Check These Out

Posts Tagged ‘Set asking price’

New Rules for Comparable Sales and Apprasial Info

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

The real estate meltdown has changed many things about the way we think about real estate and property values.  

Recently, we watched 3 home sales close in the same neighborhood.  Typically, the price per square foot and price range for all 3 homes would be similar…given that the ranch style homes were of similar age, size and were located in the same small neighoborhood.    What we learned today was that the 3 homes sold in a range from $200,000-$400,000…or from $100-$200 a square foot.  

The vast difference in the prices tells us a story about why comps (or comparable sales data) is not the indicator of true value that is has been in the past.   Today, we have essentially 3 housing markets, thus 3 price ranges in every neighborhood. 

    First, we have the bank owned home that sold for $200,000.   This is the home that no one cares about.  The lawn is 2 foot tall…the air conditioner has been pilfered through for copper and spare parts, the appliances have been stolen and the home has been abandoned.     This property was purchased by a rehab company, who will put a lot of money into its restoration, then resell it for a profit, at an estimated $400,000.

   Second, is the home that sold for $300,000, but, far short of the loan balance owed against it.  This house was always lived in and had never been vandalized, but all maintenance had been deferred and no updating had taken place in years.  The seller knew they were losing the home and had no money available to properly maintain the residence.    This home was sold to a young couple who didn’t mind doing some cosmetic work in order to save money. 

The third home located right around the corner from the other two closed for $400,000.  This home was meticulously maintained.  The interior and exterior had been upgraded with high end finishes and colors.   The home was move in ready.     The only thing this move up buyer had to do was unpack their personal belongings and enjoy themselves. 

As these 3 properties illustrate, we have 3 different real estate markets developing across the USA.    Typically, homes in the same neighborhood were very similiar to one another, so sales data was easy to compare.  Today, there may be 3 distinct markets in every neighborhood, so beaware that price ranges can vary greatly.  

If you are attempting to value property today, you must look at the category your home is in…ranging from bank owned/abandoned to high end/move in condition to determine the average price per square foot in your neighborhood.   Eventually, all this upheavel will work itself out… and houses in a neighborhood will once again be more similiar than different…but until then, make sure that you compare apples to apples when buying or selling

Thank you for visiting  Visit our website to place a FREE home listing, view great deals on all types of property, place an MLS listing or feature your property on

Is Your Property the Pinball Listing??

Thursday, August 23, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

   What is a Pinball Listing?

A pinball listing is a house that is listed for an unrealistic asking price.  It pulls in a lot of showings by agents and home shoppers, but receives no offers.  Real estate agents, including the listing agent for the home, use the overpriced house as a negative example to sell similar homes that are listed for lower prices.

Any pinball listing is basically a set up.  Listing agents show clients these homes to make realistically price homes look like fantastic deals, which is why the traffic for pinballs is high…but no sale will ever take place until the price is drastically reduced. 

What Happens to the Pinball Listed Home?   Unless it is being used by Realtors as a set up…they stop showing it until the seller agrees to reprice it at a realistic number.

Is it Ethical for a Broker to Accept a Pinball Listing?   NO!  It is not ethical to list a property at a price that an agents knows it will not sell.  If they do, they are intentionally misleading the seller.  Do agents list unrealistically priced houses to use as a set up, anyway?  YES, all day long.

How to Protect Yourself?  Interview several real estate agents before signing any listing agreement.  Get as much information as you can about CLOSED sales prices of comparable homes in your neighborhood.   If you are inclined, you can always push a little on the listing price, but if you get greedy, or try to go overboard…you may unknowingly become the set up, pinball, out of touch with the competition listing…that everyone loves to visit, but no one will buy.

Thank you for visiting  Visit our site to place a FREE property listing, search for great deals, MLS and flat fee listing packages, InfoTubes, InfoBoxes and More.

7 Secrets to Selling Your Home Now

Thursday, April 21, 2011 posted by Tommi Crow

In today’s’ super-competitive housing market, it is essential that homebuyers picture themselves living inside the home you are trying to sell.    

7 Secrets to Selling Your Home Now

  • For starters, take down the Wallpaper – Trust me when I say, “Buyers just do not like wallpaper.”   If you doubt how personal wallpaper is…just walk into any wallpaper store and stare at the thousands of available patterns.  Chances of your tastes matching are at least a thousand to one.  Don’t risk it!  Pull that paper down!
  • The Clutter HAS to Go!  Living in a house is alot different than Selling a house.  It is easy to get blind to your own clutter.  Ask a friend, neighbor or neutral party to be honest with you.  Then, pack away every single thing you don’t use.  And, clear the kitchen counters completely.
  • Smelly Homes Will NOT Sell.  Agents have an old saying, “If I can smell it, I can’t sell it.”  Pet smells, musty odor’s, etc will kill a sale everytime.
  • White is not a Color.  But, paint is your friend.  Every room should have a fresh coat of paint in a warm, neutral color.
  • A Spot of Color.  Everyone loves flowers.  Place pots with colorful annual flowers by the front door or plant seasonal color in the beds to make your home inviting and memorable.
  • Househunting Begins on the Internet.  If your property is not exposed on the internet, your chances of a buyer finding you are very small.  Tip the odds in your favor by advertising your home on the MLS and all the major search engines for real estate.  InfoTube also offers FREE property listings on its website.   Also, make sure your listing includes at least 10 good photo’s of the interior and exterior of your home.  If possible, also include a video tour of the house and neighborhood.
  • Forget About Comp’s and Sold Properties.  Study your competition, which means homes currently For Sale.  If your home is priced too high when compared to your competition, it is going to sit for a long, long time.

Homeowners should please keep in mind that Buyers have a lot of choices.  The homeowner who can make their house stand out among the vast inventory of “For Sale” signs will the one who wins the selling game.

Thank you for visiting homes for sale and rent website.  For up to the minute real estate news and tips follow InfoTube for Real Estate on Facebook.

How Much Does It Cost to Sell a Home?

Monday, June 14, 2010 posted by Tommi Crow

Whether or not you use a real estate agent, the process of selling a house will involve certain costs. 

Please note that some of the figures used in our examples will vary depending on the state or county a house is sold in, as well as the settlement company used and any other unique provisions that may be contained in a contract of sale. Additionally, the real estate broker commission is typically 6 percent of the sales price, but it is not a set amount.  It is a sales expense negotiated between individual sellers and brokers.   For the purposes of our example, a $250,000 sales price was used. 

Transfer taxes

As you might expect, most state and local governments make sure they profit when someone sells a house.  In most states, one-time transfer taxes will be due when a sale takes place.  It is customary for transfer taxes to be split 50/50 between the buyer and the seller, but there is no set requirement that they be divided in that manner.

Some states, like Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, have no transfer taxes at all. In other states, Colorado for instance, the transfer tax is nominal – the state charges only one tenth of 1 percent ($40 on a $400,000 house) in transfer taxes. The so called “Free State” of Maryland falls on the other end of the spectrum with some of the highest transfer taxes in the nation.


As we stated earlier, real estate commissions are not a set amount. They are a point of negotiation between the seller and the broker. For illustration purposes here, we are using the industry standard of 6 percent, or $15,000 on a $250,000 sale.

Another seller expense you may run across in some area’s is a listing broker administrative brokerage commission.  It’s usually adds another $250-$500 expense on top of the 6 percent commission fee.  The seller will see it as a separate expense on their closing statement.  So, what is this fee for? By law, brokers must keep records of all their real estate transactions for a period of years. And they must produce those records if asked for them.  Although it’s a ridiculous added on fee, the listing broker administrative brokerage commission is an expense passed along by some brokers to help defray the cost of this requirement.

Settlement fees

The buyer is responsible for hiring the settlement or title company to perform closing, so the buyer will usually pay most of the fees associated with settlement. But, the seller does have some settlement expense.  If the seller has an outstanding loan on the property, the settlement company will take care of paying that loan off out of the sales proceeds. They’ll charge something for the service, plus the cost of overnight fees to quickly get the loan payoff to the mortgage holder. In our example here, we’ll use $250.   And, since interest in collected in arrears, the seller will be responsible for any interest charges that accrue after the last payment thru the day of closing.

The Bottom Line

If you sell your house for $250,000, you can probably expect to walk away with around $230,000 after taxes, real estate commissions and fees.  If no real estate commissions have to be paid out, the seller could expect to walk away with approximately $245,000.  The real number will depend on exactly what it says in the sales contract and where the property is located.

Thank you for visiting homes for sale and rent website.  We have over 20,000 active home listings on our website.  Please take a moment to search for great deals, often seen no where else on the web.

Check out HGTV’s Real Estate Intervention

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 posted by Tommi Crow


I have been watching HGTV’s “Real Estate Intervention” for a few weeks now.  As a real estate professional for the last 25 years, I give this program a Big 2 Thumbs up!!  If you are buying or selling real estate, this program is a must see.   Check it out on Thursday nights at 10:30E/9:30C on HGTV. 

The HGTV Synoposis of the Show is:   In this current real estate market, pricing is everything. And the best way to really find out how much your house is worth is to check out the competition. Real Estate Intervention takes motivated sellers on a tour of other listings in the same area and same price range. They’ll get to see firsthand who their competition is and whether they’ve priced their house right. Does the competition have better closets? Granite counters? A bigger backyard? Which home is the best value for the dollar? We’ll help them determine the best way to get top dollar — and in the end we’ll see which home sells first!

Bonus:  Do you want to be on TV???  If you are confused about how to price or market your home and want objective advise, can contact HGTV and be on the show.  Click this link to contact HGTV. and tell them sent you.

Thank you for visiting  We are here to help you buy and sell real estate.   If you like what we do and you want to receive updates about our short, informative articles, click on the RSS feed on the right hand side of the page.

A frequent question we receive about correctly pricing a home is “Should we use Comparable Listing Prices or Comparable Sales Data to correctly price our home?”

The answer is overwhelming, Comparable Sales Data.

Looking at the prices of listed property is a big mistake, when determining the correct asking price for a home.  Take a moment and think about it.  If the neighbors list price was motivating, the property would be Sold, not Still for Sale. 

Always use accurate a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) to correctly price your home.   A CMA features only properties that have sold for all cash or a funded loan.  This is important because many properities aren’t appraising or closing for anything near their “under contract” price.   In our declining market, a home that is worth $250,000 today, may only be worth $220,000, 60 days later when it closes.   Appraisers are aware of this fact and generally appraise very conservatively these days.

Click here To Read more about Appraisal Problems and What you Can do About it.

To obtain accurate Sales data about competing properties in your neighborhood, visit your local county tax assessor website.  Or, research MLS data which can be viewed at sites like

Thank you for visiting  We are here to help you sell your home.  Feel free to place a free property listing on our site or search for a great value on your dream home.

Bad Strategy for Home Sales

Monday, July 20, 2009 posted by Tommi Crow


Question:  What is the worst home selling strategy ever???

Answer:  “Let’s test the market”.   “Let’s throw it up for sale at a high, unrealistic price and just see what happens…”

Testing the market…whatever that really means is the worst idea, ever.  Buyer’s don’t live in a fantasy world.  And, if they did, their home buying fantasy is finding a mansion for $100.  

“Testing the market” by overpricing a property means that the listing loses its “honeymoon” period.  As a rule, properties receive more interest and more showings in the first 30 days, than they will ever see again.   Why?  Buyer’s who haven’t found the right home, rush to see new listings as soon as they appear on the market.  And, new buyer’s coming into the market always look at new listings first. 

If you overprice your home during the honeymoon, chances are high that it will sit on the market for a long time, eventually becoming a “stale” listing.   It is possible to stir up more interest later by substantially dropping the price, but seller’s can never again recreate the attention the property would have received, had it been priced right when it made its debut.

Thank you for visiting  One GREAT IDEA for buying or selling real estate…Place a free property listing on our site or browse through thousands of great deals from the leisure of your home.  Don’t be afraid, we never sell or distribute information to anyone, for any reason.

To place a property on the MLS, and a dozen other websites for real estate, CLICK HERE.

Big Mistake.  A big mistake that home seller’s make is that they often set their asking price, based on what they paid for the property.  For example, I hear frustrated, unsuccessful sellers justify overpricing their homes by rationalizing that “We are asking $265,000 because we paid $250,000 and want to break even.” 

The truth is, what you paid for your home doesn’t matter to anyone except you.  While it is painful to admit a financial loss, don’t dig yourself in even deeper by thinking that someone else will pay for your mistake.  They won’t.  And, their lender and appraiser won’t, either

Real estate is just like the stock market.   The Buyer determines the price they will pay, not the seller.   For example, if you bought Citibank at $120 per share and its now trading at $3.00, then $3.00 is what the asset is worth.   The fact you paid $120 a share is irrelevant to buyers in the marketplace.   The situation is exactly the same for real estate.

If you want or need to sell a piece of real estate, forget about what you paid for the asset.  The only thing that determines today’s value is what a buyer would be willing to pay today.   To determine the realistic, current value of your home, research what other homes like yours have actually SOLD for by searching on your local, county property tax database or websites like or 

Thank you for visiting  House are selling, but only the homes in the best location, condition and price.  The summer selling season is rapidly passing by and its time to get serious.  If not, you may find that home values are even lower next year.  To reach 10 million home buyer’s each month, call us for an MLS and search engine listing for your property.  You won’t find a better way to let the world know your home is for sale and time is passing you by.

Results from a study just released by HomeGain revealed an ongoing ‘tug of war’ between home sellers and real estate agents.  According to the survey,  50 percent of homeowners said their houses should be priced 10-20 percent higher than agents have  recommended.  Conversely, 60 percent of real estate agents reported that prospective buyers are telling them that home asking prices are still too high.

One thing we can learn from this study is that one of these groups is certainly wrong.  Either home owners are unrealistic about what their houses are worth or agents are too pessimistic about what the home will sell for.  

On one hand, agent’s have more knowledge about the market than the average home seller does and they do talk with buyer’s every day.   Yet, real estate agents have an incentive to push prices lower.  The lower the price, the faster the sale, the quicker they can ring the cash register and move on to the next deal.   So, what should a home seller do???

  1. Ask 3 real estate agents what they would list your home for.  Ask questions and understand the reasoning behind their different price recommendations.
  2. Know your competition.  Check out every house that is for sale in your area, price and size range.  Visit Open Houses to verify the condition and ammenities being offered by the competition.  Use InfoTubes and InfoBoxes on for sale signs to gain helpful insight about homes for sale in your neighborhood.   Explore property MLS listings on
  3. Visit New Home Subdivisions.  All things being equal, most buyers would chose a new home over a pre-owned home, if everything was equal.   Find out how builders are pricing new homes that are similar to yours.   Keep in mind that builders also offer thousands of dollars in incentives or special financing, and they include these things in their asking prices.   Try to learn everything you can from the builder and deduct the incentives and specials that you can’t match from their asking price to get a realistic look.
  4. Visit your county property tax database.  Most counties provide sales and comparable home information online.  Your local taxing department is the final authority about what homes actually sold for.

Remember that homes are selling every day, if they are priced right.  While seller’s want to hold out for the best offer, agents want to make quick sales.  The real truth about asking versus selling prices lies somewhere in between, so home seller’s need to check their facts, first.

Thank you for visiting  Please search our site to learn about thousands of great deals on real estate or if you are selling or renting a home, place a Free Home Listing with our compliments.

6 Tips for Pricing Your Home to Sell

Tuesday, August 26, 2008 posted by Tommi Crow
Winner of the Best Sign Award

Winner of the Best Sign Award

The first thing buyer’s ask is “How much is your asking price?”   If the price is too high, the buyer will quickly lose interest.  If the price is too low, you will quickly lose money.

In order to price a home correctly, you must understand your local real estate market and your competition.   The goal is to set an asking price that successfully competes with homes that are comparable to yours.   Setting the correct price is easy to do, if you follow these 6 simple steps.

Step 1.   Get to Know Your Competition:  Drive through your neighborhood, and other area’s that compete with yours.  Identify the homes on the market that are similar to the one you are selling, with approximately the same size and age as yours, with the same number of bedrooms, baths and lot size.   Visit local real estate websites,,, zillow and trulia to verify property details, square footages, asking prices, etc.  These website can also help you find a complete listing of all homes that you may not have found on your drive by search.

Step 2:   Tour Open Houses:  Visit as many open houses as you can to see for yourself how your home compares.  Learn as much as you can about the condition of these homes, such as upgrades done to the kitchens, baths and bedrooms.

Step 3:   Find Recently Sold Properties:   To correctly price your home, you need to know what others like it have actually sold for.   To find out this information, you can visit your local tax assessors office, as housing data is public information.  The internet can also cut down on your homework.  Many tax assessor offices provide housing data online.  You can also educate yourself by reviewing the “Recently Sold” feature at Zillow and Trulia.  While these technology websites don’t have data for every location, they do cover most of the country.

Step 4:  Add and Subtract:  You now have information about property currently on the market and data for recently sold homes.   Evaluate the asking and sales prices, property details, neighborhood ammenities and ask yourself how your home measures up?  

Step 5:  Be Honest and Impartial:   This is the hardest step for anyone attempting to value their own property.   Even Realtors, who price homes for a living, are notorious for overpricing their own homes.  Forget about what houses sold for in the past.  In most area’s, prices have decreased 15-20 percent in the past year alone.   Price your property inline with your competition or it will simply sit on the market.   Only competitively priced homes are selling in this market and buyers will only purchase what they perceive to be a good deal.

Step 6:  Set Your Price:   You have a complete picture of all the homes that compete with yours in the marketplace.   Price your property aggressively from Day One on the Market.   Pay attention to the effect subliminal pricing has on buyers and play to it.  If your competition is priced at $250,000, price your home at $249,000, for example.   Use your knowledge to to set a price that buyer’s can’t afford to pass up.

Congratulate yourself on a job well done!!!  Not only have you determined an asking price for your property, you’ve become an experienced expert in your local scene.  With your knowledge and sense of the competition, you will be able to honestly communicate about your homes’ advantages and disadvantages, when comparing it to other houses in the area.

Thank you for visiting