Susan Ormont - RISK VERSUS REWARD: A SIMPLE GUIDE FOR INVESTING IN REAL ESTATE

If it sold quickly and (fingers crossed!) for more than asking, then you priced it right. That said, I do have some tips that will help you arrive at that magic number:

1. Grab Comparables

The best way to predict what price your property will fetch is to see what similar properties (comparables) sold for. But that’s easier said than done. Every house is unique, so even though two houses can have the same square footage, number of bedrooms, and acreage, they just aren’t the same. House A might have older trees and more shade than the very similar House B. House B might have drop-dead gorgeous granite counters in the kitchen, while House A has laminate. Your challenge is to find sales of properties that, as nearly as possible, compare to yours. Here are variables to consider: • Location: Ideally, you want to find sales within a half-mile radius of your property, but don’t go by distance alone. Also consider if your house is closer/farther away from a highway or has a better/worse view than a nearby comp. This will definitely affect value. • Age: Compare homes of the same vintage. If your 3,200-square- foot home is five years old, don’t compare it to a 3,200-square- foot home that is fifty years old. If you own a two-bedroom condo, don’t compare it to a two-bedroom single-family house. • Recent sales: The more recent the sale, the more valuable the comparable will be in setting the price of your home. Sales in the last six months are okay; sales in the last three months are better. • Soft features: This is where you must trust your gut in pricing your home. Some variables, like curb appeal, nearby shopping, community spirit, and noise are hard to quantify, but will affect

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