Market Reports-What Do They Mean?

Last month in the post Market Reports Are Not The Value of Your Home, I suggested to Northern Virginia home sellers that the “average” price in your neighborhood may not be reflective of your home value.

As Paul Harvey used to say…now for the rest of the story.

For example this chart shows how one NOVA neighborhood has trended this year as compared to 2009.   If you looked only at the October market  report you could say the neighborhood is up 1% over the same time last year.  What about the previous months?  At one point the neighborhood was up 9% over 2009 at another point it was down 1%.    Only looking at October and saying YEA my neighborhood is up over 2009 isn’t the whole story.

In addition not all reports compare the same time frames.  The above report was calculated showing all of  2009 compared to each month in 2010.  This is a very skewed number in my opinion.  How can a neighborhood be up 9% in January when only one home sold as compared to 12 in 2009?

And finally the MLS does have inaccurate information posted from time to time.  Recently while looking at one Prince William County neighborhood market report I found mistakes in seller  subsidy which changed the net.  One agent says the percentage is up over 2009 and I say (based on corrected data) the percentage was down.

If you are looking at a marketing report for your neighborhood look cautiously.   Don’t make a decision about whether you sell your home solely based on those numbers.  Call a Realtor® to give you the rest of the story and request a complete CMA for your house before you decide that now is the time to sell your home.

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