Copying Goldilocks

I’ve written previously about the various mistakes that I’ve seen amateurs make.  See, “FSBO Mistake #1 (and #2, #3, etc.)”;FSBO Mistake #4“; “FSBO Mistake #37.”

Does that mean the pro’s — professional Realtors — are perfect?


It’s just that their mistakes tend to be more subtle (and presumably, fewer).  See, “Jumping the Gun on Pre-List Marketing.”

Proactive Listing Agents

Exhibit B:  most listing agents (representing Sellers) now know that they need to be proactive working with the appraiser representing the Buyer’s lender.    (Mistake #6 is not knowing — or doing that.)

That’s especially the case when the subject property is difficult to value, due either to a lack of good Comp’s (“Comparable Sold Properties”), or, to the presence of nearby short sales and foreclosures, which depress prices and can torpedo the appraisal.

In practice, that means meeting the appraiser at the property, suggesting relevant Comp’s, and walking them through the adjustments for those Comp’s.


So, what’s mistake #7?

Thinking that the higher the Comp’s, the better.

That logic is certainly understandable:  if you’re trying to show what a given home is worth, it seems obvious that the more, higher-priced sales you can find nearby, the better.

Except, that’s not how appraisers establish value.

Instead, they need to place the subject property on a continuum with nearby properties; they do that by identifying the properties just above and just below the subject home in price.

If that approach sounds familiar, it should:  that’s what Goldilocks did, too.   See, “Bracketing, Explained.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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