How to Price Real Estate

Spring is near, so here are some great tips for pricing real estate! As of the writing of this article we have two full months of 2014 under our belt and the numbers say that the real estate market is continuing to perform well on a steady rebound from the “bursting of the bubble”.  As is the case with any subject that is heavily measured by performance numbers there are so many ways to report and interpret the data.  In this short article I will give you the local facts and then my opinion regarding those facts.  Notice I said I will give you the “local” facts, this is important.  Real estate is very local, in some cases local means the county or the city and other cases it means specific streets.  Keep that in mind as you will naturally want to read this data then apply the facts to your own personal home or property.  If you want a true value of your specific property you will need to drill down even further than the level of statistics I am quoting here.  You will attain this level of detail by utilizing the services of a professional real estate broker/REALTOR and/or a real estate appraiser, who will prepare for you a customized Comparative Market Analysis (CMA).  Now for the facts.  Note these numbers represent all single family homes/condos/town houses in New Hanover County, North Carolina.

Units Sold

The number of properties sold (units) in February 2014 was 419 which is UP 25% over January 2014 and equal to the number sold in February 2013 (same month last year).  This is good news because it shows a normal healthy trend of increasing sales as the winter season heads towards spring and summer – we would expect to see this.  It also means that the market is performing at the same level as last year, which was a good year!

Average Sold Price

$222,579.00 is the average sold price for February 2014.  This is UP 2.0% from January 2014 and UP 2.3% from February 2013.  This is also good news.  Please understand, however, that this is an AVERAGE and averages can be affected by selling more homes priced higher than the average versus homes lower than the average.  So don’t automatically think that this means the value of your particular home is up by 2.0%…maybe it is or maybe it is up more than that or possibly not up that much.  This is where it is very important to consult a professional to do an analysis of your home’s specific location and condition to determine actual market value.

Listing Inventory

The number of single family properties actively for sale on the market as of March 1, 2014 was 3778 which is up 18 UNITS from January 2014 and up 8.1% from the same time last year.  We would expect to see an increase in properties for sale as we enter the spring market.  The increase from last year seems to indicate that more owners are encouraged by the health of the market and are ready to sell their home and in some cases by another one.  The other thing to note is that these increases are slight – which is good; we do not want a flood of inventory because that would negatively affect the supply and demand relationship thus causing downward pressure on values.

Average List Price

$353,640.00 is the average list price – in other words the “asking price”.  This is up by $10,507.00 over January 2014.  This, too, is to be expected this time of year.  I always think it is interesting to notice the difference between the average sales price ($222,579.00) and the average sold price ($353,640.00).  This obviously means that many of the higher priced homes don’t sell as frequently as the lower priced homes.  It also could, and probably does, indicate that many of the homes for sale on the market are overpriced.  A note to sellers…its either time or money, like everything else in life…if you want a faster sale then usually it means lowering your asking price accordingly.

Days on Market

The average time it takes a home to sell is 135 days.  This is up by 11 days from January 2014.  We would rather see this one go down instead of up but I am not concerned that this is a trend.  As long as the market does not get flooded with inventory we should see this number go down as we move into spring.

In summary, we have sales UP and average sold price UP.  These two are the main bright spots.  The seasonal trend of increased number of homes for sale and asking price for those houses is to be expected and is normal.

AshleyGarnerArticle by:
Ashley Garner
Broker/REALTOR at Intracoastal Realty
Direct: 910-409-0861

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