All home buyers have one thing in common: they do not want to get ripped off. In today’s increasingly busy housing market, sales have risen to 5.46 million, which, according to the National Association of Realtors, is 7.7% higher than last year. In this busy market, it’s especially important to make sure that you’re getting the right price.

How do you know if you’re getting a fair value? Even if you’re in a tight market, you can figure out if a home is priced fairly before you make the offer. There are certain ways you can evaluate whether the price of any home is a sound investment or if you’re getting ripped off.

First of all, look at recently sold comparable properties. Comparable properties are similar in size, condition, neighborhood, and amenities. Your real estate agent is your best resource for accurate, up-to-date information on comparable properties, also known as comps.

You should also look at comparable properties that are currently on the market, under contract, or not selling at all. If a comparable property failed to sell because it was overpriced, the property you are interested in is probably overpriced too.

“Look at comparable properties to see if the home you want is priced fairly.”

You also have to consider the appreciation rates in the area. Are prices going up? Are prices going down? What do the days on the market look like? If you are in a seller’s market with very low inventory, high demand, and low days on market, you will have a better idea of what a seller is willing to accept. In an appreciating market, you can buy now and reap the benefits of further appreciation down the line.

If you are in a market with high days on market, lots of inventory, and very little demand, then you know that prices are starting to depreciate. In that case, make sure you buy 5% to 10% below the market value so that you don’t lose value as prices continue to drop. In depreciating markets, you need to buy your equity up front in order to make the best investment.

If you have any other questions about determining market value or about real estate in general, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!