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Common Mistakes When Listing a Home For Sale in Today's Real Estate Market

Common Mistakes When Listing a Home For Sale in Today's Real Estate Market

Los Angeles - This is the first of a series related to this topic. Today we will be focusing on the method agents use in determining list prices in today's California market.

How can I be certain? Some homeowners in today's market in California can't help but think that they are "Giving the farm away" How do I know for certain that the agent I listed with today was not looking for a quick sale? I know sales are slow so are they low balling me with this list price to sell it quicker? The house down the street sold for more and my home is so much better than theirs!

Why do different agents have different list prices? The agent I met earlier in the week stated they could sell it for more? Who's right? Should I list with the highest list price quoted and negotiate down? That's what everybody else does right? Is that the best strategy in this market?

These are the stubborn questions, doubts, fears, we all face when listing our homes for sale in this market. Unfortunately there are no guarantees. Most real estate agents are ethical, hard working professionals but it's these few that ruin it for the rest of them. These few are the ones we hear about and broad brush a whole industry as a result.

How can I increase the odds so that I feel confident that the agent I list with knows what they are doing and has my best interest at heart? We are going to focus specifically on the primary tool which will have the most influence besides "Experience" on how an agent determines the list price or "asking price" of your home. This tool is the "Comparative Market Analysis or is commonly known in the industry by the acronym of "C.M.A"

What are common mistakes found within the CMA by inexperienced agents when utilizing this valuable tool.

Not filtering out REO sales "Real Estate Owned" or Bank owned properties which are not "Arms length transactions"

By utilizing these sales you can "Skew" the values unintentionally" downward in many cases. These sales should only be included if they are the predominant sale in the market area.

Not using sales within the same tract or proximity to the home being listed for sale.

Sales outside of the immediate area or tract to support overpriced sale.

Not emphasizing current asking prices and pending sales as the best indicators of current market conditions.

Taking an overpriced listing based on closed sales that are older and reflective of the market at that time in some cases up to 6 months or older.

How do I know if an REO or bank owned properties where used in the C.M.A. analysis?

  • Ask your agent if they filtered these type of sales or listings out of their CMA analysis? (Remember the adage "garbage in, garbage out")
  • Drive by the addresses of the homes listed on the CMA many will state "bank owned" on the for sale sign itself.
  • Check public records on line, ask a local title company to check ownership, or ask a local appraiser who's cooperative. (Remember those that helped and refer them business)

What do you look for or ask to determine ownership of these sold homes listed on the CMA? Ask who the current owner of the home listed is? If it is a bank name, than the home is bank owned and in most cases not a good comparable.

As you can see it is vital that the data included in the Comparative Market Analysis is consistent and reflective of the current market conditions in your area. Using an experienced Agent who factors all of the above in determining the "asking price" will provide the "piece of mind" in knowing all the bases were covered. Listen to this professional and follow their advice You now have the tools and know what to look for within the C.M.A that is presented to you by your real estate professional. Good luck in the sale of your home!

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