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Friday, July 1, 2016  
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Orlando REALTOR® | JulyAugust 2016

REALTOR® Property Resource, available free to members, helps listing agents and clients land on a realistic asking price

"But in 2003, we upgraded the bathroom, built a jungle gym, and put in a new dishwasher!"

What REALTOR® hasn’t felt challenged during pricing discussions with homeowners in a similar situation? And why wouldn’t an average homeowner expect to earn a return on home improvements?

Believe it or not, there is a common ground when it comes to landing on a solid listing price. REALTOR® Property Resource, a free member benefit, offers both technology tools and personal techniques for guiding your seller in the right direction.

Getting Real on the Value of Home Improvements

Flushing out what qualifies as an appreciable home improvement can be sensitive. Homeowners who have put a lot of effort into converting the garage to a family room or the third bedroom to a new master closet may not want to hear that their “new addition” actually depreciates the home’s value.
On the flip side, conscientious homeowners who put their improvement dollars to good use stand to recoup at least a portion of their investment, especially if they rely on a REALTOR® who uses RPR’s Refine Value Tool.

With up to 30 predefined home improvements to choose from, RPR’s Refine Value Tool accurately calculates the depreciated value of home improvements, from mid-range jobs to upscale additions and remodels. The tool also enables users to refine a home’s value by confirming/adjusting basic facts about the property, as well as other factors such as an assessment of local market conditions, the interior and exterior of the home’s condition, lot size, view, privacy, and more.

As the data speak for themselves, many agents will politely put the ball back into the seller’s court by asking, “Now that you’ve learned more, how does that affect your desired home price?” Doing so allows the homeowners to reevaluate their assumptions and move the needle that much closer to a mutually agreed upon list price.

Using RPR's Refine Value Tool

1.       Refine the home’s value by adjusting its basic facts

Not all listings are created equal, nor do the public records get it right every time. Here, confirm/adjust the basic facts about a property, from the number of bedrooms to square footage and beyond. Here’s how:

  • Enter the property address into the RPR search bar.
  • From the Property Details page, find the blue button marked Refine.
  • Based on your current knowledge of the property, confirm and adjust the property’s basic facts.
  • Select Apply to see the adjusted value.
  • Make a mistake? Choose Restore Original.

 2.       Refine the home’s value based on home improvements

There are more than 30 predefined home improvements to choose from in the refined value tool, from midrange to upscale additions and remodels.

  • Start by selecting the type of home improvement.
  • Fill in the project’s completion date and total cost.
  • Fill in the project’s completion date and total cost.
  • Click Add to finish.

The increased value will automatically adjust and add into the refined estimate of the home. Repeat the above for any home improvements that meet the predefined description within RPR.

3.      Refine the home’s value based on market and home conditions

Now that you’ve added home upgrades and adjusted the value, jump down to the last section to make your final adjustments based on market and home conditions. Here’s where that earlier drive past the home comes in handy. Hopefully, at that time you snapped photos of the home’s exterior and used RPR’s note taking tool to record your thoughts on the property’s condition and special features.

Use the simple sliding scale to refine the home’s value based on your assessment of local market conditions, the interior and exterior of the home’ s condition, lot size, view, and privacy. When adjusting for home conditions, you will be adjusting the subject property relative to comparable properties.

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