Short of being nosey, you might want to find out a little (or a lot) about your neighbors’ properties, particularly when it comes time for you to sell yours.
The truth is, there’s a lot that you can learn from the sale of homes on the block. Regardless of where you live and the market in your area, similar homes that have recently sold in your neighborhood can provide you with a wealth of information that can come in really handy when you list your home for sale.
Here are 5 things that you can learn from the recent sale of a neighbor’s home.
1. How Long It’ll Take to Sell
Pay attention to the number of days that listings of similar properties took before selling. In sizzling hot markets, that number could be really low, while in slower markets, you could be looking at weeks and even months in some cases. It’s really helpful to know how long you can expect it to take for your home to sell in your given market.
This kind of info can help you make the decision about whether or not it’s a good idea to buy your next home or sell your current home first. For instance, if you can expect your home to sell in a matter of a few short days, then it’s probably a good idea to secure your next home first.
Knowing how long you can expect your home to sit on the market before it sells will also give you an idea of the type of buyer interest in the area. If your neighbor’s home sold quickly, it likely means buyer interest in the neighborhood is high, which means now is the time to sell.
2. What Buyers in the Area Are Looking For
Certain neighborhoods tend to attract certain types of buyers, be they young families, baby boomers, young single professionals, and so forth. Have a look at the demographics of recent buyers in your neighborhood to get a feel of what they’re like, and inevitably what they’re looking for in a home. For instance, the features that young families with kids might want will likely be different than what retirees are looking for.
Once you’ve got an idea of what buyers in your specific community want in a home, you can stage it in such a way to appeal to that particular type of buyer. Understanding how previous homeowners presented and positioned their homes is very important when it comes to targeting a certain type of buyer. One you get this information, you should have an idea about what should and shouldn’t be done when it comes time to list your home for sale.
3. The Current Climate of the Market
Finding out what the spread is between the original listing price and the actual final sale price of similar homes in the area will tell you what the temperature of the market is in your neighborhood. If homes on the block recently sold for at least 90% of the listing price or experienced multiple offers and bidding wars, the market is likely a hot one. This type of information is invaluable at indicating which direction the current market is moving in.
4. How Much You Should List For
One of the most important things that real estate agents will look at before suggesting a listing price for their clients is the “comps,” or comparables, in the area. These are essentially similar homes that have recently sold, and can provide an excellent benchmark of what price point to list your home at.
For instance, if the 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom bungalow down the street sold two weeks ago for $250,000, it makes little sense to price your near-exact home at $300,000.
The real value of your home is what buyers are willing to pay for it, which is reflected in the sales price of similar listings in the area. That’s why it’s more important to use the final sales price as the yardstick for establishing your listing price, rather than what sellers were originally asking for.
What they may want and what they actually get can often be two very different things. You’ will have a much better idea of how to price your home by looking at what recently sold instead of what is currently for sale.
5. Mistakes to Avoid
Look at homes in the area that either took forever to sell, or didn’t sell at all. These are the homes that have had their For Sale signs up for months, or still have snow in their listing photos from last winter. If you’re hoping to sell a lot faster than that, you’d be well advised to find out what the problems are with those listings, and avoid them.
You can learn a lot from homes that can’t find buyers. Whether the issue is that it’s priced too high, or there are repairs that need to be made that are turning buyers off, find out what these sellers have done wrong, and don’t make those same mistakes.
A little digging can uncover all sorts of little gems of information that can help you when it comes time to sell your own home. Gathering this valuable data is easy when you work with a real estate agent, as they’ve typically got the tools and resources needed to find out all the pertinent information from previous sales in the neighborhood. Previous sales on the block can really teach you a thing or two about how to make sure your home sells quickly without any hiccups.