Do I believe my Realtor? My neighbor? The newspaper? TV?
It is my opinion that real estate is highly local, and general conditions do not always apply to specific homes or neighborhoods.
Upgrades, maintenance, view, condition, size, appeal, and all those intangibles of ownership that made you buy your house also apply when you are selling.
Of course, closed similar sales cannot be ignored, and must be considered in any value statement.
But, did you know that most statistics on TV and in the newspaper are general? For instance, when it says that values are down 10% from last year, it means that the median sales price (all sales high and low) is down, for the whole county, or region. Well, that is not fair to you. Maybe your neighborhood is only down 4%. Or, maybe it is down 20%. Or not at all.
Just one 25 million dollar sale last year could skew the median value. But, alas, shocking news sells: "Why drinking water should be boiled in West Palm Beach, tonight at 10 PM". Really. Can't you just tell me now?
So, as ever, believe only parts of what you read or hear.