"But in 2003, we upgraded the bathroom, built a jungle gym, and put in a new dishwasher."
What REALTOR® hasn’t felt challenged during pricing discussions with homeowners in a similar situation? And why wouldn’t an average homeowner expect to earn a return on home improvements?
Thankfully, there is a common ground when it comes to landing on a solid listing price. Here are some proven tools and techniques for guiding your seller in the right direction.
Getting real on the value of home improvements
Flushing out what qualifies as an appreciable home improvement can be a sensitive issue. Homeowners who have put a lot of effort into converting the garage to a family room or the third bedroom to a new master closet may not want to hear that their “new addition” actually depreciates the home’s value.
On the flip side, conscientious homeowners who put their improvement dollars to good use stand to recoup at least a portion of their investment, especially if they rely on a REALTOR® who uses REALTORS® Property Resource’s Refine Value Tool. RPR provides comprehensive data, powerful analytics, and client-friendly reports exclusively to REALTORS®.
With up to 30 predefined home improvements to choose from, RPR’s Refine Value Tool accurately calculates the depreciated value of home improvements, from mid-range jobs to upscale additions and remodels. The tool also enables users to refine a home’s value by confirming/adjusting basic facts about the property, as well as other factors such as an assessment of local market conditions, the interior and exterior of the home’s condition, lot size, view, privacy and more.
Getting into what really happened to the house next door
Beyond what they find on the web, consumers form their expectations from personal experiences or what they hear from neighbors. “The house next door sold for more than you’re suggesting we sell for,” is well heard by listing agents. Short of arranging a tour of said house, REALTORS® can opt to pull up RPR’s app right there at the kitchen table.
Using a smartphone or tablet, the app’s GPS will automatically detect the phone’s whereabouts and display all of the homes in the area in either a list or map view. Discover all there is to know about the property, including:
- Did the property sell for more or less than the list price?
- Did the home have any distressed actions?
- How long was the house on the market?
- Were there price reductions?
As the photos and data speak for themselves, many agents will politely put the ball back into the seller’s court by asking, “Now that you’ve learned more about your neighbor’s property, how would you rate your home by comparison?” Doing so allows the homeowner to reevaluate her assumptions and move the needle that much closer to a mutually agreed upon list price.
This post previously appeared on the Texas Association of REALTORS® blog.