Valuing Real Estate

Customers sometimes think that real estate agents are seers. How’s the market? What’s my house worth? If I had perfect foresight, I would be a wealthy woman. But, the real answer is: a property is worth what a buyer is willing to pay and what a seller is willing to accept. Seems simple, but it is often forgotten that real estate is a “market,” just like the stock market, impacted by macro and micro economic forces, supply and demand, AND despite what the last few years exhibited – is a relatively illiquid market.

Right now, the market is more challenging than ever; there is a definite correction in pricing but no-one knows by how much, or when it is going to end. The best pricing strategy in this market is to tell the marketplace that you want to sell – i.e. price your property near or at where it will likely transact. And if you are a buyer – make an offer – you just never know!!

The bottom line – pricing real estate is both an art and a science. The science part is a careful review/analysis of past comparable sales, current comparable asking prices, length of time on the market, and location. The art is adjusting all the facts to the current reality, location, customer needs and requirements and an intuitive sense of what’s fair.

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