Real NEastate: Is my house really worth less?

Q: Last year I had an agent come out to list my house in Rhawnhurst and tell me my house was worth $189,000 even though it appraised the year before at $200,000.  I figured I could wait. This year I decided to sell and that same agent told me my house was worth only $179,000. How could that be true?


A: The truth is your real estate agent is not really telling you what he thinks your home is worth. Your agent can only tell you how much he believes your home can sell for and/or how much to list your home.

Appraisers can decide how much it’s worth. But homebuyers will only pay what they think your home is really worth. The sale price and the appraisal price both depend on recent sold prices of the homes in your neighborhood.

Recent is the key word here. It really doesn’t matter if you had it appraised in 2009 for $200,000. That has no bearing on what it could possibly sell for in 2011. I ran the statistics in 19111 and 19152 combined. From June 2009 to June 2010, the average sale price came in at $172,000. And from June 2010 to June 2011, the average sale price came in at $161,500.

Now, does that mean your home is worth only $161,500? No. But it does illustrate that buyers are paying less in these areas than they were a year ago.

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on See others here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.

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