My detached condo was completely gutted & partially rebuilt in 2009, yet Agents gave me a CMA based on other 30 yo units in my complex. Why?

Asked by Cc, 03063 Sat Aug 14, 2010

When I rebuilt after the fire I ended up removing a wall to expand my kitchen, added granite counters, upgraded the heating system, put in Central Air, installed a pellet stove, etc.

During the rebuild I modified the roofline to address some known architectural issues with my model, & rebuilt the part of the unit which had mold/mildew in the walls. In fact, most of the 220 units in the complex are known to have mold/mildew issues. Rather than a special assessment, the assoc voted to make owners responsible for the exterior of their units, so owners need to re-do their own siding.

Right now there are 9 units for sale in my complex. I wanted to list mine $10K more than the highest priced unit currently listed because it's essentially brand new. I interviewed two agents and both wanted me to list it $10K less than the highest. I don't understand how they can use the others as comps when mine is not really comparable due to age, upgrades, and lack of known issues?

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Dp2, , Virginia
Sun Aug 15, 2010
It sounds like those agents told you what you needed--not wanted--to hear.

Many sellers assume that they'll recoup every dollar that they put into their properties, and that's not necessarily the case. Unfortunately, if none of the other units in your complex have granite counters, similarly upgraded HVACs, pellet stoves, or any of the other modifications that your unit has, then your neighborhood comps will negatively affect the current market value of your property. In other words, one should strive to rehab one's unit towards whatever the median is in that neighborhood to maximize the amount one will recoup.
1 vote
Matt Heisler, Agent, Westborough, MA
Tue Aug 17, 2010
It's a question for the folks you interviewed! They should be able to stand behind their conclusions. You say Agent(s), but is that two or three? I'm already skeptical of the agents you had, because if you were reviewing the units FOR SALE, as opposed to HAVE SOLD, I'd suggest you're looking at the wrong data. (For the record, listed property is not a comparable. Only sales are. Listed Property is good data, but much less so.).

Regardless of their methodology, they should be able to make you understand it. If you can't, find someone who does a better job of communicating with you.

0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Mon Aug 16, 2010
CC to correctly put a value on your unit i would really need to look at at it. Without looking at it i can tell you when putting a value on your condo just by what you describe, you would value the condo in todays market by using the similar units that have sold and what is for sale and then adjust your unit for the increase in value for your remodeling. If you havent listed yet, and would like some assistance in finding the value of your condo to list at the correct price, please feel free to contact me. i can let you know what the bvalue is in todays market, what you should list for and what teh probable selling price will be.

good luck with your sale
0 votes
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Sun Aug 15, 2010
Without looking at your unit, I can only speculate. There must be something about the location within the complex, the lot size, or style of house that is making a difference, also.

Ask the agents to explain to you why the other units are worth more than yours.

Also, they may think that the other units are less than yours, but are overpriced...and should be less than the amount they are suggesting for your list price.
0 votes
Catherine Ma…, Agent, West Newbury, MA
Sun Aug 15, 2010
It's hard to know how to answer your question without seeing your unit.

Keep in mind that anyone can ask any amount they want when selling a property - the key component is what did they sell for. That tells you what a buyer is willing to pay and what a seller is willing to sell for. That's the definition of fair market value.

The agents may be well aware of what the asking price is for the units in the complex but they may be coming in $10K less than that because that's what the fair market value is based on recent sales.

Hope that helps! Catherine Condon, Broker NH & MA
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0 votes
Lisa Anne La…, Agent, Windham, NH
Sat Aug 14, 2010
It isn't how much you think it is worth, it is how much the market says it is worth. Therefore as a comparative market analysis all the units in the area must be taken into consideration. Even if one was a foreclosure or short sale the average of what they are selling for is what you can expect.
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