So.... you have decided to sell. Greener pastures are beckoning. Your plans are laid, you know where you are going, you know when, and you know why. Now what? You talk to your friends and are recommended the services of an excellent REALTOR that will help you get your house on the market and sold. But... the question looms. What is the house worth?

Determining your home's value is a delicate mix of objective and subjective factors. Your own priorities come into play, too. Just how fast do you need/want to sell? Obviously, if you need to sell fast you will likely need to price lower, just as if you are not in a huge hurry you can price right at market value and consider each offer for its total merit.

Here's a little bit of the science behind the list price we will set on your home:

First, we must look at other similar homes in your area that have sold. We call these "comps" and the resulting report a "CMA" (or Comparative Market Analysis). This can get tricky. No two houses are exactly alike, especially lake homes, and thus some of the factoring will be based on the subjective. For example, you have a main channel lot, while a comp down the channel from you is tucked in a cove. How much more (or less) would it be worth to a potential buyer to live on the main?

Next, we also consider other similar homes currently on the market. We don't put too much value on this (after all, they can ask anything they want for their house - doesn't mean it will sell for that much!), but it is important to price in line or lower than the other houses or yours will seem overpriced.

Next, we look at the real subjective - the overall feel for your home and the market. We have all seen that one house that on paper wouldn't get much attention - 1500 sqft, 3 bedrooms, etc. - but in person is just spectacular in appeal or location or view or... you get the picture. What is your "wow factor" in other words?

As you can see, setting a list price can be pretty complicated! This is one of the very most critical reasons you must hire an experienced, seasoned agent that knows their area and knows it well. With some good reasoning, and a little bit of luck, you will be on and off the market in a jiffy!