If someone were to ask you what the most important factor in a home sale was, what would you say? Location? Condition? Age? There are plenty of good answers to that question, but the best one is always going to be PRICE. A home with all the greatest bells and whistles in the perfect spot may be a dream home for many, but will they buy it? That depends on what it will cost them.
Let’s say one day you’re out looking for new sneakers. You go to your local shoe retailer, try on a bunch of pairs, and find one that you really truly love. You check the price tag, and they’re $100. You weren’t looking to spend quite that much today, so you consider a cheaper pair that you didn’t like as much, before deciding to sleep on it. You go home and check online, only to find the same shoes that you want, for $75 with free shipping. It’s your lucky day! So, without hesitation, you purchase the shoes online, they arrive at your house within 5-7 business days, and you and your shoes live happily ever after.
This scenario works for smaller purchases like shoes, up to cars, and of course, all the way up to houses. This is the mentality that buyers have in almost all situations. Unless you are faithful to a certain retailer for one reason or another, why pay more for the same product?
Now, inevitably, the point is brought up, “no two houses are exactly the same.” I am not going to dispute that here. Even homes for sale in Centreville VA in planned communities like Sully Station, Faircrest, London Towne, Virginia Run, and others will have some differences between each other. One might have a green bedroom and the other blue, or one home may have a slightly larger deck, or maybe it faces east instead of south. Bigger differences are possible of course—one home has a pool, or they’ve updated the kitchen with stainless steel, or the carpets have been replaced with hardwood floors. All of these factors have to be considered when pricing homes for sale in Centreville VA. A great Realtor will be able to walk you through this process, but it’s good to know what to expect and consider when looking at your own home.
How to Price Homes for Sale in Centreville VA
No matter where your home is located, there are three basic steps to follow when pricing a home for sale.
- Know the market
- Compare and contrast
- Value the difference
NOTE: If you have hired an agent to help you in this process, and they are letting you pick the price without going through these steps, then you have a weak agent on hand. Don’t let that be you!
Know the Market
Your agent should provide you with several comparable homes in Centreville that are currently active or recently sold, at a minimum. Pay extra attention to the sold prices, as these will give you the best estimate of what your home is worth. A great agent will also take you to see some of the most similar active homes so that you can get a first-hand glimpse of your competition. This is a crucial step to valuing homes for sale in Centreville VA. If you take even a few steps out of Centreville into Fairfax or Chantilly, you will see that homes sell higher in those communities, while turning to Manassas or Gainesville will yield lower prices for comparable homes. If your agent doesn’t understand this, head for the hills.
Compare and Contrast
Whether you are seeing the comparable homes on paper (online) or in person, you should take note of the similarities and differences between your home and the current homes for sale in Centreville VA. Minor differences like color choices or a reversed layout will not have a huge impact on your home’s value, but if there is a difference that required a major renovation (finished basement, updated kitchen, hardwood floors, new deck, etc.) these items will affect value, and therefore, price.
Value the Difference
This is the last step that will ultimately lead you to your home’s fair market value. Now that you have all the data, it’s time to go through your home and add and subtract the value of the differences you found. This is something that will vary from community to community, so it is crucial to have an agent who understands the nuances of the Centreville VA real estate market. Although you can do this on your own, many people find this challenging because of the emotional attachment to their own home, and end up overpricing it. As we have seen, a price that is too high will not lead to a sale.