“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?

Thankfully, there is a common ground when it comes to landing on a solid listing price. Here are some proven tools and 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 a sensitive issue. 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.

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 and factors about the property.

Getting into what really happened to the house next door

The house next door sold for more than you’re suggesting we sell for,” is well heard by listing agents. Short of arranging a tour of said house, REALTORS® can opt to pull up RPR’s app right there at the kitchen table.

Using a smartphone or tablet, the app’s GPS will automatically detect the phone’s whereabouts and display all of the homes in the area in either a list or map view. Discover all there is to know about the property, including:

  • Did the property sell for more or less than the list price?
  • Did the home have any distressed actions?
  • How long was the house on the market?
  • Were there price reductions?

As the photos and data speak for themselves, many REALTORS® will politely put the ball back into the seller’s court by asking, “Now that you’ve learned more about your neighbor’s property, how would you rate your home by comparison?” Doing so allows the homeowner to reevaluate her assumptions and move the needle that much closer to a mutually agreed upon list price.

© 2016 Realtors Property Resource, All rights reserved. RPR is 100% owned and operated by the National Association of Realtors® as a member benefit for all REALTORS®. Only REALTORS® can access RPR.

Guest Blogger Frank Dickens, ABR, rCRMS, SRES, SRS is on AAR’s Legislative & Political Affairs Committee

On May 10, David Stearrett, director of the Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate (OFIA) met with the 2016 National Association of REALTORS® Insurance Committee at FEMA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

OFIA was created in 2014, as part of the Biggert-Waters Act, to advocate for the fair treatment of policyholders under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Stearrett is charged with helping consumers find a “non-bureaucratic” platform to resolve insurance issues.

Such issues may include amending maps where properties are wrongfully included in flood zones and resolving incorrect elevation certificates, both of which can result in higher insurance premiums. In some cases, policies increased from less than $1K to more than $10K.

In Arizona, we have succeeded in fast-tracking flood map amendments in Pinal and Navajo Counties.

This year, the Insurance Committee successfully advocated for passage of House Bill 2901, the “Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act”, so consumers can shop flood insurance in a competitive market with lower rates. The committee is now working with the Senate to pass H.R. 2901.

After coastal states, Arizona has more flood insurance policies and designated flood zones than any other state in the union.

Arizona REALTORS® are encouraged to contact OFIA when their clients feel that flood-related notices received from insurance companies are incorrect. For general information, rating options (such grandfathering and elevation), or to find out how to obtain a property-loss history report, simply refer to this fact sheet.

Arizona REALTORS® Advance Key Housing Issues in Nation’s Capitol

May 20, 2016

Members of the Arizona Association of REALTORS® joined nearly 8,500 constituents from across the country at the 2016 REALTOR® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo that started May 9 in Washington D.C. While on Capitol Hill, Arizona REALTORS® had the opportunity to meet with Sen. Jeff Flake, Rep. David Schweikert, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Martha McSally, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Rep. Trent Franks, Rep. […]

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More Perils of Social Media

May 18, 2016

In a recent article, Arizona REALTORS® Associate Counsel Nikki Salgat noted, “While social media can be ideal for building and maintaining business and relationships, it can also prove dangerous and detrimental.” In addition to the concerns she raised, here are two other things to watch for with Facebook, as well as other social media platforms: […]

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NAR Tech Edge Event is Jam-Packed

May 16, 2016

The National Association of REALTORS® Tech Edge event on May 20 teaches you the latest technology skills and trends, so you can walk out with actionable items to build your business. This year’s topics include: Evernote for Everyone! 10 Things You Need to Know About Data Security Building Your Brand Online RPR Reports: More Than […]

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Highlights From 2016 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings in D.C.

May 16, 2016

Arizona Realtors® Gather in Washington to Lay Groundwork for Future Policy Successes Realtors® flooded Capitol Hill to meet directly with members of Congress and their staff to discuss the legislative and regulatory environment and its effect on residential and commercial real estate. Read More “We actually got to spend some time with Congressman Matt Salmon […]

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