| April 30, 2013
days, my Realtor colleagues and I are receiving quite a few calls from
Hatteras Island property owners. The conversations usually center
around two questions – “Can you tell me what my property is worth?” and
“Should I sell my property?”
Hatteras Island Real Estate:
Conversations with property owners
By TOM HRANICKA
In response to an owner’s inquiry
about the value of their property, real estate brokers will generally
prepare a report known as a probable sale price or comparative market
To determine the most likely range for the sale price
of a property, the agent will study the selling prices of similar
properties over the past year. Similarities for residential
properties might include such features as location, square footage, the
year the home was built, the number of bedrooms and baths, amenities
such as private pools and game rooms, and rental income. Whether
the home was a short sale or a foreclosure is also taken into
account. Sold statistics tell us what buyers have been willing to
pay for equivalent properties.
Next, the agent will review the
properties that are under contract to be sold. Properties under
contract are considered to be an indicator of what the selling prices
of similar properties are likely to be 45 to 60 days in the future.
properties that are currently for sale will be evaluated to provide a
picture of the competitive environment within which the home or lot
will be marketed.
As a cross-check, the agent may also take into
consideration the results of a recent appraisal if one is available and
the tax value reported in the 2013 Dare County Property Revaluation.
the end, it will be the buyer and the owner who will determine the
actual market value of a property. The results of the agent’s
analysis provide an informed estimate of the most probable sale price
of the property.
The second question that owners often ask is,
“Should I sell my property?” The response to this inquiry is much
more subjective in nature than the analysis of a property’s probable
sale price. In order to respond appropriately, the agent has to
understand the owner’s motivation and sense of urgency. As you
might expect, there are a variety of reasons why an owner may be
considering the sale of their home or lot.
If the owner is
concerned about how much profit or loss they can expect from the sale
of their property, the answer will depend to a large extent on when
they purchased the property and the refinancing history.
average sale price of a residential property in 2012 was about the same
as it was in 2002. The average selling price of undeveloped lots
was close to the level last seen in 1999. Therefore, if an owner
purchased the property during the boom years or during the subsequent
buyer’s market, it is unlikely that they will be able to sell at a
gain. I also tell owners that the recovery in prices will
probably proceed at a moderate pace, rather than at the growth rates
the real estate market experienced during the height of the seller’s
market. For some, this can be an eye-opening revelation.
my opinion, the financial aspects of a potential sale are best
understood and evaluated in light of the fundamental reason that
someone is considering the sale of their property.
The principal motivations for selling that I hear most often are:
you can see, the basic theme of all of these motivations is change in
one form or another. So, when all is said and done, the real
estate agent cannot answer the question, “Should I sell my
property has served the purpose for which it was originally purchased.
The owners are not using the house as frequently as they once did when
their children were younger.
- The owners are retiring or are in the process of downsizing and simplifying their lives.
- The owners want to be close to where their grandchildren live.
- The owners would like to purchase a larger home.
- The owners would like to reallocate the funds that they are committing to their vacation home into different investments.
- There has been a change in the owner’s financial, medical, or marital circumstances.
It is the owner who must ultimately consider
the strength of his or her underlying motivations to sell and weigh
that against the financial outcome of a sale. The value added by
the real estate professional to the owner’s decision making process is
the probable sale price information and market perspectives that the
agent provides, the interpretation of trends, marketing expertise, and
There is a saying in the real estate
business “There is no such thing as a good or bad market. The
current market is the only market that we have!” The selling
prices of properties are almost always the result of negotiations
between the buyers and the sellers. Sometimes conditions favor
sellers, and at other times conditions favor buyers.
the focal point of my advice to the owners with whom I speak is to
spend their time and energy identifying and crystallizing their
essential reason for considering the sale of their property. The
market is what the market is. The strength of their motivation to
sell, and the benefits that the sale of their property will provide
toward the achievement of their personal goals are the keys to the
Hranicka is an associate broker with Outer Beaches Realty. Questions,
comments, or suggestions for future articles may be sent to Tom
Hranicka at P.O. Box 237, Avon, NC 27915, or e-mail to
[email protected] )
Copyright © 2012 Tom & Louise Hranicka. All rights reserved.