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What is your home really worth?

Has the time come for you to buy a new home and sell your current one? If you answered “yes,” then you’re about to embark on a journey filled with many questions and answers. Generally people choose to sell their home when they set out to make a new purchase. If this is true in your case, the biggest (and maybe the first) question of the day is: What is my home really worth right now?

A great way to establish the list price of your home is to get a Current Market Analysis (CMA). A CMA usually includes a range of comparable properties that are within your neighbourhood. If you happen to have a particularly unique property, a broader area may need to be explored in order to find those comparable properties. 

In any case, a CMA for your home should incorporate properties currently on the market (aka. your competition), pending sales (these are great for determining what the market is actually paying), recent sales, and expired or withdrawn listings.

Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and imagine your reaction (as a buyer) to these two statements:

  1.  The seller says their house is worth $500,000
  2. The house is priced at $500,000 based on an appraisal

Some buyers would consider #2 to be the most informative. However most buyers don’t put much weight in what anyone else thinks the house is worth. Buyers will care about what they think the house is worth. So if you have a worn out, smelly carpet, or questionable looking wallpaper that puts off the buyer, it doesn’t matter what the appraisal is. This is why some people say that the market value is ultimately determined by the number of dollars that a buyer is willing to pay for the home, in a range acceptable to the seller.

Obviously, the buyer’s opinion of your home will directly affect how much they’re willing to pay. You want your house to look like it’s worth every penny of the sum you want. A good way to put your home’s best foot(print) forward is to renovate or “stage” the home to look its best. If you have the time and money to renovate, it’s a great idea to focus on bathrooms and kitchens, because those are the renovations that impress viewers the most to bring in top dollar. However not everyone wants, or needs, to renovate their home in order to excite potential buyers. Sometimes a little staging is all your home needs. Let’s touch on a few simple ways to stage your home for a glamorous first impression:

  1.  Depersonalize – a potential homebuyer needs to picture him or herself living in the rooms of your house. Quirky wall paint or pictures of your kids everywhere can hinder the illusion, so try to remove your family photos, and maybe paint that orange wall a more neutral shade. 
  2.  Make sure it’s all in top condition – Cracked plaster, torn screens, and burnt out pot lights are all no-nos. You may be used to seeing these small things by now, but they add up to a bad first impression. It’s best to repair anything that needs it, prior to putting your listing on the market.
  3.  Scale of the house vs. furnishings – You might love your giant sofa, but if it makes the room look tiny, it probably should be moved. Try to arrange small groupings of furniture (ideally more than one in large rooms) with plenty of space around them. 

At the end of the day, the answer to the question of your home’s worth has a few layers. After a little research, and some renovation or staging work to nudge those buyers into a “spending” frame of mind, you’ll find that your home’s worth might be exactly, or even more than, what you thought it was. If you’re looking for more information on or selling your home in the winter – or any time of year, we are here to help you at Clairwood Real Estate. Call on our experienced Realtors® at 705-445-7085 and we can help you get started on finding your dream home in Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Grey Highlands, Blue Mountain or the Georgian Triangle Area.