In other words; this house sold for this and the price affects this home +/- the larger number of BR's or the presence or absence of a basement or 2/3 garage.
We don't however nit-pic to include a +/- for "colors" or "staging" - these steps are for "selling". The bottom line is time is money. If you want to sell in a more timely manner - than those costs are intangible - but have great impact on success or failure.
We have combed all of the above, and now let's talk about age and condition. What year was the subject property built? What about the comps?
Condition applies to mechanics, systems, and updates. How old is the roof? What about the heater, a/c, etc? Are the systems maintained? How is the house taken care of? Is there deferred maintenance, or are thing in great shape?
The pottery barn colors won't increase the price, but it sure will help it sell over the compeition. If there are quality fixtures throughout the home, it will add value. Yes, an updated kitchen w/ cherry cabinets is worth more than pressed board, or painted wood cabinets from the 60's. In the total view of the room, the quality of the cabinets, countertop, appliances, and age of the update will impact the value. Color schemes, fixtures, and trendy images will help you sell if you are priced the same as a similar home that does not show as well. If you add $$ to your price for these trendy decor items, you will end up being overpriced and not sell.
My suggestion for the owner of the dull house: Instead of spending $ on redecorating, undercut the competition by a few hundred dollars and (or) offer a gift certificate to a local home improvement store.
I tend to approach value as a range of prices, and I speak with sellers about what their goals are, in addition to price. If they need/want to move quickly then are they willing to lower the price to shock the market into action? Or are they in need of walking with a larger amount of money, and are willing to wait it out to get their price?
I generally come up with a top price, a "hoped for" selling price and a third price: this on is "I won't sell it for one dollar less than $xxxx.
Likewise I generally put my sellers onto an MLS distribution of listings in their own town, so they'll see the competition as it comes on the market. I encourage them to attend local open houses so they will see what condition other homes are in.
I recently had a home that languished on the market as the divorcing couple grappled with their differing goals. However, when they realized that their price for their 8 year old home with peeling linoleum and stained carpets was only $5000 less than new construction (which included granite countertops in the price) a mile away, they began to see that they needed to lower their price if they wanted to be able to sell their home at all.
You know, the most stressful part of home selling is the time on the market. Sellers hate having to keep their home picture perfect for weeks and months on end. The longer it's on the market, the more likely it is that sellers will begin to let things start to slide.
So the very best thing for sellers to do is to get their home in tip-top shape, and price it realistically so that it is more desirable than any other home in that price range. The greatest attention to a home is paid when it first comes on the market. In a buyers' market, realistic pricing is critical. If they do that, and do all the other things that home sellers are told to do (de-clutter, de-personalize, paint where needed, repair where needed, etc) they have a better chance of getting their home sold and moving on to the next phase of their lives.
I would say the easiest way to answer your question is that all homes have a "look". That look is the sum total of EVERYTHING. Meaning neighborhood, street, lot, lot layout, structure design, age, maintenance, staging, etc.
If the sum total of your home is one that shows like a "new" home--meaning it has been maintained to the point where a buyer would simply have to move in, that homw will show that way.
Most homes do not automatically show well because people are busy living in their home. That's why sellers always want to know the answer to this question: what do I need to do to get this property ready for sale?
So that means if the entire package is perfect. yet the kitchen has never been remodeled, the kitchen will, by contrast, look bad. On the other hand, if the kitchen has been remodeled, and the rest of the home needs paint, cleaning, new carpet, furniture, etc., there is a problem
NAR surveys have shown the buyers want "move in ready". The best advice I can provide is that if we properly maintained our homes, we'd enjoy them more, and would have a lot less to do to prepare our home for market. However the world is not perfect, we never seem to have time and money simultaneously...so we compromise.
To put it another way, since very few homes are perfect, Realtors and home stagers can help your home look it's best/ Consulting with a Realtor before you have to sell will allow you more time to figure out what you are willing to do to get top dollar when you sell your home.
Good luck. Lots of good points in these posts.
Look at the BIG picture.