Need to sell a house in Sarasota
July 9, 2014 9:15 AM   Subscribe

The house values quoted to us are all over the place!

I need to sell a house in Sarasota, Florida. We have been quoted from $80,000 to $240,000. The house needs cosmetic work, but is structurally sound. It has: new roof, siding, HVAC, water treatment, septic. The land is worth $80,000. Tax assessment value is $120,000. Comparables in this area go for $250,000 to $400,000. There are some millon dollar houses too.

Positives are: 1 acre of land, non-deed restricted, high-end neighborhood, no other houses or land in the area for sale.

Negatives: only two bedrooms, two stories, kitchen and bathrooms need renovation, wood framed construction.

So, where do I go from here? How do I figure out the value? Do I list with the people that think we can get $240,000? I have a lawyer and an accountant.
posted by fifilaru to Work & Money (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You need a realtor. Get recommendations from folks in the area, and interview a couple. Go with the one who seems to have the most on the ball and who is the most responsive to you.

A realtor will be able to tell you what you can get for the house as-is, and will price it to get it sold quickly. Realtors also have an army of tradespeople who can take care of things to show it to its advantage.

A good realtor is worth what they earn. Trust and believe.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:26 AM on July 9, 2014

I have a realtor who might be able to help you if you need a recommendation. My contact info is in my profile.
posted by bshort at 9:47 AM on July 9, 2014

Tax assessment is not really relevant. Nor is the value of the land.
Market value is impacted by numerous factors, including things like local school district, supply and demand, etc.

The comps provide the best indication of what the house is worth. If you don't want to work with a realtor, you can, for a reasonable fee, acquire a specific market value appraisal from a realtor. I have done this myself on more than one occasion. Realtors will be happy to work with you on this, hoping to establish a relationship and perhaps get a listing down the line.

By the way, my philosophy is, when in doubt list high and observe how folks are reacting. You can always bring the price down, it's hard to shift it up.
posted by elf27 at 9:57 AM on July 9, 2014

The last time my husband and I sold a house, we contacted an agent from each of the prominent agencies in our part of the city and asked if they'd like to be considered to be listing agent. We met with them one by one, which meant that 5 different companies send someone to look at our place and get to know it a bit. It was very informative and let us see that there's more than one right way to sell a house. Plus, they all knew what we had to offer before the house went on the market, and they all brought clients to see our place as soon as we started showing it.

My experience -- many realtors will give a good-faith recommendation about the asking price, but you need to hear what their rationale is. Low asking price can attract more offers, resulting in a faster sale and maybe competitive bidding. On the other hand, we were once wisely advised to raise an asking price on a house that hadn't gotten much interest. Sounds crazy, but it worked. It got the attention of buyers who were able to spend more to live in a desirable neighborhood. Ask for an explanation, and ask what they expect the house to actually sell for.

Not every realtor is trustworthy. One guy suggested a very high asking price because he wanted the listing and thought he could entice us with the hope of higher profit. One would have priced our house low; it turned out she had a client who wanted a house like ours and they'd set their budget limit at a certain amount. Her client did end up buying our place at the asking price set by the person we chose to represent us -- and the client paid 15% more than the low price their agent had suggested.

I agree with Ruthless Bunny that a good realtor is worth every penny. You just have to keep interviewing them until you find one that you believe is representing your interests and not just her/his own. It's okay to shop around.
posted by wryly at 10:00 AM on July 9, 2014

Like bshort, I have realtors to recommend, if you are interested.

You can get a private appraisal done, but expect that there will also be an appraisal done by the buying party for their mortgage company.
posted by tomierna at 10:27 AM on July 9, 2014

I sold a house in Sarasota about eight months ago and, like you, I got estimates all over the map from a half-dozen realtors. The low one was from the realtor who handled the deal when I bought the house. She was pissed when I didn't go with her--because I thought she underestimated the market. I went with the fancy realty firm in town (you'll know the one I mean) whose agent made an elaborate presentation to me showing that she had done her homework and then some. I went with her and got five full-price offers in the first 24 hours, three of them for all-cash. Dunno where this puts you, except that it's important to talk to a bunch of agents, use your best instincts about him/her and about the market, and choose carefully.
posted by fivesavagepalms at 11:20 AM on July 9, 2014

« Older Unbelievable Double Mac OS disaster(TM)   |   Name that bug Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.