The Surprising Decision You Can Make that May Help You Sell Your Maryland Home for More Money
It was an amazing home. A Maryland Homebuilder Home of the Year Winner. Situated on three acres with a pastoral view overlooking a creek and sixty acres of preservation land, it was a home most families would dream of. The gourmet kitchen with the large granite island that opened to the family room was the hub of the home – where the kids did their homework and watch tv while the parents prepared meals and oversaw the running of the home. The extravagant bathroom in the basement was more than just an amenity – it was where the kids dried off as they came in from the pool. The basement was a home unto itself, with a family room complete with fireplace and wetbar, guest quarters and a recreation room. The long, lazy front porch with rocking chairs, and the shady side porch that overlooked the pool and play set, the tire swing in the giant elm, and the barn in the distance – it all told the story of a home that the family had more than filled with memories.
An unexpected change in life circumstances made it necessary to sell the home – and the home owners were worried. They still owed a great deal on their mortgage. This home was unlike anything else in the area, and not just in the lavish interior appointments, but in the setting, the view, the extensive hardscape, the outbuildings, and the overall grand architecture of the home. They asked me – how would they be able to sell this home for more than what they owed, when there was nothing else like it nearby that an appraiser would be able to use to justify the sale price?
I knew this home well, and I knew the area well. The homeowners were right – the nearest comparable property to theirs was several hundred thousand dollars less in value. A low appraisal could make the home almost unsellable to anyone other than someone who was able to pay with cash. A highly unlikely scenario. These homeowners were in real trouble, adding more stress to an already difficult situation.
And yet, my experience told me that there was real value in this home. From the hard-facts perspective, I knew what it would cost to re-create this property. The replacement cost of this home alone was more than 50% greater of even the nearest home in comparable sales value. My experience also told me that when an appraiser can’t find a comparable home in an area, an appraiser is allowed to widen the search area to find homes further away to justify the value of a property.
In this case, the home was located in Carroll County, where the values of homes tend to be far less house for house in comparison to nearby Howard County. Yet this home was similar in size, setting, and amenities as many Western Howard County homes, and because it was located near the border of Carroll County, this home had a reasonable proximity to Howard County. Yet, it is almost unheard of for an appraiser to use comps from another zip code, let alone another county. Would the appraiser go for it?
We made a decision to market the home aggressively, at the higher sales price that reflected the value we all agreed was inherent in the property. The Sellers received multiple offers on the property, confirming my opinion of the value. The Sellers selected the best offer, and the home went under contract. The next major hurdle was the appraisal.
On the day of the appraisal, I met with the appraiser in person. We developed a good rapport, which is usually the way I try to work with appraisers. My goal is to create a partnership with the appraiser, based on a solid business relationship, and to use that relationship to advocate for the highest sale price for my Seller.
So when I met with this appraiser, I made my case for the property. I laid out the replacement costs, as well as the unique amenities and features of the home. The last piece of information that I shared was the comparable sales in Howard County, with all of the data the appraiser needed – the nearby proximity, the upgrades, the square footage, the acreage, and the features and upgrades of the Howard County homes that justified the sales price that the Buyer and Seller had agreed to for this Carroll County home.
The homeowners were on pins and needles while we waited for the appraisal to come back. It was an understandable reaction. If the appraisal came back for less than the sale price, the homeowners and Buyers would have to renegotiate – who would make up the difference? Would the Sellers have to come down in their sale price, or would the Buyers have to put more money down? Even worse, would the Buyers walk away from the deal, as they had the right to do, if the home didn’t appraise?
The call came a few days after the appraisal – the home had appraised for the sale price. The appraiser had agreed that the homes in Howard County were enough to justify the value of the home. And while the Sellers were heartbroken to have to leave their family home, they were able to move on with dignity to a new home, without the added burden of a major financial loss. What a relief for these homeowners. They have since moved on to their new home, where they are making new memories.
If you’re thinking about selling your home in Maryland, and if you are wondering how to sell your home for more money, does your Realtor’s experience matter to you? I bet that it might not. But what your Realtor can accomplish with his experience – in this case, a significantly high sale price – does matter to you, I’m sure. And here at the McIntyre Team we know what’s most important to you. And what matters to you, matters to us. Experience matters.
This is a blog series about why a Home Seller should care about hiring an experienced agent. There are four ways an experienced Realtor can help you benefit from the sale of your home:
Please read more about our experience helping Sellers get their homes sold, for more money, and in less time. And when you’re ready to give us the opportunity to sell your home, give us a call at 443-250-6618.-Tim McIntyre, Realtor Howard County, Carroll County, Baltimore County For more information about The Surprising Decision You Can Make that May Help You Sell Your Maryland Home for More Money, fill out the form below. We're happy to answer your questions! [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
The Surprising Decision You Can Make that May Help You Sell Your Maryland Home for More Money 2013-11-18 12:25:25
Tim McIntyre, GRI, Ellicott City Realtor, Catonsville Realtor
Helping Clients Buy, Sell and Invest in Howard County, Carroll County and Baltimore County for more than 25 years.