Finding and Using Comparable Homes While Selling Your House
Selling a home can seem like a daunting task, especially for those who are selling for the first time. It can be especially difficult to decide on a price for the home. Countless advice articles warn homeowners that they should never price their home too high or too low—they need to decide on the perfect price from the very beginning. In order to help ensure a home performs the best it can on the market, homeowners should try to find a comparable home to compare it to price-wise. Here is everything homeowners should know about comparable homes and how to use them when selling a home.
What Is a Comparable Home?
Comparable homes, also known as comp homes or just comps, are homes that a homeowner can use to help price their own home. Comparable homes are typically similar in floor plan, size, number of rooms, number of bathrooms, and area. However, a comp home doesn’t need to be exactly the same as the one a homeowner is trying to sell. Pricing a home by using a comp home as a guide isn’t 100% accurate, but it can give homeowners a good idea to work with.
How to Choose a Comp Home
When choosing a comp home, homeowners need to take a few different criteria into account. Just choosing a home because it looks like the one they’re trying to sell is a bad idea that can lead to inaccurate pricing. Here is what homeowners should be looking for:
- The number of bedrooms: Bedrooms are one of the most important factors in a comp home, and homeowners should strive to find a comp that has the same amount
- The number of bathrooms: Along with bedrooms, bathrooms are one of the most important factors in a home
- The home’s square footage: While the home’s size is an important factor, buyers will most often prioritize the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but sellers should still take overall size into account
- The home’s location: It’s best to choose a home that is in the same neighborhood, but this isn’t always possible. If the homeowner can’t find a comp home in the same neighborhood, they should try looking for one that is similar
- When the home sold: The ideal comp home is one that has sold recently, preferably within the past three months or so, and they should always avoid using a comp home that is still for sale
Homeowners should try to match as many of these criteria as possible. The more they can match, the more accurate their home’s pricing can be.
Where to Find a Comp Home
The easiest way to find a good comp home is by hiring an experienced real estate agent. Agents have a lot of resources, such as the Multiple Listing Service, to help them locate suitable homes. They also have an agency full of other agents whom they can talk to in order to find a comp home. However, if the homeowner wants to do some preliminary research on their own before consulting their agent, then they can try using some big home listing websites.
Comp homes are a useful tool to help homeowners get a better idea of what to expect when they sell their home. Keeping these things in mind can point homeowners in the right direction to find the comp home that matches their home best.