1. The amount of mortgage and closing costs:
If the owner purchased with little or nothing down or refinanced during a peak market, a market shift can create an upside down situation. The market price won't be enough to cover the mortgage and closing costs. Selling to cover these costs amounts to wishful thinking.
2. The money spent on upgrades:
A seller may want to recoup the cost of an upgrade or even more. Upgrades do contribute to value. They tend to bring a percentage return of 20%, 50% or 75% of its cost, depending on the upgrade. Some upgrades are necessary replacements, some revive a home's age and others are for personal enjoyment.
3. How much the owner paid for the home:
When demand weakens, the most vulnerable is the homeowner who needs to sell after a short ownership, say one to two years. A rule of thumb for weathering the market is to own the home for at least five years.
4. The amount needed to buy another home:
It's an often heard statement, "We need to get this much to buy the house we want." An offer is written on the desired home conditional on sale. Subsequently, the home is listed and does not sell.
5. The dollar amount needed to pay off debts:
The seller's price is based on the pretzel logic that a buyer will pay more than market value, to pay for debts that amount to more than the equity in the home.
6. The owner's emotional attachment:
Sellers can misinterpret value because of a natural tendency to base the value of a home on opinions or feelings rather than on fact or evidence.
7. The home's assessed value:
This is a method by the government to assess the most likely selling price of a property for taxation purposes. Assessors, however, do not inspect every property but only a broad sample of properties.
8. The home's replacement value:
This refers to the full cost to replace a property with no deduction for depreciation, usually with respect to insurance on a home. This has little to do with market value: what a willing buyer is willing to pay in an open, competitive market, within a reasonable period of time.