100 Real Estate and Relocation Tips in 100 Days (Day 93)

Value is in the mind of the buyer. How to find the best value for you is a process, a search if you will, but not as much of a discovery as enlightenment.

Let’s look at value from the seller’s perspective. A few sellers set a price based on what they want, and not on what the market is indicating. Most sellers set their price based on market information, known as comparable sales, with that information usually being provided by a Realtor®. Because appraisers determine value based on certain well defined strictures, most Realtors® attempt to provide their selling clients with market data similar to what an appraiser will use at the time of sale. Simply stated, that means very similar houses, in close proximity to the subject house, and sold in the past 90 days. A seller can gain a small edge by offering a house in very good condition, staged for showing, with the best terms of purchase available. As a buyer, the value proposition starts with that well maintained house offered at the market price. Prices set arbitrarily by a seller because that is what they want do not represent a good value.

As a buyer, you must first become acquainted with prices as they generally apply to house of the same type, size, and area as the most likely house you wish to buy. That will provide a framework for pricing, a component of value. A your search narrows, your agent can provide you with recent sold information, which will help you further define a most likely offering price.

With the pricing component coming into focus, other value concerns must be considered. Timing is of considerable importance. If you cannot move into your dream house until 30 days beyond your most convenient date, then the cost of that delay must be considered. If the house has deferred maintenance, then the cost of any repairs must be factored into your decision. Locational convenience must be considered. 5 minutes further from work is ten minutes a day, or 48 hours in a year. Children walking to school are preferable to a 30 minute bus ride. How far to shopping, parks, and all of the other things in you and your family’s life that require a venue other than your home?

There is of course value in a stable neighborhood verses a declining neighborhood. Proximity to transportation systems, top rated school districts, police and fire protection, all of these things affect value. While the final price is important, use care in not making price the sole deciding factor. Such a decision would definitely not represent good value