How to determine your homes value

Knowing the Value

When considering the sale of a home, one of the biggest determining factos on whether one can sell or not, will be based on the value of the home.  This is after all, a very important factor in this equation.

Knowing the current market value of the home and most likely sales price, will help determine whether a homeowner will be able to make enough on the sale to move foward with placing home on the market for sale.  Alternatively, one may also be able to determine whether they can sell the home in the first place.  

You may think that finding out the value of the home or likely sales price only leads to homeowner making a profit with the sale of a home.  That is not always the case, as there are several instances in which a homeowner may lose money on the sale of a home.  As an example, many homeowners in the years 2008-2013 lost homes and money during the recession.  Also, many homeowners may purchase a home only to end up having to relocate within a short period of time.  This also, will more than likely result and a homeowner having to sell at a loss.  Point is, knowing the value of the home in todays market is key in knowing whether you can and should move forward with selling your home.

Way to find out the value of your home​

So to the point, there are namely 3 ways a homeowner can go about getting or determingin the current market value of their home:

  • An Appraisal - this is something done by an appraiser, who is a professinal within the real estate industry whose sole purpose is to determine a home's current market value.  This is a professional service, and while fees will range, as of the time of this article the average cost is about $550.
  • On-line Valuation - There really is a LOT of on-line valuation sites.  The problem is in knowing whether they can be trusted and are accurate?  I for one question where many of these sites are pulling their informaiton from to determine the value of a home.  One of the biggest, we all know their name, discloses that they are only within 10% of the final sales price 60% of the time..........thats a "D".  Not good!!
  • Could ask a realtor - Well not all realtors may do this service, but many included myself do.  Also to consider is how much experience and knowledge the realtor has of the area where they are doing the valuation.  

The above are some of the choices one has to help determine the value of the home, in todays market.  The first choice will of course be one that costs the homeowner money up front, but is likely pretty accurate.  The second choice, has a 60% chance of being 10% off, which in my opinion is not a great choice.  Think about that, in an area that averages $300,000 homes sales price, they could be atleast $30,000 off!

The last choice, is likely one of the best choices to help you decide whether one is ready to move forward with the sale of their home.​  This will not cost the homeowner anything up front, it is pretty darn accurate and one can also discuss fees associated with selling and even marketing strategy.

Tips  and steps to finding out your home's value​

How will the realtor go about finding out the current market value of your home?  Also, how can you go about finding out the current value of your home?  Let me tell you exactly how you can go about finding out the value, the steps to take and the most likely price you will get in the sale.

One of the first steps will be to determine all the information about the subject property necessary for the valuation.  The subject property, is of course the home whose value is being determinted.  The minumum information you need to begin is as follows:

1.  Square footage of home

2. Age of home, or year built

3.  Lot size

4.  Bedroom count - number of bedrooms

5.  Bathroom count - number of bathrooms

6.  Parking features

7.  Does the home have a pool?

The above again, are what I feel are the minimum requirements needed to being an accurate valuation for a property.  Once this information is known about the subject property, then begin a search for similar properties which will be used for the valuation.  You will want to consider recent homes that have sold, homes that are currently under contract, and lastly homes currently for sale on the active market.

When deciding on which homes to use as comparable properties one must also consider their location and distance from the subject property.​  The ideal situation is similar homes within the same subdivision.  If one can't find homes within the same subdivision, maybe go out to neighboring subdivisions.  Most lenders and appraisers will try to stay within a 1 mile radius of the subject property.  For propreties that are like ranches, or custom homes, a larger radius may be used.  Ideally those closer are preferred but on specialty properties distance is given and allowed.

Time frames of recent sales are also very important in the consideration of comparable properties.  In order to get the most accurate value, one must look at some of the most recent home sales of the similar homes.  Lenders and appraisers, and for that matter most of us realtors as well, try to find recent sales which have occurred no more than 120 days back.  Ideally if one can find sales within 30 to 60 days that would be the perfect situation.

When looking for similar properties, the exact homes may or may not be available for comparison.  What many banks, or appraisers, or even realtors will then do is look for those that are most similar to the subject property.  Ideally, one may even be able to bracket the properties in some way based on the above criteria, and make either negative or postive adjustments based on the comparison.  This is really where some of the knowledge and experience really comes in handy.

For many valuations I have done over the years, I will try to bracket the property.  The idea is to find similar homes with differences of no more than 20% above or below subject property.  This generally will fall into the category of square footage of home, or the size of the lot.  In some cases you may get a very unique home, that maybe is the only one in the subdivision that is on a very large lot, and a adjustment must be made.  Depedning on how the simlar homes compare, then the adjustment will be made either by deducting value or adding value.

As an example if you choose another comparable home that has more bedrooms than the subject property, an adjustment will need to be made in value.  The idea is to either make a negative dollar adjustment or positive one to the comparable properties to arrive at a value for the subject home.  So the comparable property in this case would get a reduction in value for the additional value, thus making it more comparable/similar to the subject home.  One thing that you will need to consider as well, is how much of an adjustment is called for in the value.​

Making adjustments to the value

How much of an adjustment needs to be made to the comparable homes based on their differences?  That really is the million dollar questions, and I will not really be able to give you a universal answer.  All appraisers, realtors and other professionals that conduct home valuations have different values that are used.  The values will also differ, depending on the area one is working in as well (Laveen vs. Scottsdale).  As an example for value, how much value can be given for a home with:

1.  An additional bedrooms?

2.  An additional parking spot in the garage?

3.  A remodeled kitchen?

4.  A larger lot?

5.  Granite counters in kitchen vs. laminate

6.  Will additional value be given for solar?  Is it leased or owned?  Does it make a difference?

As one can see, there is a LOT to know about getting to the true market value of a home.  Unfortunately there is not a simple, press of the button, super-fast way to get the true value.  To get an accurate value for your Laveen Az home, it will require some work!  

There is a lot of work that goes into finding out the value of a home.  Starting with finding the best comparable homes to use for the valuation, as well a making adjustments in value and knowing how much to adjust that value.  As an example a home having a pool could be worth an additional $5000 to $25,000 depending on type of pool, condition of pool and the location of property.  It could also not carry any value, again depending on where the home is located.  The point I want to drive home, is that values added or taken vary.

In the end one now has a 4th option for determining the value of their home, they can use the above information and determine their own homes value.  Find similar homes as explained, and make adjustments as necessary to arrive at the present value of your home.  You will need to study the market, and values of other homes in area, to help determine the best adjustment amount to use if bracketing.  

If considering selling though, my strongest recommendation though would be to consult a realtor who specializes in your area.  My name is David Alan Baker, and I am a Laveen and South Phoenix realtor,  I've specialized in the area since 2004 and would like the opportunity to earn your business.

How to Sell Your Property

Been Considering the sale of your Laveen Home?

If you have been considering selling your Laveen home, you have likely been asking yourself many questions. My goal in this and many articles I have written, and likely will write, is to help you along the way and to answer some if not all of the questions you may be asking. Many would include the process of the sale, when is the best time to sell a home, or even if you can sell the home yourself. While this may at

Knowing the property value

One of the first questions most homeowners want to know, is “What is my home's value?”. It is, I must say a very important question, and a key factor in the decision of selling property. So how does want go about determining the actual and current market value of a home:

  1. Could get an appraisal – An appraisal is a formal and professionally done valuation of the property.
  2. Online Valuation - There are so many online valuation sites at this time, but how accurate are they? After all, you want to make a decision based a "real number".
  3. Could ask a realtor to give you a property valuation.

All of the above are some of the ways in which you could find out the value of the home. To fully disclose however, I would say that option 2 is really not a good choice. Many of the online portals will even disclose on their website that they come within 10% of final sales price only 60% of the time! Do you remember going to school? A 60% was not something that we wanted to take home and share with our parents, it was something were afraid to share, because it is almost failing. So begs the questions, why would anyone want to determine the potential sales price of any property, with something that is SO inaccurate?

Knowing the competition

When selling a home, it is always a good idea to know the value of the home, but also I think it is good to know what and who your competion will be during the sales process. What is competition for a homeowner considering the sale of property? Simply put, competition are all the other properties within the area that are likely similar enough to subject property. All these other homes will be competing along with your home "the subject property", to procure a buyer. This is important and knowing what the competition is should be spelled out clearly.

As an example, would horse property for sale be competition for a condo for sale in the central Phoenix area? Not likely. The buyers likely looking to buy horse property would never consider a condo, just like buyers looking for condos would likely never consider horse property. Competition will be other properties that bear the same resemblance, features, benefits, area, price range and likely buyers as the subject property.

Knowing time to sell and averages

Any important decision needs to be based on facts. Some of the most important facts are those that will help a home owner decide time frames and averages for an area or even property type. You may ask, why this is important, and I would like to share the why.

If a home owner/property owner is planning to make a move, they are likely to have a time in mind as to when the move would be ideally taking place. As an example, let us assume a Laveen property owner has to relocate for a new job out of state. To keep this as simple as possible for this example we will just assume a start date 3 months in the future. Knowing he needs to be in another state in 3 months, when should he/she place the home on market in order to make the sale as close to move as possible? Knowing the average times to sell recent sales, or even properties under contract in Laveen are going to be key in the decision as to when will be the best time to place home on market.

  1. What is the least amount of time of time a Laveen property has taken to sell
  2. What is the average time to sell for sold properties recently
  3. What is the longest time for recent sale
  4. What is the average time for active properties on the market
  5. What is the average time for properties under contract

All the above numbers are very important in helping a home owner make the best decision in order to reach their goals in the selling process. If properties are taking a little longer to sell, maybe placing property on market earlier will be the decision that will need to be made. Yet, if properties are selling super quickly, well then they have the option to hold off on placing on market until they are closer to their move date.

The information given by these numbers will not be able to read the future. They are not a crystal ball for how the sale of any property will play out. Yet these numbers can and will allow a property owner to take advantage of all information on hand in order to make the best decision in their interest.

Knowing the real estate market

Real estate professionals and many who dabble in it as well are very familiar with knowing about the different types of markets. In essence a market is a description of the current inventory levels. Depending on the national economy, the state economy, and the local economy which are all financial drivers in the real estate market, we will have different markets types.

A buyer market - A time where there is a larger inventory of homes

A seller market - A time when inventory levels are lower

A transitional market - A time with a balanced inventory of homes

Understanding the current real estate market can help a homeowner with expectations during the home sale process. Is it a market that will favor the homeowner at the time of placing the home on market for sale, or will it benefit the buyer more? Knowledge of the market, and the inventory level can also lead to a better understand as to how to negotiate in your best interest.

Who is the most likely buyer for your Laveen Arizona home?

When you look at your property, who do you think will be the most likely buyer? One could likely look within and see what was the deciding factor and maybe even situation at the time the property was originally purchased. One could really go deep into the thought process for “who will be the most likely buyer for the property”?

Is the property more enticing to people living a certain type of lifestyle?

Is the property more enticing to people based on its location?

Is property one that will appeal to different family make-ups? By this I mean, single, divorced, family, small family, large, extended…….

Is the home one that will interest buyers with larger families?

The more one knows about the most likely end buyer, the better one can go about selling property. Once you have an idea of who the likely buyer will be on a property for sale, one can market a little more specifically to that demographic.

What type of financing will buyer likely use

This is not likely something that a homeowner will consider much, especially if they decide to use a professional realtor. Yet, if a homeowner decides to try to sell the home on their own (FSBO), then I think it should be something they would want to consider knowing.

Above we discussed, who may be a likely buyer for the home, and now we also look a little at what type of financing the buyers may use to purchase the home.

Cash - simple enough, a buyer comes to the table with money in hand (check, cashier or wire transfer to finalize the deal)

Conventional loan - a type of loan that is done, down payments vary a bit

FHA Loan - this is a loan which is backed by the Federal Housing Administration.

VA loan - this is a loan which is for veterans.

How to market your Laveen home for sale

When and where can you market your home for sale?  There are many sources of marketing, one could chose on way or try to market in as many as possible.  I would say, any good realtor, one that is experienced and professional will have some kind of marketing plan.

Some ideas and places one could consider to market their property:

  • Postcards
  • Advertise in a local newspaper
  • Send information out to neighbors
  • Market online
  • Market via social media
  • Contact realtors in area that may be working with buyers

As a local realtor, I always try to stay current on the real estate market and of course marketing trends as well.  As of this posting, one of the best ways to reach an audience that potentially would be looking to buy a home is online.  Matter a fact, almost 97% of buyers start their home search online, so follow the crowd (buyers).

Should you make repairs prior to selling the home

What is the minimum you should do to the home to get the HIGHEST amount out of the sale of the home?  Is there anything that you really NEED to do to the home to make it more marketable or appealing to potential buyers?  Can you sell your home "as is"?  Will you get less money for the sale of the home if you don't make repairs?

Wish I could tell you that there is a quick, fast, and easy response to these and many other questions.  I have been in real estate for going on 13 years, have done 100's of deals, and in truth they are all a little different.  Not only is the sale different because maybe the houses are not similar, or maybe they are in different locations, different conditions, and VERY IMPORTANT is also considering the over all real estate market at the time of the sale.

As an quick example, making some minor cosmetic repairs for homes in the 2009-2011 period may not really have been advisable for many of my clients.  Most at that time were actually going through a distress situation, and when a homeowner will not profit from the sale I don't suggest they invest money into a losing situation.  If we were selling back in 2004-2007, then I may have advised clients to make some repairs and even some improvements.  Back then, having granite counters could easily get you more return on investment than was put into project.  The simple point is, you need to do your homework.  Understand the current market, understand the cost of repairs and will it provide a sufficient return on investment to make it worthwhile.  Also, if repairs is NOT done, will it have a detrimental affect on the marketability of the property?

Sales Information April 2017

Find below sales information for April 2017 for the Laveen Arizona area.  Of course we will be looking at a lot of current statistical information, for the month of April, but also making use of the recent sales information for Laveen in the month ending March 2017.


159 properties currently for sale

131 properties currently under contract

87 properties sold in month of March 2017

1.83 months of current inventory

$110.83 was average $/square foot for homes sold

$150,000 was the lowest sale

$1,190,000 was the highest – FYI – this was highest in YEARS!

74 was average days on market for sold properties

$122.71 is current average dollar a square foot for active listings


Commentary for Laveen Az real estate market

When the inventory level is under 3 months, it is a seller market.  At this time as reported above, Laveen real estate market stands at 1.83 months, which is indeed still a seller market.  Basically, a great time to sell.  Home values have gone up, rapidly at first in 2013 and steadily since 2014.  It remains a great time to sell.


Seller Tip #1 | How to help your home sell

Make a good first Impression

​A first impression is something that can never be done again, once you have made it, it is DONE.  This was also something that I had originally started hearing when I was a young boy, mom would always says it is important to make a good first impression.  Well, not much has changed it seems, because I now I'm telling people, just like my mother that the first impression one makes is very important.

​When a potential buyer has decided to come and view your home, this is GREAT news.  After all, when a homeowner places their home on the market it is usually to get it sold.  In order to get the home sold, it is very common to need a buyer.  So again, when a buyer decides to come through the front door of the home, this is indeed good news.  It shows that the buyer has interest in a home, and very likely similar to the one they are about to walk into.  You see, in today's world, many buyers would have already seen some photos of home and are aware of the overall aspects of the home.  Things such as how many bedrooms, bathrooms and maybe square footage and price.

Once the potential buyer has decided that the home poses a big enough interest to them, they schedule that appointment, right?​  So going back to the beginning, now that they are at the home we need to make a good first impression.

​Declutter your Home

So, the heading for this next section really is the summary of what the TIP #1 is, declutter.  If you are standing in your living room, which also happens to be right next to the kitchen, and you can not see the kitchen from the stacked boxes there is a problem.  First, you may be a hoarder and that is a problem.  Luckily in my 12 years plus of selling real estate here in the South Phoenix and Laveen area, I have not had many people that would even come close to being called hoarders.  Yet, there are those who could benefit from this Seller tip, and that is to declutter.

​What is decluttering entail?

When it comes down to it, decluttering is removing all excess items that don't need to be in the home.​  One thing you can ask yourself is the following: "would removing this make the home look better?", or even possibly "do I need to have this out at this time?".  If the answer to these questions is no, then it would likely be a good idea to remove it.

So to give you an idea, let me use some examples.  Lets say that there is an area of the house, that does not get used very much.  As it is not in constant use, maybe just maybe the powers that be decided to go ahead and place one thing, then maybe another into the area for storage.  Well over time, that area of storage just grew and grew, to the point where not there is huge amounts of storage going on in this room.  Let us call this room the GARAGE, and due to the excess storage going on in the garage, vehicles are not able to be parked.  In addition, maybe on really can't even see the full garage well, because there is so much being stored.​

When it comes down to it, wouldn't you as a potential buyer really want to be able to see the entire home?  So if you do have rooms that are full of storage items, it may be something you really want to deal with before placing it on the market for sale.  Again, making that good first impression is huge.  It is very important to make sure you allow the buyer to see the home, and the potential, so they can see if they have an interest to move forward with an offer.  Chances are, if you place home on market you will eventually sell anyway.  So why not start packing a little, so you can make sure to make that best first impression.​

Sales information February 2017

As per usual, let us review what has been going on with the real estate market in Laveen Arizona by looking at current and some past sales information.  We will follow up the statistics given, with a brief commentary.

Current Homes for sale and Recent sales information

135 active properties for sale

103 properties currently under contract

57 properties sold in January 2017

$210,344 was average sale price

$106.10 was average $/sq ft for homes that did sell

$158,000 was the low sale for month

$290,000 was the high sale for month

2.37 is current inventory

90 – average days on market for active listings

$121.31 is average list price/sq ft



Well, it continues to be a seller market in Laveen Az 85339.  This is great news for home owners that are currently considering selling!  The reason is simple, inventory levels are still low and values have gone up over the last 3 years now.  I’ve mentioned before, we have seen double digit increase in home values since 2013, but I DO NOT think we are likely to see it continue that way on a yearly basis.  My reasoning is that I fully expected to see a large up swing in home values, and it was because home values had over corrected after the market crash.  We saw home values plummet way beyond what it should have, and that value needed to correct itself.  Once the economy improved a bit, we did see home values increase quickly (30% in 2013), and it was because it needed to correct itself.  We have not seen such an increase again, and likely will not.

So, is it a good time to sell?  Yes it is, it is a seller market and inventory levels for active homes on market are low, so this will benefit home sellers.  Values as indicated have gone up, so you should and will have equity in the home (most folks).

Sales Information January 2017

Welcome to the new year here in Laveen Az.  As always we will look to review information from the current activity in the market, as well as the most recent sales, in this case the month ending December 2016.  Keep in mind when reviewing this information, that all information is for the entire Laveen Az 85339 zip code, and all property types.  If you’re considering selling your home, it would be wise to look at recent and current sale information for homes similar to your own.

Current Real estate information

137 properties currently for sale

103 properties currently under contract

86 properties sold in Laveen Az in December 2016

67 was average days on market for sold homes

$108.22 was the average dollar a square foot

$233,305 was the average sale price

99% was the average list to sale ratio ( homes on average sold 1% under list on the mls)

$142,700 was the low sale price

$615,000 was the high sale price


Two last interesting numbers to through in the mix:

96 was average days on market for active homes on market

$124.55 is average dollar a square foot for listed homes (active)


Commentary – Homes in Laveen are indeed selling, and they have been as can be seen from numbers going back a year.  It is and has been a seller market in the area, which of course benefits the sellers.  This is because there is a lower inventory of homes.  What I do like to point out today is that the average days on market for sold homes is about 30 days lower than those currently on the market.  Also the average sale price per square foot is about $16 dollars less a square foot as well.  That means in many cases, that homes on the market are not priced right, and as such, are staying on the market longer.  It is not until homes come down to market value that they end up selling, and even then the average is still 1% under the last listed price.

Lastly, only 4 homes where purchase with cash!  That means that 95% of the homes bought/sold are being financed!  Do YOU KNOW what has to happen on a financed home?  Yup, an appraisal, and that means that other similar homes will be used to determine the value of the home.  So, if other similar homes have sold for “x” dollars the chance of you getting “x + $$$” are not to good.

Food for thought.

I’m a Laveen area realtor, and have been since 2004.  Hope you find this information beneficial.

Sales Information December 2016

Lets look at the statistics for recent home sales as well as current homes on the market.  This of course will give us an idea of the over all conditions for the local Laveen real estate market.

159 active properties for sale

137 properties currently under contract

86 homes sold in the month of November 2016

$109.62 was average dollar a square foot

$214,213 was the average sales price for homes sold

71 was the average time to sell for homes that sold

1.85 months inventory


The market in the Laveen area, continues to be over all pretty steady.  With a 1.85 current market rate inventory, we are still in a market that favors homeowners or sellers.  Keep in mind though, that even though the numbers above show the entire zip code of Laveen, and it does give us an overall idea of the market, it can differ a bit depending on the property.  As an example, horse property in Laveen currently is experiencing a buyer market, as is land sales.  The point is, if you’re considering selling, make sure to look not only at the over all picture but also at your specific niche.

Homes under the $225,000 range are selling at a pretty quick pace.  Those homes over that price, well, they are taking a little longer to sell.  Values has gone up for Laveen in the last year, and depending on which time frame you look at it can vary between 4 to 10 percent increase.  It’s really how you look at statistics, but overall you can rest assured, Laveen home values have increased by at least 4% for the year.


November 22, 2016

Lets look at the statistics for Laveen real estate market.  We will look at sales going back 30 days, as well as current properties on the market and those under contract.  Here are the current numbers:

163 properties currently for sale

146 properties currently under contract

67 properties sold in last 30 days

2.43 months of current inventory

$165,000 was lowest recent property sale

$499,000 was the highest recent sale

$110.33 was the average sale price per square foot

$220,898 was the average sale price for those homes that sold


It is a seller market, with the current inventory at 2.43 months.  This means that sellers basically have the upper hand, because buyers have less inventory from which to select a home.  In some instances (especially on lower priced homes) sellers may see multiple offers and shorter sales times.  Values are holding steady, with a decent increase year to date.

Going into the holidays, is it still a good time to sell?  My answer is YES!  It is a seller market, and buyers are out buying homes.  If you need to sell, homes are still selling regardless of the time of year.

Looking to sell?  Call me for a free consultation!  We can discuss the market, your home value, time to sell home, and how much you will net at the close of the sale.

David 602-373-6345

October 16th 2016

Lets take a look at current information for the Laveen area.

175 homes currently for sale in Laveen

129 properties under contract

98 properties for sale in last 30 days

$155,000 is lowest home on market

$1,300,000 highest active sale

$277,591 is the average list price

$140,000 was lowest sale price last 30 days

$480,000 was highest sale

$226,533 was average sale price


It is a seller market at this time.

What to do with your pets this summer

If you live in the Laveen area, there are many things to keep yourself and your pets occupied.

The temperatures in the Laveen area have gone up a bit, with a recent high of 117!  Yikes that is one hot day.  Yet, our pets just like us like to go out too.  The big difference is we can hopefully take care of ourselves, our pets need our help.  So a couple of quick no brain tips:

  1.  Have plenty of water…………….for your pet
  2. Do NOT do to many activities in hottest part of day
  3. Keep in mind your pet is barefoot…………..asphalt is hot!  If you wouldn’t walk on it your pet likey won’t want to either


So what can you do.  Well Laveen has a great new dog park located at the Cesar Chavez park, and it has some shade structures and grass!  Imagine that, grass in the desert and dogs love it.  I would highly recommend going earlier in the day or head out toward evening hours.

Hiking in the mountains.  There are plenty of trails to hike in the South Mountain preserve.  Keep a couple things in mind as your out their walking and I know I’m starting to write like a broker record……have water and do the hikes during cooler part of day.

Beyond those 2, I can’t think of others at this time.  Course you could walk them around your home, but again be sure to keep the dogs feet, water needs and temperature in mind.  After all, dogs don’t sweat and have a little harder time then we do in regulating their heat.


Have a safe summer pet owners of Laveen.