In the Oakland/Berkeley corridor most of the homes are 80 to 100 years old making comps more of an art than a science. Most of the internet estimators use method of “what has sold in the past year in this zip code”. These websites see fixers and beauties as the same value. What the internet does not see, however, is that all of these homes have different settings, updates, additions, remodels, and/or some are poorly maintained.
So what does this all mean? It means it is all about comps and competition. 1st, one must read and understand the sellers disclosures in full. 2nd, review the recent sales of similar sized homes in similar condition nearby. 3rd and very last is understanding the competition that will come from other buyers and the non-dollar needs of the seller. It takes a savvy agent work to find these details and understand how they impact an offer, but this is the value of a strong real estate agent. These specific details are then shared and hulled together with the buyer prior to putting it on paper.
My favorite saying to buyers who are ready to write an offer; “Let’s use what does not cost $ and then we will discuss the kind of pricing that should get the offer accepted.”
This year, I have sold homes under asking, over asking and at asking. I have also closed escrow on homes this year where my offer was not the highest offer but the terms were exactly want the seller needed. The logic is in the art of the transaction.