By Tammie White
Pricing your Franklin TN home on acreage to sell will be one of the most important decisions you make when listing your home. Every seller wants to believe their home is unique and has added value above the
other homes on the
market. That may or may not be true. Your home's value is determined by a variety of factors including location, size, lot size, home age and condition and the presence of other buildings or structures on your property.
Before pricing your home you should consider the following:
- Is the square footage of your home accurate? As agents who regularly help buyers and sellers, we often see that the square footage provided in the tax records is wrong. A better source would be an appraisal or professional measurement. Most lenders will require an accurate account of square footage when you purchased or refinanced your house. The appraisal report you received will contain that square footage. This may be lower than your tax records show but I can guarantee it's the more accurate of the two numbers. If this number is significantly off, we suggest having your house professionally measured. That costs somewhere between $150 to $200 but it can make a difference of tens of thousands of dollars to you. While showing houses this week, we challenged the listing agent on the square footage of a home she had listed. A recent appraisal had been completed for tax purposes but she had neglected to get that number from the seller. As it turned out the quoted square footage in the listing was 550 square feet too high. Plus, she included an unfinished basement of 550 square feet in her price. Only finished basements with heating and air conditioning can be accounted for in a seller's square footage. At $221 per square foot, the house was priced $232,050 too high. The agent changed the square footage in the multiple listing service but didn't change the seller's list price. Unfortunately, the seller has set his sights on getting a lot more for his property than it's actually worth. He can't bring himself to accept a lower price because of incorrect square footage. This entire scenario could have been avoided had the agent and seller done their due diligence upfront. The agent has set the seller up to fail. Given the house has already been on the market 170 days, it's unlikely it will ever sell. You don't want this to happen to you.
- Is the acreage cited correct? You should have a plat of survey for your property. If you can't find this, then you can visit Williamson County for a copy. They should have one on file. If not, you should have your land surveyed and provide a plat to prospective buyers. Buyers feel more comfortable making an offer on a property that has provided a plat of survey. They may choose another property because this has already been provided to verify the acreage.
- What is the age and condition of your home? Older properties that have not made updates will sell for less than those that are newly-built or recently renovated. Renovations to kitchens and baths can run into tens of thousands of dollars. Buyers are willing to pay more for renovated homes knowing that the work has already been completed. If your house has the original kitchen and baths, you may have to price lower than your competition. Even if, the property has some other unique and attractive features for buyers.
- Use sold homes as comparable properties, not currently listed. This is one of the most common mistakes we see made by sellers and their listing agents. Sellers see several properties with similar square footage and acreage to their property on the market. The price seems extremely high, even to them, but they decide to list their home for a similar price. This is not the way to price your home. The comparable properties that help determine your home's price are the sold properties, not the currently active properties. I have spent the better part of a week out with buyers looking at Franklin TN homes on acreage. The vast majority of these homes were priced similar to their competition. The problem--the competition hasn't sold yet. They haven't successfully completed a sale. The most accurately priced properties have already sold. The sold prices give me a good idea of what properties will sell at in a given location. I've witnessed properties this week over-priced by $200,000. Sellers shouldn't overprice their properties in hopes they will sell. Sellers should price their properties in accordance with the other properties that have already sold. The only time you might list higher is if there aren't any recent comparable sold properties and the market has shifted upwards since the last closed property. Recent comparable properties should have closed within the last 90 days.
- What type of buyer would desire your Franklin TN home on acreage? There are three types of acreage: pasture, timber or a combination of both. Timber property is not conducive to raising horses or cattle. You must own pasture to do that. Buyers who want lots of shade and privacy are more drawn to timber property. Once again, one property may be more desirable than another and therefore list for a higher price depending upon the demand.
- What type of out buildings or structures do you have on your property? Buyers looking for horse properties, want barns with horse stalls. Buyers who do woodworking or collect automobiles want heated buildings appropriate for year-round use. There's no limit to the types and sizes of the barns and buildings you'll find on these properties. I showed a property this week with a 30'x50' Morton building. This particular building brought a lot of value to the property. It was fully insulated, heated, cooled and had running water and toilets. Plus, it had an apartment with a fully equipped kitchen. This building would provide a lot of value to a car enthusiast, not so much to a cattle farmer.
All of these things must be taken into consideration when pricing your Franklin TN home on acreage to sell. Don't be taken in by an agent who says they can list your house much higher than other recently sold properties. That's why you see so many homes listed for six months or more. They weren't priced right to begin with.
Take it from an agent who not only owns a Franklin home on acreage but one who sells them, pricing your home correctly in the beginning will lead to a quicker sale for a higher price. Especially, if you use Franklin Homes Realty LLC to market your acreage home. Not all agents know how to attract the right buyers to your acreage home. These homes require a lot more marketing than your average neighborhood homes.
When the time is right for pricing your Franklin TN home on acreage to sell,
call Franklin Homes Realty LLC at (615) 495-0752.
About Tammie White, Franklin TN REALTOR®
Tammie White is a REALTOR® and Principal Broker/Owner of Franklin Homes Realty LLC in Franklin TN. Tammie works with relocation buyers looking to purchase a home in Franklin and the surrounding Williamson County area. She understands the way buyers search for homes making her an invaluable asset to Franklin home sellers. Tammie's website, www.FranklinHomesRealty.com, has become the premiere search tool for buyers relocating to Franklin TN. She has been writing a real estate blog since 2009 and quoted in various publications including the LA Times, Skype.com, The Tennessean and Williamson Source.