What is an Objective Sales Price for a Home?

by Karen Briscoe
October 9, 2014

The Seller wants to sell for the highest price possible.  The Purchaser wants to buy the real estate for the lowest price possible, for certain never more than the current market will bear.  The Realtor® is in my opinion the objective Ambassador of the transaction.

There is an adage that states:  “A person who represents himself at a trial has a fool for a client.”   Adages become part of common knowledge because they usually ring true over time.  The primary reason that most Sellers do not sell their own real estate is because deep down they realize that they cannot be objective.

Many times owners will obtain an Appraisal and wonder why the home doesn’t sell for that price.  The reason in my experience is that an Appraisal looks back at the market.   Past results are really the only indicator that can be used to project future outcomes, but just like in the stock market there is no guarantee.  The Realtor ® utilizes a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to determine the most likely sales price.  The CMA looks forward to where the market is going.  Clearly there are many different factors that determine value and being objective and experienced become even more critical.

The real estate section of the Washington Post contained an article on December 3, 2011 entitled:  “Why am I not getting the asking price for my home?” by Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin.  The closing remarks sums up the answer to the posed question best:  “You must overcome the feeling that you ‘must get’ a certain price for the home.  . . .  In today’s market, it isn’t what seller must get but what a buyer wants to pay for a house.”

The bottom line answer to what is an objective sales price is:  what is fair market value?  Fair market value can be defined as “What a Buyer is willing to pay that a Seller is willing to accept at any given point in time, given that it is an arms- length transaction and there is no duress”.  An experienced Realtor® in the particular market area is best able to assist Sellers and Purchasers in understanding the current market conditions that determine value.

Karen Briscoe and Lizzy Conroy are active and experienced Realtors® in the Northern Virginia, Washington DC and suburban Maryland market place and would be delighted to assist whether for home selling or buying.  Please contact via the means most convenient for you:  www.HBCRealtyGroup.com, 703-734-0192, Homes@HBCRealtyGroup.com.

Karen Briscoe is Principal of the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Group (HBC) and author of "Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day". She is an Associate Broker in Virginia, a Certified Luxury Home Market Specialist, and a member of the Women’s Council of Realtors. Karen began her real estate career developing residential lots with the Trammel Crow Company in Dallas, and in commercial real estate with The Staubach Company in the Washington, DC Metro area. Karen has a Masters Degree from Southern Methodist University and her BA from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri – her hometown.
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