While this statement is true, it’s no cause for alarm. Overall market trends and signs for the Highlands/Cashiers Real Estate Market have many positive indicators. Many more homes are currently under contract and inventory is reducing. Let’s take a closer look at the market before we make any drastic decisions.
Ever walk into a home and had that strange odor hit you? I’m not talking about the garbage that wasn’t removed nor the old fish that was prepared the night before. I’m talking about that musty odor. For those of us with allergies and asthma, it’s a dead give away. There’s a mold problem in the house.
Mold spores are everywhere. However, homes that have been closed up for some time seem to gather them. Also, if the home is under tree’s or has some moisture problems this will help the spores to propagate.
This mold and mildew attaches itself to just about everything.
Drapes, cabinet doors, sheet rock (especially in closets) concrete blocks and other surfaces are breeding grounds for these odor causes.
The Problem with Musty Odor’s
If we’ve been away from home for a while we may enter the house and notice the odor, but dismiss it as “normal” or “to be expected.” However, home buyers see it from a different perspective.
If you’re a buyer you may want to leave the home faster than when you entered. You are conscious about the health risks associated with mold and mildew. You’re also aware that this indicates a moisture problem and you don’t want to be responsible for the cleanup. You’re also not sure that it can be fixed. If it could be fixed, then why didn’t the current owners do something about it? If the current owners didn’t care enough to take care of this health hazard, what else have they allowed to happen with the home? And, with other homes on the market without this problem, why would a seller expect a buyer to choose his home? Would you buy a home that already has roof leaks?
What to Do About Musty Odors
You can clean it up yourself. Most people use a little bleach and water to wash down the surfaces. They may even have their carpets and drapes cleaned. However, this is only a temporary fix. Often, within just a couple of months, the mold is back and so are the odors. So what’s the solution?
Eliminate the source of the problem. There are mold remediation companies that will inspect your home for free. They will let you know where your problem originates and help you find the solution to correct the problem. After the problem has been corrected then the cleanup can begin. Problem solved.
Find Mold Remediation Company
In our area, we live in the woods and receive a lot of rainfall each year. If you’re having a moisture problem in the Highlands, Cashiers, Glenville, Toxaway or Sapphire Area, contact Rick. He’ll be happy to let you know what companies are in our local area to help you solve your mold, mildew and moisture problems.
To determine the value of your home you should contact a real estate agent. However, it’s not “Rocket Science”. Still, you need to know the determining factors for a Current Market Analysis. The key word here being “Current”.
How to Determine Current Market Value
The “Sales Comparison Approach” is probably the simplest method to determine the value of your home. However, this requires having access to current data and knowing how to interpret trends. Here is some information you will need:
Comps – This is just short for “comparisons” or “comparative”. In other words, you try to find a home that is similar to yours, the “subject property”. Unfortunately, unless you live in a “cookie cutter” subdivision chances are pretty good you’re not going to find a home just like yours. Also, these need to be “sold” comps, not those currently listed on the market. This is what real estate agents and appraisers use from the MLS. DO NOT COMPARE YOUR HOME VALUE TO LISTED PRICES. It is the “sold” price that determines what knowledgeable buyers are willing pay.
Adjustments – Once you have found a comp similar to your property, it’s time to start making adjustments. Things to consider are:
age of home
condition of home
number of bedrooms and bathrooms
garage/carport (attached, detached)
size of lot (wooded, cleared)
frontage (views, lake, street, etc)
location (near town, country club, remote, gravel or paved road, HOA, etc)
other improvements (generator, a/c, etc.)
You can use a Uniform Residential Appraisal Report to help you see how determine the value of your home. However, unless you are familiar with these values and their differences it may be unwise to try to make such adjustments.
Unfortunately, sentimental value carries no monetary value. This is where most homeowners have a hard time separating their feelings from the reality of what a home buyer is willing to pay.
Tax Assessment – This IS NOT a good factor in determining the value of your home. For example, here in Macon and Jackson Counties of NC, property tax does not have to be re-assessed for every 8 years. Property values may rise or fall and current assessment can be quite different from the current market values. Macon County just raised their tax rate in 2015. Jackson County may also show an increase in millage rate coming soon.
Real Estate Market Trends – You should know the current market trend. Is it rising, falling or holding steady. This, too, will help you determine the current value of your home.
Motivation – Why are you wanting to sell? How soon do you want your home sold? These are factors to determine as well.
Selling Your Home
Your Real Estate Agent is the best source for helping you to determine the value of your home. Remember, they’re not your enemy. They want to sell your home for as much as possible. Their salary and profession depend upon that. However, an over priced home does no one any good. It sits on the market, becomes known as an overpriced home and other agents may not show it. It wouldn’t be fair to their potential buyers. So what do you do? Hire a Professional.
A Real Estate Agent is here to help you. Their knowledge and activity in the Real Estate World is what helps you get your home sold. Yes, they do charge a fee for their services, but think of it this way; you can hire a professional painter to paint your house or you can get your neighbor to do it and maybe save some money. However, which would give you the better and/or desired results?
Hire a real estate agent to help you determine the value of your home.
Please share your comments below on how you determine the value of your home.
In the early days, one would “kick the tires” because older tires may have had imperfections and were manufactured in many different ways. “Kicking the tires” could reveal a defect, alerting the potential buyer of flaws. Today, “kicking the tires” is not enough to make an informed decision. The same is true if you’re planning on buying a home. A real estate agent can help you “kick the tires” on a home.
Why Use a Real Estate Agent?
It is in your best interest to have a “Buyers Agent” when looking at Real Estate. Why?
Some buyers think they can get a better deal without an agent. They feel they save money by not having to pay commissions. Truth is, the commission is usually already figured into the sellers side. So for the buyer, not only do they not pay any commissions, but they are getting representation at no cost. This is just the beginning of the benefits of using a real estate agent for the home buyer.
Just like “kicking the tires”, much remains to be unseen. Having a qualified professional look over things and assist you can save you potential heartache and problems down the road. For example, a seasoned real estate agent will make sure the seller has all documents in place. In NC, this includes a Residential Property and Owners Association Disclosure required by ALL sellers of real estate, even if it is a FSBO (For Sale By Owner). However, without having someone on your side, things can be missed. An agent is also familiar with the market and can help make sure you’re not paying to much for a property. He may be aware of similar properties to what you are considering for less. He will also check to see what other assessments, liens, encroachments, easements, etc. may be attached to the property. In other words, he will be looking for all the hidden factors that are often overlooked are not considered by many home buyers. A buyers agent has an obligation to make sure he is protecting your best interests. He knows how to look up what is owed on a property and other considerations to help you negotiate a good price.
Real Estate Commissions
While most real estate agents do earn a commission, this is often misunderstood by many in the general public. Because an agent earns more if he sells at a higher price, some feel the agent is trying to get the most he can out of a sale. However, this is not in the agents long term best interests. A good agent will do all he can to help a buyer save as much as possible. The buyer will then appreciate the agents efforts and tell their friends to use that agent. So it is the buyers referrals that are of benefit to that agent. By doing a good job he gets more work. It’s the same in most professions. Referrals are the best source of income.
“Kick the Tires and Look Under the Hood”
So as we’ve considered, kicking the tires may not be enough. Even if you look under the hood, unless you know what you’re looking at this may all be of little benefit to you. If you could have
someone put your vehicle up on a rack and look it over to give you their professional opinion, at no cost to you, would you do it? Then why not get a buyers agent to help represent you? The seller is paying to have this done for you, so why not take advantage of those services? It really serves your best interests.
The short answer is NO! You do not have to have a real estate agent to sell your home. You can go through the process without any representation. However, this could be likened to going to court without a lawyer. So before you decide to try a For Sale By Owner approach, you may want to consider what an agent does. True, you can do all of the work yourself, but if you have a busy life or lack the resources and marketing skills, you may come out ahead to consider using a real estate agent.
One of the first things to consider is the current value of your home. There are a few ways that many try to asses it’s value:
Property Tax Value – Oddly enough, when we get our bill each year, most of us KNOW that our home is not worth its assessed value. Assessed is the county’s amount to generate tax revenue for the county budget.
Neighboring Homes For Sale Price– There is a difference between a “Listed” price and the actual “Selling” price. Just because a home is “Listed” for a certain amount does not mean that is what it sold for. And don’t expect your neighbor to be honest about the “sold” price. However, this is public record and you can get this from the tax records.
“I’ve Lived Here for XX Years“ – Known as “Sentimental Value” your emotions have no value in the market price of your home. Although your father may have built the house and 3 generations grew up there, this does not equate to “value” in the minds of buyers.
“My Friend Sold His House For…“ – While this may be true, where is his house? Is it in close proximity or in another area? Does it have a view? How many square feet is this house in relation to yours? Did his have a fireplace or lake view like yours? This and many other variables come in to play and adjustments have to be made. Without experience and current information and knowing how to make adjustments you could leave money on the table or be asking too much.
“I Paid $$$ For My House” – What you paid for your house and what is its current value are two different matters. Housing markets are constantly changing. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency a home purchased in the middle of 2008 for $450,000 was only worth about $430,000 by the end of 2013. Use this link for a FREE HOUSING PRICE CALCULATOR on your home.
CMA (Comparative Market Analysis)– This is most often used by Real Estate Brokers. They look at all data available to them, including recent sales and amounts of similar properties. They often use programs to make adjustments according to size and other special features to arrive at a Current Market Value. Listing Prices and tax values are usually not considered as these could be inflated. This is not considered to be an appraisal, unless your agent is a licensed appraiser. However, the techniques used are very similar.
Use of An Appraiser – You will need to hire and pay an appraiser to give you a value on your home. Although this is similar to a CMA, appraisers are licensed, trained individuals that use many of the same concepts as a CMA. However, appraisers will often use distressed and foreclosed properties. Real Estate agents usually elect not to use these as they will drive down the overall price of your home.
While this is not a comprehensive list of all methods used to calculate value, you can begin to see that the process of pricing your home correctly for a sale is really an art. It also requires some experience to get a marketable price. Using your best guess could cost you in loss of revenue or pricing to high so as to discourage potential buyers. The process may also take a few days with much research. One needs to consider such time and resources when trying to sell their home without an agent.
Using a real estate agent does not mean they will lower your price to make a sale. The truth is, agents are paid in commissions. They want to make as much as they possibly can. To do that your home must be priced fair and in a range that potential buyers are willing to pay. As a “Sellers” agent in NC, your agent must exercise skill, care and diligence to the “Sellers” best interest. If not, he could open himself to disciplinary action by the NC Real Estate Commission. If you feel your NC agent has not treated you properly you can file a complaint HERE.
This is the first in a series on How to Sell Your Home With or Without an Agent. Return often to learn more on How To Sell Your Home.