Evaluating a home’s market value isn't easy for a homeowner. Sometimes an objective opinion is required, even if it is hard to accept. Overpricing a home is a sure way of prolonging the process. An experienced real estate professional, someone who knows the market and the neighborhood, is the best way to make sure a house is properly valued.  Some of the factors that can negatively affect a home’s value are obvious.  Some are not. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Curb Appeal

First impressions really are important, and a house without curb appeal is going to turn off some buyers before they even get out of their cars. Fortunately, curb appeal is a lot easier to rectify than other problems. A fresh coat of paint, clean front porch and neatly maintained yard are essential.


There’s no question that odors and damage caused by pets need to be addressed before a house goes on the market.  The scent of cat urine or sight of wood floors badly scratched by big dogs is going to turn away buyers as well as drive offer amounts down. Again, these are problems that can be addressed ahead of time.


The problem with many design and customization decisions is that they may work for the current owner, but prospective buyers may simply see garish choices they'll have to pay to undo. Buyers need to imagine themselves living in a home of their own, not someone else’s home.  That’s why sellers are almost always advised to repaint with mild colors and replace unique features like lighting fixtures that may have buyers scratching their heads.

Physical Problems

This should be obvious, but anything that will be a problem for the next owner of a home is going to cost a seller. Whether it’s obvious, or only discovered during a home inspection, problems with roofing, structure, HVAC equipment, etc., either need to be addressed by the seller before the house goes on the market, or will be factored into a prospective buyer’s offer.


The location of a home can be the biggest problem facing a homeowner wanting to sell. A home in a neighborhood with a questionable reputation, high crime rates, filled with unkempt homes and/or an unappealing skyline is going to be difficult to sell, even if the home itself is in pristine conditions.


There isn't a house that can't be sold, but if you want to sell and get the best price for your home, you’re going to have address issues like the above. Working together, I can help you sort through what can and can't be done to improve your position and help you set an asking price that will bring results

Masha Halpern, Broker, CLHMS, GRI,
Keller Williams Realty

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Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Masha is a certified member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings.

Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is also a member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price points. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.