This is a post for the home owners (sorry renters, I'll give you some love soon). I often mention that the townhouse is not our "forever" home. We are selling this house, and leaving the city, within the next 2 years. After about a dozen flyers for a free market evaluation were slipped into our mailbox over the course of a month, I finally decided to contact one of the Realtors to find out how much our house is worth. Even if you aren't planning on selling, I highly recommend a free market evaluation.
Here's what happened:
A well-prepped realtor came over. He had looked at the original listing for this home (you can see before shots in the townhouse tour) and had seen our purchase price before arriving. Once here, he toured all three levels of the townhouse and made extensive notes. The three of us then looked at homes in this area that were currently on the market and what homes had been selling for. He compared similar homes and carefully combed through photos and features to determine what would be a reasonable asking/selling price of our home.
Why it was beneficial:
- The realtor pointed out changes we had made (like two bathroom renovations) that added value to our home (yay!)
- He approved our "spit & polish" (as opposed to full renovation) of the kitchen and main floor half bath (yay!)
- He told us NOT to paint the kitchen cabinets or brick fireplace, in order to keep the house more sell-able and appeal to a broad range of buyers (good to know)
- He told us NOT to put any more money into our house to maximize our return (good to know, but we won't listen - we have basement plans, basement plans I say)
- He told us that adding a shower to the 2 piece ensuite would have added tremendous value (oops)
He gave us a wake-up call. Judging by the list prices of homes in our neighbourhood (and how much less updated they are than ours) we guesstimated a selling price (not list price) of about $10-15,000 more than what our home is worth. Ouch. That number may increase if the market holds for the two years we plan to be here, but it is really smart to no longer be banking on an amount we are unlikely to get. Happily, the value of our home (thanks to some sweat-equity) has increased by about 25% since 2009! Which is nothing to sneeze at. All in all, it feels good to now know a more likely value of our house (for the moment, anyway) - I feel like we can plan our future better with this knowledge.
So, if you see a free market evaluation flyer in your mailbox from a reputable agent, give them a call! I would highly recommend this before renovating, to get feedback on good investments to make (I might have added a shower during renovation). Also, it's a great way to meet a potential selling agent in a low stress way.