Selling your house can be a huge headache–especially
when you’re selling it in today’s buyer’s
real estate market
. One of the most challenging aspects to deal with is
determining your home’s value. When it comes to fixing a fair price, homeowners
always shoot high. After all, you love your house and you know how much work
you’ve put into it. Won’t someone else appreciate it as much as you


The short answer is no. An experienced real
estate agent
will take the emotional factor out of the equation and help you
come up with a realistic market value for your house. But if you want to sell
your house yourself without a realtor
–or you just want to be prepared for
the number they advise–here are five factors that can heavily skew the asking
price of your home.


1. Location


We’ve all heard how important “location, location,
location” is, and with good reason. A great house in a bad location can knock as
much as 50 percent off the value. If you have the nicest, most expensive house
in your average neighbourhood, then the value is also going to be much lower
than it would be if you had the least expensive house in a nice neighbourhood.
Other factors, like freeways, proximity to a landfill or sewage treatment
center, and train tracks, can knock 10 to 15 percent or more off the value of
your home. This is why it’s so important to shop location first when you’re
buying a house; you can always add home
, but moving it to another neighbourhood isn’t going to


2. Outdated Rooms


If your fridge is more than 15 years old and your oven
isn’t black or stainless steel, then count on listing your house lower than
you’d be able to if you had a fully updated kitchen. With the influx of homes on
the market right now, people can easily get a home that doesn’t need any
updating, so why would they choose one that does? If you don’t want to update
your home in order to sell it, know that outdated rooms can affect the value of
your home by up to 10 percent.


3. Renters


Many people don’t want to own a home surrounded by
rental properties. Although it’s a stereotype, tenants
often don’t keep up the property like an owner would. In this case, the value of
your house can go down as much as 15 percent, depending on how many rentals are
in close proximity to your home.


4. Major Upgrades


In this market, don’t count on getting more for
your home if you just upgraded the plumbing, bought a new furnace, or replaced
your roof. However, if your home does need those upgrades and you haven’t done
them, then it’s going to knock as much as 20 percent off the value of your home,
depending on how severe the upgrade is. Buyers simply don’t want to shell out
for major upgrades – especially when there is a large pool of other properties
to choose from.


5. Fencing


Most people looking to buy a house have kids or pets. If
your home doesn’t have a fenced backyard, you’re going to alienate a huge
portion of the market since fenced backyards are essential for keeping kids and
pets safe and contained. Not having a fence can knock up to 10 percent off your
home’s value.


Final Thoughts


Although many of these factors, like location and
proximity to renters, are out of your hands, there are plenty of things you can
do to increase the value and appeal of your home. For instance, buyers almost
always choose light and airy homes over dark ones. Therefore, it’s beneficial to
do whatever you can to bring a sense of light and space into your home. Other
factors, such as fresh paint and a tidy lawn, make a great first impression as
well. The important thing is to be realistic when deciding on a price for your
home so that you can move it off the market as quickly as possible. 
 Money Crashers, Wednesday June 1, 2011

Brought to you courtesy of Barry Cave www.barrycave.com When Money matters…

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