Comparing carefully

Dated: November 28 2021

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I use three kinds of comps when I help a client determine the likely sale price for their property: contract prices of sold homes, list prices of active homes, and list prices of languishing homes—the ones that have been on the market for a long, long time. Each type of comp has its own impact on my prediction of a property’s market value. Actual sales provide support for a similar price for the target property. Active list prices give you other people’s opinions of where the market is, and they give you a chance to position your property as a high-end, moderately priced, or bargain property in your neighborhood by the list price you choose. Languishing list prices are warnings. They give you an opportunity to benefit from other people’s bad experiences by telling you what high price (or sometimes what bad marketing) will lead the market to leave you in the dust.

The rule of thumb among most agents is only to use comparable sales from the last three months, but the pace of sales has been so low this year that often there aren’t enough transactions within three months to do an analysis. Sometimes there aren’t any within three months. So, this year I have been analyzing more market values using older transactions, and ensuring that the data is meaningful by accounting for appreciation in the market since an older comparable sale happened. 

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DAVID DUNLAP

As a residential real estate executive with an extensive background in corporate marketing, I am able to apply unusually strong skills in marketing communications, e-marketing, strategic planning and ....

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