Understanding the NAR Settlement

Implications for Home Buyers, Sellers, and Realtors

Recent news around the proposed settlement by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has sparked a lot of conversations—and some confusion—about its implications for the real estate industry. In light of these discussions, it’s crucial to provide clarity on what this settlement means for home buyers, sellers, and Realtors®.

Key Points of the Proposed Settlement

  1. Seller Discretion on Compensation: The settlement preserves the long-standing practice that sellers can offer compensation to the buyer’s broker. This aspect remains unchanged, ensuring sellers retain their discretion in these matters.
  2. Commission Transparency: We’ve always championed transparency in broker compensation. Commissions have always been negotiable and are determined through open discussions with our clients. This principle of transparency and negotiation remains at the forefront of our services.
  3. Buyer Representation Agreement: A notable provision in the proposed settlement is the requirement for buyers, working with NAR-affiliated agents, to sign a Buyer Representation Agreement before viewing properties. This formalizes the buyer-broker relationship, a practice that has been standard in many states for years.
  4. Accessible Representation: The ethos of our industry is that every buyer deserves representation, regardless of income level. Experience shows that transactions are smoother with professional representation on both sides, facilitating better communication and outcomes for everyone involved.
  5. Value of Professional Guidance: Our commitment to providing exceptional value through expert guidance, support, and effort in every transaction remains unwavering. We advocate for transparent discussions about commissions to reflect the comprehensive services we offer.
  6. Preparation for Change: As we anticipate the final approval of the settlement, we are prepared to embrace the outlined changes. These adjustments are seen as positive strides toward enhancing transparency, professionalism, and the overall client experience in the real estate industry.

What This Means for You

For home buyers, sellers, and Realtors®, it’s essential to understand that current practices continue as usual. Real estate transactions are proceeding without alteration, ensuring stability in the buying and selling process. Potential changes wouldn’t take effect until formerly approved, which we could potentially see in June or July of 2024. These changes aim to further enrich the industry’s professionalism and transparency, ultimately benefiting all parties involved.

Looking Ahead

The real estate industry is rooted in relationships and trust. As we move forward, we are committed to navigating any shifts in industry rules and regulations together, maintaining the high standard of service you’ve come to expect. This settlement represents an opportunity to elevate our professional standards nationwide, aligning with the values we cherish.

We understand that changes can lead to questions. Rest assured, we are here to address any concerns and provide the guidance needed as the situation evolves.

Timing and the Real Estate Market: Understanding Seasonal Trends

The real estate market is a dynamic entity, influenced by a myriad of factors ranging from economic shifts to seasonal changes. Understanding these trends, particularly in vibrant markets like Boulder and Denver, Colorado, is crucial for homeowners looking to optimize the sale of their property. In this post, we’ll explore traditional seasonal fluctuations, the impact of broader economic factors, and provide actionable advice for homeowners preparing for a sale.

The Rhythm of Real Estate: Seasonal Fluctuations

Spring Bloom: The Peak Selling Season

Spring is widely recognized as the prime time for real estate in Colorado. As the snow melts and the days get longer, buyers come out in droves. This season typically sees a surge in listings and buyer activity, making it an opportune time to showcase homes.

Summer Continuation: High Activity with Some Slowdowns

Summer in Boulder and Denver continues the momentum of the spring market, though it can experience slight slowdowns as families go on vacation and the initial rush wanes.

Fall Foliage and Market Cooling

As leaves turn and our Colorado seasons cool down, so does the real estate market. While fall still sees significant activity, there’s a noticeable dip compared to the frenetic pace of spring and summer.

Winter Chill: The Slow Season

Winter, with its holiday distractions and colder weather, is traditionally the slowest season in real estate. However, it’s worth noting that buyers looking during this time are often more serious, potentially leading to quicker sales.

Economic Factors at Play: A Retrospective View (2019-2024)

The past five years have seen a whirlwind of economic factors impacting the real estate market nationally and in the Denver and Boulder markets. These influences have shaped buying patterns, shifted housing demands, and altered market dynamics.

The Pandemic Effect (2020-2021)

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 brought unprecedented changes. Nationally, the real estate market experienced a temporary slowdown due to lockdowns and economic uncertainty. However, this was quickly followed by a significant surge in demand. The pandemic-induced shift towards remote work led to a growing interest in suburban and less densely populated areas. Boulder, with its appealing lifestyle and remote-work-friendly environment, saw a particular increase in housing demand. This surge resulted in accelerated home value appreciation and a heated market.

Interest Rates and Inflation (2019-2022)

Interest rates have been a key economic lever impacting the real estate market. The Federal Reserve’s response to the economic fallout of the pandemic, which included lowering interest rates to historic lows, helped fuel the housing market boom. Cheap borrowing costs encouraged both home buying and refinancing. However, as the economy started to recover, concerns over inflation led to a gradual increase in interest rates, notably in 2022. This shift began to cool the overheated market, making mortgages more expensive and tempering buyer demand.

Supply Chain Disruptions and Construction Costs (2020-2023)

Supply chain disruptions, exacerbated by the pandemic, led to increased costs and delays in home construction. This not only impacted new home inventory levels but also increased the costs of home renovations and repairs. Boulder felt this impact acutely, as the demand for homes continued to outpace supply, further driving up home prices.

The Shift in Housing Preferences (2020-2024)

The last five years saw a notable shift in housing preferences. There was an increased desire for larger homes with dedicated spaces for remote work and outdoor amenities. Boulder’s housing market reflected this trend, with a rise in demand for homes offering more space and natural surroundings. This shift contributed to the high competition and soaring prices in the area.

Economic Recovery and Market Normalization (2023-2024)

As the economy began recovering from the pandemic shocks, the real estate market started showing signs of normalization. The rise in interest rates and a gradual return to pre-pandemic lifestyles began to balance the market. In Boulder, this normalization was seen in the form of slightly longer days on market and a stabilization of home prices, although the market remained competitive due to continued high demand.

The Professional Edge: Why Expertise Matters

While optimal timing is a key factor in the real estate market, sellers often face constraints that prevent them from capitalizing on the most favorable market conditions. Life events, financial necessities, or changes in circumstances can dictate the timing of a sale, making it less than ideal. However, this is where the expertise of a professional realtor becomes invaluable. A skilled realtor can navigate the complexities of the market, employing strategies to enhance the appeal of a property, effectively market it, and negotiate the best possible terms. Their knowledge and experience can offset the challenges of less-than-perfect timing, ensuring that the sale remains positive and profitable for the seller.

Are you considering selling your home in the Denver or Boulder areas? Connect with John Farley directly to discuss your unique situation.

Ready, Set, Sell: Expert Tips for Prepping Your Home to Sell in the New Year

The coming new year brings new beginnings and fresh opportunities. If you’re considering selling your home in this promising time, it’s essential to begin preparations now so that it can stand out in the real estate market once listed. Our guide will walk you through expert tips to prep your home for a successful sale.

Initial Consultation and Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)

The first step in your home-selling journey should be a consultation with a real estate professional. Understanding the current market landscape is crucial. A professional provides a detailed comparative market analysis (CMA), giving you a clear picture of your home’s potential in the current market. This analysis will serve as the foundation of your selling strategy. A thorough CMA includes:

  • Comparable Properties: This is a list of recently sold properties that are similar to the subject property in terms of location, size, condition, and features. These are often referred to as “comps.”
  • Current Market Listings: The CMA also looks at properties currently listed for sale in the area. This gives an idea of the competition and helps in understanding current market trends.
  • Pending Sales: These are properties that are under contract but have not yet closed. This information can provide insights into the current demand and potential future market trends.
  • Expired Listings: Listings that did not sell while they were on the market. Analyzing why these properties didn’t sell can offer valuable insights into pricing and marketing strategies.
  • Property Adjustments: Adjustments may be made for differences between the subject property and the comps, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, lot size, property condition, and unique features or upgrades.
  • Market Trends and Conditions: Analysis of broader market trends, such as whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market, average days on market, sale-to-list price ratios, and seasonal trends.
  • Location Analysis: Evaluation of location-specific factors like school districts, neighborhood amenities, and proximity to desirable features like parks or shopping centers.
  • Historical Data: Past sale prices of the subject property and comparable properties, which can provide context for how the area’s market has evolved.
  • Price Per Square Foot: Comparison of the price per square foot between the subject property and comparable sales.
  • Visual Data and Maps: Maps and visual data showing the location of the subject property in relation to the comps, which can highlight location desirability.
  • Recommendations for Pricing and Selling: Based on the analysis, the CMA usually concludes with a recommended price range for listing the property and may include suggestions for pre-sale improvements or staging.

A well-conducted CMA provides a solid foundation for setting a competitive and realistic price for a property, tailored to the specifics of the local market and the unique characteristics of the property itself.

Creating a Game Plan for Listing

Every home is unique, and so is every selling journey. Your real estate agent specializes in creating a personalized game plan for your listing. They will help you pinpoint the ideal time to list your home, considering both market conditions and your personal timeline. They will then help you understand what you can do to maximize the value of your home and provide guidance on how to prep your space for listing day.

Prepping Your Home for Sale - Paint!

Preparing Your Home

Repairs and Upgrades
  • Energy Efficiency: Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances or adding smart home features can be a selling point, especially among environmentally conscious buyers.
  • Fix the Basics: Address all minor repairs such as leaky faucets, squeaky doors, or chipped paint. These small fixes can make a big difference in the overall appeal.
  • Consider Cosmetic Upgrades: Evaluate if certain key areas like the kitchen or bathroom could benefit from cosmetic upgrades. Simple changes like new cabinet handles, modern light fixtures, or a fresh coat of paint can be cost-effective yet impactful. Things like a kitchen upgrade can have a 67% return on investment. (Architectural Digest)
Curb Appeal
  • Landscaping: Keep your lawn manicured and add some fresh mulch to garden beds. Consider planting seasonal flowers for a pop of color.
  • Exterior Maintenance: Clean your home’s exterior, including windows, gutters, and siding. A well-maintained exterior suggests a well-maintained interior. Have your roof inspected and repaired to avoid costly issues during the sale – a new roof, along with a new garage door, can have a 100% return on investment. (Architectural Digest)
  • Welcoming Entryway: Make the entryway inviting with a clean doormat, potted plants, and a fresh coat of paint on the front door if needed.
  • Clutter-Free Spaces: Start by removing excess items from all areas of your home. This includes clearing off countertops, thinning out crowded bookshelves, and minimizing personal items like family photos and keepsakes. The goal is to create a spacious and inviting environment that buyers can picture themselves living in.
  • Storage Solutions: Use storage solutions smartly. Organize closets and cabinets as potential buyers often look inside. A tidy and well-organized space can leave a positive impression.
  • Safety: Ensuring that areas are clutter-free enhances the safety of your home. Having everything neatly organized and tucked away reduces tripping hazards. If you’re living in the home while showing it and space is limited, getting a storage space for a brief time can give you a safe place to store the items.
Final Touches
  • Deep Clean: Consider a professional deep cleaning service before you begin welcoming potential buyers. A spotless home makes a strong impression.
  • Neutralize Odors: Remove sources of bad odor and consider subtle air fresheners. Avoid strong scents as they can be off-putting to some people.

Prepping Your Home for Sale - Listing!

Marketing Your Home

With your home now meticulously prepared for the market – decluttered, repaired, and deep cleaned – the next pivotal phase begins: marketing your property and navigating the period it is listed. This is where your partnership with your real estate agent becomes even more instrumental. You and your agent will develop a customized marketing plan. This strategy should reflect your home’s unique features and align with current market trends. Essential pieces of this plan will include how to showcase your home in the best possible light, including:

Home Staging
  • Room Purpose: Ensure each room has a clear purpose. If you’ve been using a spare bedroom as storage, consider setting it up as a guest room or office.
  • Furniture Layout: Arrange furniture to maximize space and flow. Remove oversized or excess furniture that makes spaces feel cramped. If the home will be empty during the sale, consider hiring a staging company to furnish the home and create a warm and inviting space. Professionally staged homes sell for an average of $40,000 over the list price, based on a 2021 market survey. (RESA)
  • Neutral Decor: Opt for neutral colors and simple decor to appeal to a wide range of buyers. Bright, bold colors might distract or deter potential buyers.
  • Professional Photography: Hire a Professional: Professional photographers understand how to make spaces look inviting and spacious. Their skills can significantly enhance the appeal of your listing.
  • Prepare for the Shoot: Ensure your home is clean, well-lit, and staged before the photography session. Open curtains to let in natural light and turn on all indoor lights to create a bright, welcoming atmosphere.

Navigating The Listing Period

Selling a home is a dynamic process, and the period your home is listed is critical. By working closely with your real estate agent to craft and execute a robust marketing strategy, and by staying adaptable and responsive throughout the listing period, you can navigate this phase effectively, increasing your chances of a successful and satisfactory sale.

  • Maintaining Your Home’s Appeal: Keep your home in show-ready condition. This means regular cleaning, tidying, and ensuring that any temporary issues (like pet odors or clutter) are promptly addressed.
  • Flexibility with Showings: Be as flexible as possible with showing times. The more accessible your home is to potential buyers, the higher the chances of receiving offers.
  • Receiving Feedback: Your agent will gather feedback from showings and open houses. Be open to this feedback as it can provide valuable insights into the buyers’ perspectives and suggest potential areas for improvement.
  • Adjusting Strategy if Needed: If the market responds differently than expected, be prepared to adjust your strategy. This could involve tweaking your asking price, enhancing your marketing materials, or making additional minor improvements to your home.
  • Communicating Regularly with Your Agent: Maintain regular communication with your agent throughout the listing period. They will keep you updated on the market’s response, potential buyer interest, and any necessary strategy adjustments.

Selling your home is a significant decision, and early preparation is key. By partnering with an expert real estate professional, like John Farley, you gain not just a realtor but a strategic partner in your home-selling journey. Contact John today to start crafting your personalized roadmap to a successful sale.

Top 7 Tips for Selling Your Home Quickly and For Top Dollar This Spring

Spring kicks off a busy real estate season and can be the perfect time to get your home on the market. As the weather improves, people venture outside more and it is easier to showcase your home as things blossom and grow. Selling a home can be a complex process, and there are many factors that can affect how quickly a home sells and for what price. Here are our top 7 tips to simplify your home sale:

  1. Make sure your home is clean and well-maintained: A clean and well-maintained home is more attractive to potential buyers. Make sure your home is decluttered, deep cleaned, and free of any major repairs or maintenance issues so buyers can easily picture themselves living in the space.
  2. Price your home correctly: Setting the right price for your home is crucial. If you price your home too high, it may sit on the market for a long time, but if you price it too low, you could lose out on potential profits. Your realtor can help you determine the right price by assessing your home’s value and comparing it with recent sales in your area in conjunction with the current market standards.
  3. Enhance your home’s curb appeal: First impressions matter, and the exterior of your home is the first thing potential buyers will see. Make sure your home’s exterior is clean and well-maintained, and consider adding some fresh landscaping or a fresh coat of paint plus seasonal decor.
  4. Be flexible with showings: Make your home as easy to show as possible. Consider allowing for flexible showing times, including evenings and weekends, and try to keep your home clean and clutter-free at all times.
  5. Work with an experienced real estate agent: An experienced real estate agent can help you navigate the home selling process and maximize your profits. They can provide valuable insights into pricing, marketing, and negotiating, and can help you find the right buyer for your home.
  6. Consider staging your home: Staging your home can help potential buyers imagine themselves living in the space. Consider hiring a professional stager or using virtual staging tools to enhance your home’s appeal.
  7. Use high-quality photos and videos: High-quality photos and videos can help your home stand out online and attract more potential buyers. Consider hiring a professional photographer or videographer to capture your home’s best features.

Overall, selling a home quickly and for the highest price requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a bit of flexibility. By following these tips and working with a trusted real estate agent, you can increase your chances of a successful home sale this spring.

Do you have questions about selling your home? We have the answers you need to simplify the sale of your home, connect with us today!

Top 10 Myths That Trip Up First-Time Home Buyers

 Top 10 Myths That Trip Up First-Time Home Buyers Boulder Real Estate

If you’re thinking about buying a home, you’ve probably received your share of advice from family and friends. Add to that the constant stream of TV shows, news segments, and social media posts that over-simplify the home buying process for easy entertainment. 

With so much information to sift through, it can be tough to distinguish fact from fiction. That’s why we’re revealing the truth behind some of the most common home buyer myths and misconceptions.

Buying a home is a big decision, but it doesn’t have to be a scary one. If you arm yourself with knowledge and a qualified team of support professionals, you’ll be well equipped to make the right choices for your family and financial future.



Myth #1: You need a 20% down payment.

Plenty of buyers are purchasing homes with down payments that are much less than 20% of the total cost of the property. Today, you can buy a home with as little as 3-5% down.

There are multiple programs out there that allow you to have a lower down payment, and a lender or mortgage broker can talk you through which option is the best for you. Since you’re putting less money down, you’re a riskier borrower to your lender than people who put down a full 20%. Because of this, you will most likely need to pay mortgage insurance as part of your monthly payment. 

Myth #2: Real estate agents are expensive.

Your agent is with you every step of the way throughout your home buying journey, and he or she spends countless hours working on your behalf. It sounds like having an agent is expensive, right? Well, not for you. Buyers usually don’t pay a real estate agent’s commission. Your agent’s fee is paid for at closing by the seller of the home you’re buying.The seller knows to factor this cost into the property’s total purchase price.

Myth #3: Don’t call a real estate agent until you’re ready to buy.

The earlier you bring in an agent to help with the purchasing process, the better. Even if you’re in the very early stages of casually browsing Zillow, a real estate professional can be a huge help.

They can create a search for you in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), so you get notifications for every house that meets your criteria as soon as it hits the market. The MLS is typically more up-to-date than popular home search sites like Zillow and Trulia. Setting up a search a few months before you’re considering buying gives you a good idea of what’s out there in your town that’s in your budget. Reviewing the MLS and speaking with an agent as soon as possible can help you set realistic expectations for when you actually start the house hunting process.

Myth #4: Fixer-uppers are more budget friendly.

We’ve all watched the shows on HGTV that encourage people to go after fixer-uppers because they’re more affordable and allow buyers to eventually renovate the home to include everything on their wishlist. But, this isn’t always the case.

Sometimes, homes that need a lot of work also require a lot of money. Big renovations, like add-ons, a total kitchen remodel, or installing a pool, take a lot longer than it looks on TV. If you’re really interested in a fixer-upper, ask your agent to show you a mix of newer homes and older homes. If you fall in love with an older home that needs a lot of work, get some quotes from contractors before you buy so you know the real cost of the renovations and see if you can work them into your budget.


Myth #5: Your only upfront cost is your down payment.

Your down payment is big, but it isn’t the only money you’ll spend during the home buying process. At closing, you’ll pay your down payment, but you’ll also bring closing costs to the table. Closing costs are typically anywhere from 2-4% of the total purchase price of the home.This amount includes the cost for items like homeowners insurance, title fees, and more.

You’ll also need to pay for an inspection before closing, which usually costs a few hundred dollars. This price will be higher or lower based on the size of your new property. Your lender will also require an appraisal. An appraiser will come in and inspect the home to determine how much it’s worth. Depending on your lender, you may have to pay this when the appraisal is conducted or it might be rolled into your closing costs.


Myth #6: You need a high credit score to buy a house.

You don’t need perfect credit to buy the perfect home. There are loans out there that buyers with lower credit scores can qualify for. These are good options for people who have had credit issues in the past, but some of them come with additional fees you will need to pay. Speak to a few local lenders or mortgage brokers to talk through which options might be best for you.

Myth #7: You can’t qualify for a mortgage if you’re still paying off student loans.

While some buyers may feel more comfortable paying off their existing debts before taking the leap into homeownership, it’s not a requirement. When you’re applying for a mortgage, the lender takes a close look at your debt-to-income ratio.3 If you want to calculate this on your own, add up all of your monthly debt payments and divide those by your monthly income. When you’re lender does this, they’re trying to make sure that you will be able to afford your monthly mortgage payments along with your other existing payments. If your income is high enough to allow you to make all of these payments each month, having a student loan will most likely not stop you from getting a mortgage.


Myth #8: You should base your budget on what your lender approves.

How much house you qualify for and how much you can afford are two totally different numbers. When you prequalify for a mortgage, your lender will look at your income, debt, assets, credit score, and financial history to determine how much money you might qualify for.4 For some people, this number might be much higher than you thought because lenders tend to approve for the highest amount they think you can afford. But that doesn’t mean that’s how much you should borrow.

Instead, figure out how much house you can actually afford. An online mortgage calculator can be a good first step in determining this number. We recommend thinking about what you want your monthly payment to be as a starting point. And remember to include your principal, interest, taxes, and, insurance. You should also think about ownership expenses that aren’t part of your monthly payment, like HOA dues and maintenance.

Myth #9: It’s all about location.

You’ve heard the phrase. Location, location, location is basically the real estate industry’s motto, but we’ll let you in on a little known secret: It’s not always true. Yes, location is great to consider when it comes to school districts and commute times, but you also need to think about how the home will function for you and/or your family’s lifestyle. If a family of five is choosing between a one bedroom condo in the bustling city center and a 4-bedroom home out in the suburbs, the latter is probably the best, most functional choice for them. Also, by buying in a less sought after neighborhood, your property taxes will most likely be much lower!

Obviously, you might still want to choose an area with great resale potential, and this is something that your agent can speak to you about. They’re an expert in your city and are constantly monitoring buying and selling trends.


Myth #10: If you look hard enough, you’ll find a home that checks every box on your wishlist.

You’ve seen that famous house hunting show. And while we have our suspicions about how real it is, the one thing they get right is that almost every buyer needs to compromise on something. Yes, the perfect house that meets every item on your wishlist is probably out there, but it’s also probably double or triple your budget.

A long wishlist can be a great starting point for figuring out what you want and don’t want, but we recommend narrowing that wishlist down to the top five things that are important to you in order of priority. We also recommend noting on your wishlist what your absolute deal breakers are, like “must have a yard for our dog,” and noting what you can live without, like “heated bathroom floors.”  

This is a great list to discuss when you first start talking to an agent. A good real estate agent will be able to look at your list and find properties that might work for you. By coming to that first meeting with realistic expectations and knowledge about home buying rather than a bunch of myths heard here and there, you’ll be able to start the process off on the right foot and be in your new house in no time.



Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned homeowner, there’s no reason to go through the home buying process without an advocate on your side. We’re here to answer your questions and do the hard work for you, so you can spend your time dreaming about your new home. Call us today at 303.475.6269 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.


Get a FREE copy of our Home Buyer’s Guide to Getting Mortgage Ready

Now that we’ve cleared up these common homebuyer myths, find out if you know the steps you should take to prepare financially before you apply for a mortgage. Contact us at 303.475.6269 to request a complimentary copy of our “Home Buyer’s Guide to Getting Mortgage Ready.”



  1. Realtor. com –
  2. The Balance –
  3. StudentLoanHero –
  4. Zillow –

What’s Your Home Actually Worth?

What's Your Home Actually Worth? | Farley Boulder Real Estate



It’s easy to look up how much money you have in your savings account or the real-time value of your stock investments. But determining the dollar value of a home is trickier.

As a seller, knowing your home’s worth helps you price it correctly when you put it up for sale. If you price it too high, it may sit on the market. But price it too low and you may be losing out on a good chunk of money (nobody wants that!). For buyers, it’s important to know a home’s worth before you make an offer. You want your offer to be competitive, but you don’t want to overpay for the property.

Even if you’re not a buyer or seller right now, as a current homeowner you might just be curious about the value of your home. Keeping track of your home’s worth year over year helps you understand the trends in your market. So when you are ready to sell, you can take advantage of a good window of opportunity.

The good news is, a trained real estate agent—who understands the nuances of your particular neighborhood—can determine the true market value of your property … and at no cost to you!



When you start the process of buying or selling a home, you’ll frequently hear the words appraised value, assessed value, and true market value. It’s important to know the difference between each one so you can make better, informed decisions.

Appraised Value

A professional appraiser is in charge of determining the appraised value of a home. These appraisals are typically required by a lender when a buyer is financing the property. And while the lender is the one requiring this information, the appraiser does not work for the lender.1Your appraiser should be an objective, licensed professional who doesn’t have allegiance to the buyer, seller, or lender—no matter who is paying their fee.

The number the appraiser comes up with (the appraised value) assures the lender that the buyer is not overpaying for the property. For example, imagine a seller lists a home for $400,000. They reach a deal with the buyer to sell the home for $375,000. However, if an appraiser evaluates the property and determines that the appraised value is actually $325,000, then the lender will not lend for an amount higher than that appraised value of $325,000.2

When figuring out this number, an appraiser will compare the property to similar homes in your neighborhood, and they’ll evaluate factors such as location, square footage, appliances, upgrades, improvements, and the interior and exterior of the home. 


Assessed Value

The assessed value of a home is determined by your local municipal property assessor. This value matters when your county calculates property taxes each year. The lower your assessed value, the less property tax you’ll pay.3

To come up with this value, your assessor will evaluate what comparable homes in the neighborhood have sold for, the size of your home, age, overall condition, and any improvements or upgrades that have been made. However, most assessors don’t have full access to your home, so their information is limited.

Assessments are done annually to determine how much property tax you owe. Many counties use a multiplier (typically between 60%-80%) to calculate the final assessed value. So, if the assessor determines that the value of the home is $300,000, but the county uses a 70% multiplier, the assessed value of the home would be $210,000 for tax purposes.4

If your assessed value isn’t as high as you envisioned, don’t sweat it. Many homeowners appeal their assessment in favor of a lower valuation so that they can save money on property taxes. If you’re interested in appealing your property tax assessment, let us know. We offer complimentary assistance and would be happy to help you build your case.


True Market Value

True market value is established by your real estate agent. It basically refers to the value that a buyer is willing to pay for the property. A good real estate agent is an expert in determining true market value because they have hands-on experience buying and selling properties. They understand the mindsets of buyers in your market and know what they’ll pay for a desirable house, townhouse, or condo.

As a seller, knowing your true market value is important because it helps you choose how much to list your property for. It can also help you decide if you want to make any improvements to your home before putting it on the market. Your agent can help you figure out which updates and upgrades will have the biggest impact on your true market value.



When figuring out your home’s value, you might be tempted to see what popular real estate sites like Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia have to say. When you use an online calculator to determine your home’s value on these sites, it is just an estimate. It’s not an actual appraisal or the “true market value.” These sites all have their own algorithms for coming up with their estimates. For example, Zillow comes up with their “Zestimates” by calculating “public and user-submitted data, taking into account special features, location, and market conditions.” 5

These online estimates can be a great starting point for opening up the conversation with your real estate agent about your home’s worth. But even Zillow recommends that you use a real estate agent for coming up with the actual market value of your home. The site says that once you get your “Zestimate,” you should still get “a comparative market analysis from a real estate agent.”

Having an agent involved in this process is essential because they understand the market better than a computer ever could. They’re showing property in your city every single day, and they know the particular preferences of buyers and sellers in the area. Young professionals, large families, empty nesters, and other groups are all looking for different things in a home. A local agent has most likely worked with all of them, so they understand what every segment in your market is specifically looking for.



So, how does an actual real estate agent determine true market value? They’ll start by doing a comparative market analysis (CMA). This means they’ll compare your home’s features to similar properties in your area. For the CMA, the agent looks at the below factors to influence their assessment of your home’s worth:6

  • Neighborhood sales– Your agent will look at similar, recently sold homes in your neighborhood to see what they sold for and what they have in common with your house.
  • The exterior – What does your home look like from the outside? Your agent will factor in curb appeal, the style of the house, the front and backyard, and anything else that impacts how the house looks to everyone walking and driving by.
  • The interior– This is everything inside the walls of the house. Square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, appliances, and more all influence the overall market value.
  • Age of the home – Whether you have a newer or older home affects the number your agent comes up with as part of their assessment.
  • Style of the home – The style of your home is important because buyers in different markets have different tastes. If buyers prefer ranch-style homes and you have one, then your home may sell for a premium (aka more money!).
  • Market trends –Because a local agent has so much experience in your market, they have their finger on the pulse of your area’s trends and know what buyers are willing to pay for a property like yours.
  • Location, location, location– This one’s probably the most obvious. Your agent will think about how popular the area is, how safe it is, and what schools are like.

A computer algorithm simply can’t take all of these factors into account when calculating the value of your home. The reality is, nothing beats the accuracy of a real estate agent or professional appraiser when it comes to determining a home’s true market value



Determining a home’s true market value is a real estate agent’s forte. If you’re a seller, your agent will help you find your home’s market value so you can list it at the right price.

For buyers, your agent will help you determine the value so you can come up with a fair offer. Your agent can also set up a personalized home search on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for you so you’ll receive emails of listings that meet your criteria. This will help you see what’s out there in your city and how properties are being priced.


Get a Complimentary Report With Your Home’s True Market Value

Curious about your home’s true market value? Call us at 303-475-6269 to request a free, no-obligation Comparative Market Analysis to find out exactly how much your home is worth!




  1. Chicago Tribune – https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/chi-ugc-article-what-is-the-difference-between-market-value-a-2013-09-30-story.htm
  2. SFGATE – https://homeguides.sfgate.com/market-value-vs-appraised-value-1206.html
  3. ValuePenguin – https://www.valuepenguin.com/mortgages/what-is-the-assessed-value-of-a-house
  4. Movoto – https://www.movoto.com/blog/homeownership/assessed-value-vs-market-value/
  5. Zillow – https://www.zillow.com/how-much-is-my-home-worth/
  6. Realtor(dot)com – https://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/assessed-value-vs-market-value-difference/