne, Viera, Rockledge, Suntree, Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach and the surrounding region.

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