Thinking about listing your home for sale? There are many things to consider before selecting a realtor to assist with this process. WAIT, thinking of selling your house on your own without using a realtor. Check out my blog, "For Sale By Owner- the pros and cons" of being a FSBO (For Sale By Owner).
HOME VALUES or what your home is worth, is a big part of the equation. Realtors generally use what is called a CMA, Comparative Market Analysis. Similar in some ways to getting an appraisal done, but we are not liscensed as appraisers and there are no set guidelines for us to follow. Basically, it is just an opinion of value, and like all opinions, two people can have some very different ideas. You had BETTER BE INVOLVED AND INFORMED when you have a CMA done to help determine what your property value is. There are realtors out there who, in my opinion, don't look closely enough at the homes they are using for comparibles, and therefore don't end up adjusting the selling or listing price accordingly. Example, many homes often report selling at or above the asking (list) price. Any home that is sold at or above the list price in todays market most likely gave concessions (paid the buyers closing cost, gave money for new carpet, roof, ect.) A realtor doing a CMA and using a home that sold for more than the asking price has an obligation in my opinion to call the agents involved in that transaction and find out the details of what transpired and adjust the CMA accordingly.
THAT IS ONE REASON you can get two very different opinions of values on your home. Another reason is that some realtors adjust higher or lower for certain items. A detached 2 car garage that you have, and the comparible sold property they are using to price your home doesn't have a garage, did the real estate agent add $6000 to the value of your home or did they add $16,000. Big difference for the garage that you know only cost you $4500 to build.
Change it a little, and lets say the comparible sold property does have a 2 car garage, but it is attached to the home with a small mudroom between the garage. Did the realtor adjust at all or just say, you both have 2 car garages so they are similar. The average person is willing to pay at least $10,000 more for an attached garage over a detached garage.
So through the process it is pretty easy to get a very inflated price on your home. So get involved in the process and ask questions.
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! You want to find the realistic price (what it will most likely sell for in 45-60 days) of your home and price your home according to goals. List your home at the price that will accomplish two things, GET YOU THE MOST MONEY and ACCOMPLISH YOUR GOALS.