Pricing Your Home in The Ranch

Pricing your home to sell in The Ranch can be challenging.  Unlike some other, more “cookie cutter” neighborhoods, homes in The Ranch can have huge variances in value.  It is not just a question of valuing common differences, such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, finished square feet, etc…  In The Ranch, value also depends on which Filing you are in as well as where you are within that Filing.  For example, a home in Filing 2 that backs to 120th Ave might go for 20% less than a home on an interior lot.  That home in the interior lot could go for 20% less than a similar home that backs to the golf course and has mountain views.  That’s up to 40% less for a location near a busy road versus a similar house, in a location that most people would prefer.

The Ranch also contains a mix of custom homes and “builder grade” homes- which could be located across the street from each other, one street over, or across the fairway.  Differences in building quality and upgrades must also be taken into account when pricing your home for sale.  A home on the golf course in Filing 6 may sell for $400k vs a custom home across the fairway in Filing 4, that might sell for $650k or more.  Some of the valuation difference may be the differences in size, but a lot of it will be due to differences in amenities inside the home, landscaping, upgraded finishes,  and character of the street and neighboring homes, etc…

These factors make it a bit more tricky to place a value on the difference between homes- even for professionals like real estate brokers and appraisers. There are studies done every year that give estimates on the resale value different tangible improvements add to your home. That information should weigh into the calculations for home value.  But those calculations are just value on paper- it does not necessarily translate to a buyer willing to pay more for the house.  Accurately pricing a home is as much an “art” as it is a “science”.   I think the best you can do to get a feel for the value of something less tangible about a home (the feel of the neighborhood, how the house feels and smells inside, the general appeal of the decor, etc), is to see as many houses as possible, track how long it takes them to sell, and what they ultimately sell for.   Most homeowners have only limited public sales information online, and usually only see houses on the inside if they know the seller or are lucky enough to catch an open house on the weekend. Not to mention, most homeowners have jobs that make this kind of pursuit impractical.

As a broker living here in The Ranch, I keep up with the market in our neighborhood through automated notifications from the MLS on the sales activity here.  Each time something new comes on the market, has a price change, goes under contract, or gets sold, I get an email notification.  I do “broker previews” of homes for sale in our neighborhood, so that I can stay on top of the changes in the market.  Yes, it takes a lot of time to do that, but that is part of my full-time job.  And it does give me a good sense of how to objectively place a value on a house (including my own, which can be tough to do).

Research shows that when a home goes on the market, the most activity and attention from buyers occurs in the first two weeks.  That’s the time when there is the most competition between buyers for your home.  It’s the time you are most likely to get an offer close to your asking price (assuming your asking price is at or near market value).  After that point, there is a decrease in the sense of urgency among buyers, fewer showings, and more likelihood of getting low offers.  When I am showing houses, buyers always ask how long the house has been on the market.  The longer it’s been on the market, the lower their offer price will be.

So, it is highly adviseable, when you are thinking of selling your house,that you consult a real estate professional and get an understanding of the current market before setting a price for your home.  This is especially true in a neighborhood like The Ranch where sales prices can run anywhere from $200k to well over a million dollars for a single family detached home. That’s a big range!  It will take some serious research and “comparison shopping” by your agent to figure out a much smaller, more accurate, range where your asking price should be.  Getting that number right when your house first goes on the market gives you the best chance of getting the best price for your home.  You don’t want to miss your 2-week window of opportunity with the most motivated buyers!