Providing a Reliable Home Estimate

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With the incredible amount of information available, most real estate agents have found themselves in the position of needing to qualify or flat-out deny a “fact” a client has found. One of the most disheartening is when a client is confident that their home is worth more than it actually is.

There are a few ways to overcome this awkward situation. One of the best is to provide your own valuation with an accompanying explanation of why your initial estimate is likely to be more accurate. Using a home evaluation postcard to direct leads not only to their personalized link, but also to the additional information is an easy way to establish your credibility.

So what factors should you discuss both on your website and when questions about a home estimate’s accuracy come up? To start, explain any laws or policy that puts you, the Realtor, in the ideal position to talk about real estate prices. For example, in non-disclosure states, like Texas, the only way to find the actual sold price of a home is through the MLS. If you regularly update yourself on neighborhood sells, you’re better prepared than many computerized estimates.

Bringing in comparable recent sales also adds to your credibility with a client. Many may not realize that a home’s neighborhood or even street within a neighborhood can and do affect each home’s price. By showing recently sold homes in the area, your client will be able to understand a baseline estimate more readily than by comparing two similar homes in different areas.

What’s more, because you already have your pulse on the market, you can put all these recent sales in context. As buyers or sellers gain more power, you can predict the change in home value.

Once you’ve gone through the neighborhood with your client, it will be a simple matter to go through each home individually. New features to a house, such as a recently redone kitchen, clearly add value. Because these additions are more intuitive, it takes less convincing that they affect the value of a home.

What surprises many, however, is how little some of the larger changes increase the market value. Spending $10,000 on a recent bathroom remodel should add $10,000 to the asking price, right? Stop those myths in their tracks by adding a list of expensive changes that are unlikely to pay off.

With an extensive explanation provided from the beginning, your clients will start their home selling process armed not only with accurate information, but also with an established level of trust with their new agent; you.

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