Tools to navigate the housing marketplace

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Looking at market values for homes can be a confusing process, even with the many resources available online. The same street can have homes that vary widely in price, even though they are only separated by a few hundred feet. Finding the right price to list for your home is a complicated process, but there are some simple steps a homeowner can take to make a successful addition to the market.

 It is hard to know what resources can be trusted to give accurate information on property values. Gina Kimball, Realtor® at Coldwell Banker, recommends two websites that are open to the public. The Black Hills MLS has multiple listings for the area, though Kimball says that not all of a property’s information is available to the public. Still, what is on the site will be accurate and up-to-date. Another listing service anyone can use is, which will give similar information as Black Hills MLS.

While it is possible to learn a lot with free services, it is important to remember that a Realtor will be able to learn even more information about a property. “We have access to powerful tools to help price a home competitively for our market,” Kimball says. A Realtor’s advice will always be geared towards a sale that benefits their client, and it should be taken as a professional opinion.

An updated and modern-looking home will be a competitive addition to any market. Simple improvements can help to increase the value of a home, but there are many factors that go into the calculation. One of the first steps a Realtor will take is looking at what homes are selling for in the neighborhood, to gain a basic understanding of the area. After that, Kimball says, “We will also look at the age of the home, square footage, garage space, updates, general condition of the property, there are many factors.”

If a homeowner is concerned about their property’s value, there are a few things that can help increase the value and boost the chances of a quick sale. Updates to floors, bathrooms, kitchens and even a fresh coat of paint on the walls can do a lot for a home’s value. A homeowner who is considering selling their property can always do some simple improvements before putting it on the market. 

One unfortunate part of selling a home is simply letting go of the property at its market value — it can be hard for a homeowner to accept what their property is worth. “Unfortunately sentimental value does not figure into the price of a home,” Kimball says. “Sometimes that can be hard for sellers to understand.” An incoming potential buyer wants to envision the life they will be able to build in the home, not think about the home’s past. If a Realtor suggests certain repairs or updates be made, it is important to remember that they are suggesting improvements to ensure that the home is attractive to buyers.

Sometimes home buyers can be as unpredictable as property values themselves. Kimball says that she has had clients that were sold on a home the first moment they stepped in, and others have waited for the perfect place, sometimes looking at homes for a year before making a decision. When putting a home on the market, patience is without a doubt an important virtue.

You can learn more about Gina Kimball and the services she provides as a Realtor by visiting

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