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What should my starting price be?

I am planning on putting my house on the market.  Over the last few years there have been a few houses that sold around mine.  The houses across my street sell for considerable more than the side I live on.  The house right next to me sold for about 98k 4 years ago. I think I can get more than that, but I'm afraid that people will see what the house next to me sold for and I will get "low ball" offers.  Any advice.
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August 13 - Pittsburgh
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Answers (7)

It really depends on the condition and size of the house close to you and across the street.  why are they getting so much more money across the street? Is it the homes themselves or the street? 
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September 03
As a few others have already mentioned, sale prices from several years ago do not reflect the current market.  You'll want to look at home sales as recent as possible...within 6-12 months.  You also want to consider things like style of home (e.g., ranch, 2-story, split level, multi-level, etc.), number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, etc. as those will affect price as well.  Probably most important is condition...is your home more or less updated than the recent sales in your area?  You'll want to take all of these things into consideration.   

Getting a formal appraisal will probably give you the best indication of value, but as others have mentioned, you can also have a real estate agent give you market analysis. 

Feel free to contact me if you have other questions.   
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August 14

A lot can happen in 4 years. In my area values change overnight. Have a local Pitts realtor run you a market analysis-cma...  may be time to move up or move out...

good luck on your listing...

all the best..

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August 13
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Good advice.  Thanks all!
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August 13
If a Buyer comments on a neighboring property that sold four years ago inform them that a professional appraiser should only use comparable homes that sold in the last 12 months.  And (depending on where your property is) prices have likely increased in last four years.

I suggest you contact a good professional experienced Realtor to help you price your property (which should include a visual tour of the property) and to represent you in the sale.
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August 13
You should have a Realtor do a complete Market Analysis for you. You can look at trends in the surrounding neighborhood and find out what, exactly, buyers are willing to pay more for. You can see how long houses are on the market before they sell, how your house compares through buyers' eyes.  Also, you can talk to them about your goals.  You outline a plan and determine how a quick sale can be as valuable to you.
All of that will help you find the best starting price with the aid of a professional who does this day in and day out.
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August 13

Are you planning on using a Realtor to sell your property?  A Realtor will provide you with a market analysis to help you determine what the list price should be.  Keep in mind that if the buyer of your home is getting a loan, an appraiser is going to also research the sales in your area to make sure the property appraises.  A buyer can offer you "your desired price" but if that buyer is getting a loan, the home will need to appraise for that amount in order for the bank to loan on it.  In most cases, 4 year old sales would not be used as a comparable.  If there are no recent sales in your immediate area, a Realtor and/or appraiser (if there is a loan being sought) will go out further to "like kind" neighborhoods to find relative comps.  Sometimes, adjustments have to be made in order to arrive at a value.  I hope this helped answer your question.  Good luck in the sale of your property!   

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August 13
 
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