The true value of any home is a moving target. General market trends, both nationally and locally, play a part. But one of the main reasons that home value estimates from companies like Zillow are seldom on the money is that they cannot account for micro-markets.
So What is a Micro-Market?
Micro-Markets are, essentially, neighborhoods or districts within a city that homebuyers are targeting specifically. It could be single family homes in a specific neighborhood, condos within a walkable distance to the Metro, or any other factor that potential homebuyers will base a decision on.
Let’s use Arlington County as an example. If you look at home sale trends county-wide, and compare your home against those numbers, they probably won’t give you a very accurate picture of what yours is worth in the current market.
If, on the other hand, you look at sales trends for single family homes in your neighborhood, which is in a particular school district that is desirable to buyers, and compare your home against those numbers, your estimate suddenly becomes more accurate.
That’s because your home’s value at any given time is determined by the competition (what’s currently for sale in your Micro-Market). It goes up or down, depending on how many homes are on the market, and where you home ranks in comparison to them.
If you decide to sell one month, your home might be the 5th most desirable home in your micro-market, and sell quickly. If you decide to sell a month later, it could be the 12th most desirable home on the market, and sit for several months before selling.
So when you boil it down, knowing when to sell is just as important as how much to sell for. You need an accurate pulse on your micro-market to make both of these decisions.
How to Determine Your Micro-Market (And Keep Tabs)
I know it’s a bit cliche to say, but hiring a great Realtor® is your best bet. Hire someone who understands what buyers are looking for, what micro-market is most relevant to your home, and who has a pulse on current market conditions.
The reason I offer a Free in-depth CMA to any potential client (and not just some generic automated home value estimate tool) is that my grasp on current market conditions and knowledge of the many micro-markets throughout Northern Virginia allows me to give you a hyper-accurate picture of your home’s value—an estimate that comes from decades of experience in the local real estate and homebuilding market.
My goal is to provide you with the best information, so that you can make an informed decision on how much and when to sell you home.
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Lou Sagatov, Realtor®