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Which comps to use - new homes or similar homes?

15 years ago

Here's the situation we'll be facing soon. We're not ready to list with an agency yet, but I'll be getting their opinion when we do.

Meanwhile, to help us with some planning, can you tell us what you think?

We are in a strong sellers market. Many people are moving in for jobs and the competition for homes is pretty strong. To meet the housing needs there has been new builds going up, but still not enough to meet demand. So the older homes, like ours, are still selling quite well. We are a small town - just 86 homes are listed on today, and only 16 of those, 6 of them new builds, 'match' our sf, price range, and good location - what I would consider comparable.

I would still like to do the best we can to sell the quickest we can for the best price we can. I'm not sure how to weigh which way we should go.

Our move, job relocation, is something we didn't plan on so we happen to be in the middle of updating our master bath and remodeling the kitchen. There are certain things we would have done for ourselves, but I'm not sure we should do now.

I'm not sure whether I should base the updates/remodeling upon the new homes or upon other homes similar to ours.

The new homes are - new, lol. They feature all the things many buyers want - granite or solid surface counters, tile or wood floors (tile is preferred in this area), etc. The negatives to these homes are the lack of mature landscaping and smaller square footage. Price wise our 2300sf home will be competing with the new homes 1800sf.

Homes similar to ours in age and location to ours have smaller sf (around 1800-2000sf) and generally have NOT been updated. Other distinguishing facts between our home and the other older homes/new builds is our beautiful front courtyard and our humongous master bedroom suite - this was an addition put on in the 1990's. His and her walk in closets, fp, french doors, built in shelving, lots of space, separate shower, big tub, a water/toilet closet, double sinks and large vanity area, and several built in linen cupboards.

Bathroom updates we had planned were a new solid surface counter top, new sinks and hardware/faucets, replacing the toilet and replacing the carpet (yeah, yuk!) with tile. Now I'm not sure how 'high end' we should go. Similar older homes are not updated, but the new homes are, of course. Convention says to not outdo the neighbors too much, but the MB suite is also one of our best selling features. Someone might buy our home instead of one of the new homes because of this - right?

Same with the kitchen - should we just use laminate, like all the other similar homes, or go with granite/solid surface. Negatives to our kitchen are that it's small. The oven is SS, and we plan to make the dishwasher also SS to match, but not sure if we should now just leave the white fridge because it's not built in? We have already knocked down a wall to open it up a bit and give a little more counter space, and we are in the middle of installing new cabinetry.

Our other issue is the flooring. In spite of the entry, LR, DR, Sun Room, and kitchen sharing the same open floor space - the LR has a different colored tile. It looks weird imho and we planned to put hardwood over it all. Now I wonder if we should just carpet over the LR area (would still look a little strange, but not as bad) or just leave it as is?

I do not want to put more into this than necessary, but I'm having a hard time figuring out where our home sits via comps and whether the updates we had planned will be worth our while in terms of selling. Should the look of our home compare to the new builds or should we stay in line with the older homes?

Any opinion or ideas?

(whew, sorry, I didn't know I'd end up writing so much)

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