Home Selling in 01945>Question Details

oldhamronald, Home Buyer in Asheville, NC

I have 3 estimates on the value of my home. in the 850k to 1,000K range. !50K spread is hard to explain. any help.?

Asked by oldhamronald, Asheville, NC Thu Jun 27, 2013

I don't want to leave money on the table but as a seller its difficult to get a true value. You always want the best price but i also want the best agent.

Help the community by answering this question:


Sometimes it is as simple as which licensee wants the listing more.
We have an agent here in town who over prices everything and then works the seller down to the real selling price.
People sometimes list with her because she "has so many listings."
My questions to them iinclude; How many are selling? How long do they take to sell? What is the ratio of the original list price to the sale price. And, how many listings does she lose to other companies that then sell?

Other reasons can include,
Some new licensees don't get help doing their pricing.
Some properties are hard to price because of location, style, condition, components, etc.

Each CMA should come with supported properties.
I would look at those properties and see which numbers are supported by the comps, in your opinion.
I'd even drive by those that have sold if you aren't familiar with them.
You might even search online for pics of the properties that have sold - or ask the licensees for complete sets of pics of the internals of their sold comps fo your own reference.

Ask each licensee if the properties on their comp list are ones they have actually been in.
Ask why they chose x property or y property.
If the properties in the 3 CMAs differ, ask why licensee A used property X rather than property Y.
Questions like that, which help you learn how well they know their own CMA will help you.

(I'm on the Cape, but I can help you choose a local pro if you want help doing so.)

(Please note: when you choose an answer as a Best Answer, or at least give a thumbs up, it helps those who answer questions here.)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 28, 2013
I totally agree with Dan!

While it is frustrating, and a bit surprising, to have a 15% spread on those price opinions, it can happen.

You have to be careful that someone isn't telling you what they think you want to hear.

When in doubt - go for the lower number. While it is often difficult for a seller to accept, the lower list price can absolutely result in a higher sale price.

In regard to selecting one of the 3 agents..........you are the best judge. I am sure you selected the 3 of them based on some criteria indicating they are all well qualified............so... why not go with the person you have the most confidence in.....and with whom you felt a comfort level. And.........always get a written marketing plan so you know what to expect!

Good luck!
Best wishes!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 27, 2013
Let me tell you something that may be contrary to what you expect to hear. Pricing at the low end of the range will make you more money than over pricing, lots more.
When you buy something on sale, you see something you like, you see value and feel as if you're getting a good deal. When someone else wants the same thing, and it's the only one the value of that item goes up in both of your eyes. Who wants it more? Whoever does, will offer to pay more for it.
I'm not in NC, so there may be some things about your specific market that are different, but in many markets around the country multiple offers are common and homes are selling for over list price.
If the agent that suggests a low to middle price does an amazing job marketing your home, will do an open house or two and you prepare the home for the market in the way they suggest, you may get a great outcome.
The truth is the market sets the price. More people are willing to bid up a house's value than write a much lower offer out of fear of "offending you."
My last listing sold in 6 days for 116% of list price and my seller's were thrilled. I've attached a blog piece I wrote called 4 Keys to selling your home quickly and for top dollar. You may find it helpful.
Best of luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 27, 2013
The best thing you can possibly do is assess the data used for the value yourself. Many times I meet with sellers and the agent before me did not show comparable or give a detailed explanation of why they recommended a certain price. What makes sense to you based on the comparable properties?

It should be backed up with data and easy for you to follow. If not be wary of that agent.

Secondly, as pointed out in previous responses, be careful of an agent "buying your listing". Meaning the agent over inflates a value so that you hire them and then beat you down on price after listing it.

Fair market value is not an exact science and in the best of circumstances you will get a 3-10% range. There are times when value is very hard to pinpoint with accuracy because the property may not have comparable properties. In that case I will tell the seller that but come up with alternative ways to price the property.

Following are some blog posts you may find helpful.

Understanding fair market value

Is Agent Buying Your Listing?

Price to Sell or Pay the Price Later
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 28, 2013
Since I grew up in Asheville, NC, I wanted to respond to your question as it appears that you are an Ashevillian also. Your question is certainly a good and fair concern and one which my sellers ask me as well. This is a particularly fragile market as the interest rates are in the process of changing and that can affect the buyers' ability to obtain jumbo loans; even a small increase in interest rates can make an otherwise qualified buyer think twice about making an offer. I would focus on the expertise and experience of your agent and choose the agent you feel will represent your home the best. The difference in estimates can sometimes be narrowed by looking only at the last three months'( not the usual six months') activity of sold homes within Marblehead. I would be happy to provide a fourth market analysis of your home's value as I am a realtor in Marblehead. 781-608-8066. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 28, 2013
Since we've been selling houses in Marblehead since 1949, let me make it easy for you.
If you've got that big a range in Marblehead it probably means your house is unlike others in town, which I'm guessing means it's downtown, not among other similar houses.

Some houses in Marblehead are selling for over asking price on Day One. Others have been on the market for years. Years! Why?

Each of those three agents should have explained to you the methodology by which they derived those prices. Did they? Did you ask them to?

As a seller you don't get to decide the selling price -- you get to decide how long the house will be on the market. There are always many prices for a house: the One Day Price, the One Week Price, the One Month Price, the One Decade Price. Which do you want?

Please call me for a fourth estimate and a complete explanation of how I derived it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 27, 2013
Dan describes a function that isn't overly sophisticated. However, many sellers want to start high and then gradually reduce price to attract more offers. That's not the best approach. Low price attracts wider interest. When buyers line up to make offers, it does indeed get interesting.

Oldhamronald, it is not surprising to hear there is a 15 percent range in price. Certainly, not when prices are rising quickly. The problem is not the methodology, nor the agents. Three agents might draw their comps from wider and wider areas because there are so few homes being sold. If this is a downside, it's not a bad one. You could probably ask five agents and get five answers. It can resemble the game the Price is Right, and some agents may yield to the temptation to boost their numbers.

You should base your selection on intangibles such as how well you communicate with the Realtor you plan to hire. Experience and background are big, of course. You might look at what their referrals say. Many agents will boast about their company and its huge advertising budget. But you want to base your decision on the Realtor's individual strengths. No amount of advertising is going to help when it comes to problem-solving or anticipating potential problems. There is no replacement for experience.

I mention Realtors because we have met strict educational and practical requirements. We are bound by ethics. Many of us Realtors in Colorado are constantly training. Ask about certifications. I've sold homes for builders, too. I keep my awards on the wall in my office. This brings me to another point. Many in real estate bring additional knowledge and skill to the profession. My background includes design, home construction and management.

You should interview three or more Realtors. And It sounds like you have done that.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 27, 2013

look at the estimates you got and see how detailed & realistic they are, and how much attention to detail the people that gave you these estimates paid to the reports. I see your profile is from Asheville, NC but the question is about home selling in zip code 01945 which is Marblehead here in MA (is this where you are selling?). Also, keep in mind that brokers/agents don't price houses, buyers do, as a house is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it.
As for a strategy to maximize your dollar and time I would offer the best value in your market, meaning list at or below market value to maximize your house's value instead of chasing the market by pricing it higher.
You can also get another 2 or three market analysis if you are not comfortable with the ones you got, after all they do not cost you anything.
Other than a marketing plan, which can vary from company to company but should have a heavy emphasis on the web, pick a broker or agent that you "click" with and has a great communication plan established (for you, colleagues and buyers) since you will be working with this person for a bit of time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 27, 2013
Another reason why these estimates can vary is because statistics can be manipulated to show a price a broker has in mind.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 27, 2013
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