When you put your home on the market, one of the best ways to decide on your asking price is to look at comparable sales. There’s rarely a perfect one-to-one comparison available, so a pricing decision will often rely on comparisons to several recent sales in your area. Here are five key criteria to look for in a real estate sales comparison.
Location: When you’re deciding on an asking price, comparing your home to another in the same neighborhood is a good start. Comparing it to homes on the same street or block, though, is even better. Homes in the same localized area often follow the same market trends.
Date of sale: It varies by location, but housing markets can sometimes see a great deal of fluctuation in a relatively short time period. That’s why it’s best to use the most recent sales data available, so stay on top of the market and keep yourself informed.
Home build: When considering a potential sale price, run the numbers. Look for homes with similar numbers of bathrooms and bedrooms, architectural styles, square footage, and other basic stats.
Upgrades and features: Remodeled kitchens and bathrooms can raise a home’s price, as can less flashy upgrades like a new HVAC system or roof. Be sure to look for similar bells and whistles in recent sales in your area.
Sale types: Homes that are sold as foreclosures or short sales are often in distress, so they’re sold at a far lower price point than they would receive from a more conventional sale. These homes are not as useful for comparisons.
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