With regard to 'different properties' the variable here could be dissimilar amenities, views, age, condition, cost for monthly HOA fees, etc.
Within the same property, square footage is not the best measurement for value.
Most simply, a bank will use an appraiser to establish value by comparing the last 3 sold properties most similar to the subject property, within the last 90 days, in the most similar level of condition, with the most similar amenities, same size, same square footage as is possible. This is typically what a buyer will pay for the subject property at that particular time in the market.
So, a lot goes into establishing value and using price per square foot can be restrictive.
I use a Comparative Market Analysis to advise and consult with my Clients.
Price/sqft is a broad measurement, and is ONLY factoring in livable square footage. So it won't factor in garage space, lot size, orientation, views, condition, proximity to noise like a freeway, etc.
Thus, it has limited use and simply acts as a reference point. If the condos are very similar, then it can be a good guide to help you formulate your opinion of value.
The common way to measure a condo is to measure the dimensions of the inside of the exterior walls.
A great agent should be able to price any home you are looking at. As a licensed appraiser, I use the years of experience to determine pricing. But price per sq ft ignores: upgrades, floor location, views, layout variances in demand, etc.
Hope this helps and best of luck!
Kindred Real Estate / KW
The best evaluation comes from the units in the same complex. Usually you will find other similar condos and that's when the price per sq foot becomes important.
I see that you have gotten a plethora of answers below, so no need to beat a dead horse. What I would like to add is that looking at the price per square foot is certainly a valid thing to do. This will enable you to understand what differences exist among the various units. Any time you can analyze numbers,the more power to you. Of course, it is of paramount importance the you make sure you are comparing apples with apples and the information being input is correct. Naturally, sellers will do everything possible to make their units appear as enticing as possible. When looking at price per square foot, I would compare it to units within the same complex, neighborhood, and zip code and then look at them on a historical basis as well. There is a lot of information to be had out there and price per square foot is certainly one that can help you make the best decision.
Chad Basinger, REALTORÂ®, CPA, CFPÂ®
Thanks for asking.
you compare two exact same units currently for sale, or a unit for sale and comparing it to sold units
then make sure to double check when they were sold and what the market was like then.
Good Luck to you
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When comparing condo units, price-per-square foot can be a great place to start, and then you evaluation should be followed up with investigation of other factors such as comparable sales information, location, neighborhood characteristics, schools, amenities, etc.
Additionally, when considering a condo, the association's stability and solvency need to be considered. Often times, this can have an impact on the availability of financing for future buyers. (I know it's hard to think of selling the condo before you've even bought it, yet unless you intend to live in it forever, resale must be a consideration.)
For some great resources on local information for schools, demographics, and other market trends, visit my site! http://www.jshoop.com
Please let me know if I may be of further assistance.
Cindy Davis, Broker
SD Home Source Realty
Phone: (619) 379-8616
CA DRE #01363537