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Monday, March 22, 2010

When the Comp's Are "Thin" -- Or Non-Existent

"Active's" Loom Larger in Pricing Decisions

Realtors and Appraisers alike rely on "Comp's" -- comparable sold properties -- to estimate fair market value for any given home.

By definition, a Comp is similar in style, condition, and size as the "subject property" (the one you're trying to price); is physically nearby; and has sold in the same market.

Given that interest rates, economic conditions, listing inventory, etc. are constantly in flux, the "same market" typically means going back no further than six months -- and sometimes three, depending on the lender and price point.

"One of a Kind"

So what happens if there aren't any homes that meet those criteria?

That's especially the case for "upper, upper" bracket homes in the Twin Cities (and elsewhere) right now, which: a) are moving very slowly in today's market; and b) by virtue of their price, size, and finishes, tend to be more unique, anyways. (To be fair, the expected market time for expensive homes is always significantly longer than for more modestly-priced homes.)

By necessity, you then have to rely more on what you're competing against.

Typically, that means scrutinizing the dozen or so "Active" listings that prospective Buyers are most likely to consider along with the to-be-priced home -- then picking a price that beats all of them!

The virtue of that approach is that it (also) satisfies prospective Buyers' insistence on getting what they perceive to be a great value -- a requirement at the top of most Buyers' lists today.

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