Why “Average Sale Price” Statistics are Misleading
One of the most common statistics used when gauging the strength of an area’s real estate market is the average sale price of its homes, but looking into that figure more deeply reveals just how misleading it can be.
When listing a home for sale, most realtors establish a price for the home based on market comps of the area — taking into account what other houses sold for and how the home they are listing compares to those. That price is a gross sale price, however, and doesn’t reflect what the home owner actually receives from the sale. The difference between the gross sale price and the amount with which the seller actually gets to walk away from closing is affected by a number of factors.
Determining Net Proceeds
Most people would be surprised to discover that home owners in hot U.S. real estate markets like California, Florida or Las Vegas often receive offers for their homes that actually exceed the asking price. That is because in almost all other U.S. cities, statistics suggest that a realtor usually secures an average sales price of only 92 to 95% of the listing price. In addition, a number of other costs must be subtracted from that figure as well: