The Northern Virginia real estate market is settling down after a wild ride. For months, prices soared, leaving buyers scrambling to keep up. But recent trends have buyers and sellers scratching their heads about determining the value of a home. There are so many factors involved, and conditions are constantly changing. That’s why working with an experienced agent is essential whether you’re pricing your home for sale or looking to buy the perfect home at the best price. A seasoned Realtor knows the ins and outs of the market and can help you sell your home for maximum profit–or make a winning offer as a buyer without overpaying.
What Are Factors that Determine Home Value?
Your home’s market value is different from its assessed or appraised price. It hinges on a range of factors, including:
- The location covers your specific geographic area, region of the country, and ZIP code. It also involves your location within a community or neighborhood. For example, are you located on a quiet side street or cul-de-sac or near a busy roadway?
- Public schools are at the heart of many communities. Excellent public schools raise the market value for homes in their zone.
- Parks, recreational facilities, and public services improve the quality of life and add value to homes in their communities.
- A robust local job market boosts home values. Quality employers and competitive salaries raise the demand for housing.
- Property taxes are a double-edged sword. If they are too high, they can reduce demand. On the flip side, they fund schools and other services that make communities appealing. Talk with your agent about taxes and how they will impact your home’s actual price.
- As we see in 2022, interest rates factor into sales prices. When rates are low, buyers can borrow and spend more on housing. As rates rise, demand often drops, bringing prices down.
- Small details can often lead to significant differences in price. That’s why curb appeal, minor repairs and staging are critical for sellers.
What Is the “Comp” and Why Is It So Important?
Analyzing sales of comparable homes in your community is one of the best ways your agent determines market value. She’ll look at recent sales and homes currently on the market, focusing on homes of similar age, size, condition and location. Then she’ll prepare a comparative market analysis report with a plan to market your home. In addition, buyers should get an appraisal from a licensed independent appraiser (you’ll need this for your mortgage lender). Comps help sellers determine the listing price for their homes. They also help buyers determine value when making an offer.
Understanding Market Value as a Buyer
One of the mistakes buyers make is assuming the asking price is based on market value. Especially in a shifting market, the asking price may be out of date or out of touch. Working with a skilled buyer’s agent can help you navigate the process. You don’t want to overpay. However, at the same time, you want to avoid losing your dream home to another buyer by lowballing. Your agent will help you figure out what you can afford–and make the correct offer based on her comparative market analysis.
Understanding Market Value as a Seller
Pricing your home for sale is complicated. If you overprice, your house can sit on the market, making it less appealing to buyers. If you underprice, you miss out on potential profit and risk creating the impression that there’s something wrong with your home. Finding the right price for your market is the key to a successful sale. That’s why hiring an experienced seller’s agent is vital.
How Can My Real Estate Agent Help Me Determine Value?
Pricing a listing or making an offer takes skill and market savvy. Hiring the right agent can mean a higher profit for you as a seller or getting a fair price on your dream home as a buyer. Yvonne Holland has decades of experience in the Northern Virginia real estate market and has developed a finely honed sense of market value. She’s well known for her skill in assisting buyers and sellers alike find the right price for listing or making an offer. As an Accredited Staging Professional, Yvonne also helps sellers address the details that bring a significant boost in price. As the real estate market shifts, it’s vital to have a trusted agent by your side. Yvonne Holland is the agent of choice for buyers and sellers around the Northern Virginia region.