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Understanding Your Home’s Value 

In a neighborhood of similar homes, why is one worth more than another? That’s the question that’s teased buyers and sellers for ages, but the answer is simple.

Every Home Is Different

When a home is sold, a willing seller and a willing buyer determine the value of that home with the sale price. That price then becomes a benchmark for other similar homes, but other factors come into play. The most important are:

  • Location: The closer a home is to jobs, parks, transportation, schools, and community services, the more desirable it is.

  • Size: Square footage impacts home value because a larger home is built using more materials, and gives the homeowner more usable space. And a larger lot size could mean more privacy than a smaller one.

  • Number of bedrooms and baths: Additional bedrooms and bathrooms raise the value of a home compared to similar homes that do not have those rooms.

  • Features and finishes: Features such as outdoor kitchens and spa baths make a home more luxurious. A home finished with hardwood floors and granite countertops is going to cost more than a home with carpet and laminate countertops.

  • Condition: The closer a home is to new construction, the more it will retain its value. It’s perceived as more modern, up to date, and perhaps safer. Homes that are not updated or in poor repair sell for less as purchasers’ factor in the cost of updating and eventually replacing appliances and systems.

  • Curb appeal: From the street, the home looks clean, fresh, and inviting. Fresh landscaping and flowers won’t change the size or location, but they certainly add charm.

When two homes are identical in the same neighborhood, a higher price may come down to something as simple as views, paint colors, or the overall taste of the homeowner.


  • Pricing a home for sale is as much art as science, but there are a few truisms that never change.

  • Fair market value attracts buyers, overpricing never does.

  • The first two weeks of marketing are crucial.

  • The market never lies, but it can change its mind.

Fair market value is what a willing buyer and a willing seller agree by contract is a fair price for the home. Values can be impacted by a wide range of reasons, but the two biggest are location and condition. Generally, fair market value can be estimated by considering the comparables; commonly referred to as comps – other similar homes that have sold or are currently for sale in the same area.  Sellers often view their homes as special, which tempts them to put a higher price on it, believing they can always come down later, but that’s a serious mistake.  Overpricing prevents the very buyers who are eligible to buy the home from ever seeing it. Most buyers shop by price range and look for the best value in that range.


Your best chance of selling your home is in the first two weeks of marketing. Your home is fresh and exciting to buyers and to their agents.

With a sign in the yard, full description and photos in the local Multiple Listing Service, distribution across the Internet, open houses, broker’s caravan, ads, and email blasts to your listing agent’s buyers, your home will get the greatest flurry of attention and interest in the first two weeks.

The First 7 Days: The first week is all about stirring the interest and building the buyer list. We commit to a marketing strategy that ensures maximum exposure to encourage as many pre-approved showings as possible. This includes exceptional online presence on major sites and social media where buyers are looking, as well as face-to-face contact with neighbors, local agents and potential buyers.  

Days 8-15: The second week is where the traditional public such as Agents and Brokers really get exposure. This whole week, we’ll guide them to setting up showings on the coming up Saturday (the day of the open house). Although we will accept offer as they come in, our goal is to get as many people through the house at the same time to breed competition. We will have multiple lines of communication open to build the showings for the upcoming weekend.

If you don’t get many showings or offers, you’ve probably overpriced your home, and it’s not comparing well to the competition. Since you can’t change the location, you’ll have to either improve the home’s condition or lower the price.

We also commit to providing feedback from buyers and agents, to you on all showings. And provide weekly updates on the market as it pertains to your home. The market can always change its mind and give your home another chance, but by then you’ve lost precious time and perhaps allowed a stigma to cloud your home’s value.

Online Evaluation Services

Most people know at least one web based service to look at when they want to see home values.  But what most people don’t realize is that each service will value the home differently and each service has a percentage of error. These online sources also can’t accurately reflect all of the hard work you’ve put into making your home unique.  News and other media outlets don’t always have a current representation of  what is happening here in the Central Valley.  As professional REALTORS we have the tools to compare these different services.  We put the these and other services together to find your homes value range.  With an in-home consultation we have the expertise to show you where your home fits into today market.