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What if there are no comps for your house. i.e unique qualities/location, etc.

My house is close to a very desirable private school.  The property is larger than other pproperties in the area and has many unique features.  How does one arrive at a fair
apprasial when there are no comps?
  • April 23 2011 - US
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Answers (5)

Best Answer

You may have to go a bit further out of your community to find similar properties and a bit further back in time (no more than 1 year). Unfortunately, there are "over improved" homes, the quintessential "White Elephant". If that is the case, you have to realize the value of the enjoyment you have received and accept the fact that no monatary value can be placed. We never see 100% of the cost of the improvements we make and are lucky to an 80% return at best for most improvements. The best advice I can give, if you want an accurate value is to get a professional appraisal. If you don't want to spend the money just yet, contact a local real estate agent and ask it they would prepare a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) for you. To get the best CMA the agent really needs to actually see you property in person.
  • April 24 2011
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...you hire a professional appraiser and they will factor in all of the qualities you have mentioned to arrive at a fair market value.

CMA's are great, but realistically, what agent is going to spend a lot of time doing what an appraiser does if the property owner has no intention of selling ?

I read all of the time - get a CMA , they are free ....yes, but why would a Realtor spend hours of research time on valuing a complex property as the one stated here for free, and possibly putting themselves in a liable position?

Interrepting dated and recent active, pending and sales data takes time and expertise, and you will have to pay someone to do it, whether it be a local Realtor or local appraiser. So sorry, no magic free bullet here...

It sounds like your homs is for sale, so have your agent hire an appraiser who really knows the area. If they dont know one, have them ask around.
 
In reality, there are always comps for valuation. And everyone thinks THEIR home is super unique. That again is something the appraiser will/should judge for themselves. Its part of the valuation process.

  • April 24 2011
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Profile picture for Morningglory1
I suppose I need to clarify a few things to get a good answer.  By unique features, I mean that the property is a corner lot, actually three lots, and has road frontage on three sides.  It is in a historic neighborhood, and a cvery desirable private school's stadium faces the back yard.  Many families are moving into the neighborhood to be close to the school. The house, even though built before 1900 has been renovated and updated being careful to respect the history of the home.  When I said that there are no comps, there really are none. Location, the historic nature of the house, mature landscaping, renovations, etc. make finding a comparable property difficult. I relize that this is a tough market but we certainly don't want to under or over price our house.  Even our real estate agent said that there were no comps.
  • April 24 2011
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One way is to get the basic comp of the average in the area. ie
average closing price
average sq ft of house and property

Then adjust for your difference, using building cost for house sq ft (with a small premium if nice flow and still relatively new).

For proprerty lot difference that is not at land value I would just add 10-20% depending on how much bigger and if well placed/landscaped.

Next you have to realistically consider if the unique features are desirable or not desirable. Does it add to the price someone is willing to pay, or does it actually subracts?

I recall hearing of a property where the owner put in beautiful top grade granite, marble, quartz, stones of all kinds. All over the house, on the floors, walls, counter top, sides, trims,... Simply the cost of the stones is incredible, but no one will pay extra for it. In fact, people need to consider how much to deduct to take them out and remodel.
  • April 23 2011
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One way is to use a square footage formula based on the available comps in your area. You may need to put a value on just the land if your lot is larger than all in the area, than put a value on the house it self sometimes refered to as the improvements. An experienced agent in your area can help you. Have him or her explain how they would arive at a value. One other way is to base a square foot value based on what it would cost to build, tham deduct any depreciation (wear and tear).  I hope that helped
  • April 23 2011
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