I would stay away from gauging your pricing on how much one paid for the property--a more accurate way to judge the value of the property is to do a GOOD comparison with other properties in the neighborhood, with like amenities. For example, extra credit is given for higher grade floors, higher grade and newer roof, higher grade construction, improvements. To compare a home with a 20 year old a/c system and a new a/c, the new one would obviously be priced a little more (many times they have done a lot more upgrades than that). Did they put in a new kitchen, bathroom, etc. If you look at what the present owner paid, it can badly skew your information--you need to be "here and now"! I hope this helps.
You've been given some good responses to your question and are absolutely correct in wanting to compare. That's the whole idea behind comparables. If the home you are considering per square foot is higher than an "identical one" that sold recently, then you might consider offering a lower price. Finding that "identical" is the hard part. As previous answers mentioned, the condition of the one you are considering may be superior to the "identical" one that sold, with upgraded kitchen, bath and floors. Also, the extra footage you may be looking at, may serve your needs best and be worth a little extra to you.
It's a buyer's market and this may play a part in your offer, but know that if this home works well for you and is priced competitively, someone else may find it fits their needs well too. An experienced Realtor will be able to help you through the negotiation process. In fact, if you have another property you are interested in, it helps to give you some "emotional distance" for selecting another property if this deal doesn't happen. Buying a home is emotional though, so don't let a few dollars keep you from getting the home you want. With interest rates so low, a few dollars should not make much difference in your note.
Congratulations on your decision to purchase a new home. It's a GREAT time to buy!
Even with the exact same base sqft, one home may be more valuable or 'in demand' because of it's floor plan (ie; master bedroom downstairs instead of up or kitchen in front instead of rear).
And even the same floor plan in the same neighborhood can differ in value (Powerlines running over house? across the street from a park or a street light?).
The formula is part science and part art. Market knowledge of what features and amenities buyerâ€™s want in a home, help determine price and demand.
An awareness of the square footage is important, however, we wouldn't get too hung up on it as a major issue of negotiations UNLESS it was going to benefit your caure. As Don pointed out there are many other factors for considerationas well.
But when considering square footage an awareness of both(as you phrase it " base and auxillary" are important considerations.
The most valuable information prior to making an offer is two fold:
1. What are the comps for recently sold properties in your location
2. What was the purchase price paid by the present owner
We hope you find this information helpful. Good luck.
The "Eckler Team"
Ultimately though your offer price while taking other comps into consideration should also be based on how right the home is for you and your family. Does the floorplan work? Is it in the perfect location? How's the condition? Your realtor should be able to help you navigate through these questions so your offer will be the right balance and hopefully get accepted.
Let me know if you have any other questions!
Square footage is only one of many things to look at. Number of bedrooms. Number of baths. Condition of house. Upgrades or repairs needed. Style of house. Method of heating and cooling. Municipal water or well water. Lot size. Placement of house on lot. Proximity to neighbors. Nature of community. Proximity to schools and shopping. Proximity to employement.
Some buyers seem to be focused on cost per square foot. That's a useful figure if you're building new, or buying new, or building a large addition. It's far less useful as a tool to compare two existing homes. And consider: Let's say one house comes out at $197 per square foot, and the other at $200 per square foot. That's a $3 difference, or $6,000 on a 2,000 square foot home costing around $400,000. That's not a very big deal, and it's likely that other factors will better reflect the values of the two homes.
Hope that helps.