Establishing market value for the seller

How to establish value

According to the Real Estate Encyclopedia, market value is: "the highest price, in terms of money, that a property will bring to a willing seller if exposed for sale on the open market….. allowing a reasonable time to find a willing buyer….. and with neither buyer or seller acting under necessity, compulsion nor peculiar and special circumstances."  


When a property is listed at a price which reflects fair market value, the greatest number of buyers will see value in the property within a reasonable time. You need an expert evaluation of all the market conditions; in other words, you need a Professional Market Analysis. Beware of "front-porch" value estimates that are simply computer selected properties….. look for real estate professionals who have the depth of knowledge necessary to interpret this data and help you understand the best listing strategy for successfully selling your home.  


At best you can only guess what your house is worth. If you guess too high, you will discourage many prospective buyers who will consider the property out of their reach. If you reduce the price, buyers may wonder what is wrong. On the other hand, if you guess too low, you will sacrifice money you should have had. And a "bargain" price may even seem suspicious to cautious prospects.  

Value is not absolute. It is based on availability, usefulness, desirability, and need. Well maintained homes with efficient use of space and curb appeal will sell for higher prices than properties in similar locations that have none of these features.  


Homeowners often confuse cost with value. Buyers are not interested in what you, the seller, have spent on the property, buyers look for value.  

Several factors should not influence your asking price.