Prepared for Tom Smith
Thanks again for the opportunity to speak with you about pricing, and potentially marketing and selling your property.
Property valuation and appraisal is a mixture of analysis and intuition. We sift through the numbers and apply as much objectivity as possible, leavened with experience and intuition.
The analysis part was learned when I was doing bank appraisals some years ago. Basically, it consists of comparing roughly similar properties (or as close as we can get) that have sold relatively recently, and making adjustments in order to come out with a number that reflects the possible value of your property. I’ve used adjustments that are as objective as possible (although these values can be debated as well), as well as more subjective ones based on my experience and intuition. And sometimes, the analysis numbers don't reflect the correct asking price to get to the best selling price.
- Appraisal-style analysis and adjustment table, below.
- You can see the details of the comparables by clicking on the addresses in the analysis table as well as in the discussion below it.
- Click here for the latest South End market data.
- Click here to see nice things that people have said about me!
- Click here for an overview of my sales and marketing services
- Click here to see exactly how we are going to market and transact your property.
See pricing discussion and conclusion immediately below the following table.
Your property has several strengths with respect to the market. First is that it is in a relatively recently constructed elevator building which is pet-friendly and well managed. The location is very attractive to medical personnel as well as to many different types of people due to its location close to the silver line for downtown access, as well as to the SOWA area, Whole Foods, and the restaurants and attractions of the South End. It's attractive to first-time buyers as well. The two single parking spaces are obviously a very important attraction, and the private roofdeck is a great addition. You have stellar views from your unit, and you've made some nice upgrades to the kitchen and baths.
Downsides with respect to the competition: First (and pretty much only) the specific location. You and I both know that there is no effect the housing across the street has on the livability of this building. But over the course of marketing more than a few units here, I know that it has an effect. I can't count how many times I've told prospective buyers how Paula and I walk through there all the time. As you go down the street, even the block or two to Rollins, it does have an effect upon the market value.
Which is all to say like all properties, that we just have to position this property correctly with respect to price and marketing.
COMMENTS ON REPORT AND COMPARABLE PROPERTIES:
In the data sheet above, as well as the discussion below, I've laid out the most comparable properties that have sold within the last nine months, are under agreement, or are available. My search criteria included listings in buildings of a similar nature, and of similar size. I wanted to see the context of our pricing. The individual dollar adjustments are conservative, and once again, can certainly be debated. But in the end, I think they give a fairly accurate picture of valuation. Please view the linked listings and the data sheet as you go through this discussion.
With regard to parking value, the last space that sold was PS3 which went under agreement in March for $55,250 (on the market for 83 days at $68,000). In June of last year, Enrique Mejia sold one of his spaces for $68,000, on the market for $70k for 129 days. In 2019, a couple of spaces sold for $75,000. My valuation for the purposes of this analysis is about $120k for the two. $65 for the first one and $55 for the second. Or you could break on of the spaces out and sell them separately. The current owner of 515 has her two extra spaces on for $75,000 each.
The unit had the original finishes and also did not have storage.
As I mentioned previously, they had it on for $1,325,000 and lowered it to $1,299,000. Went pending for $1,295. It appraised for $1,25 ish and they were fortuanate to be able to split the difference with the buyer. Using this as a model, my analysis of this property suggests a selling price for yours of about $1,390,000+/-. But as I said, I'm skeptical that listing it there is a good idea.
Located at the 485 Harrison Lofts, this unit had its' own particular charms. Corner unit, nice high ceilings and views, and a slightly superior market value with respect to location. No private outdoor space and only one parking. Lower floor, no storage. This one did have update shaker cabs, but I think your updates have additional appeal.
The size, as with all of these, was very close. I’ve adjusted $/per SF conservatively at $400/SF. This is because the square footage is so similar that I think a little more or less square footage is not worth as much as the overall dollars per square foot (most of these sold for $850-$1,000 ish per square foot). As I learned in appraisal school, $ per square foot is not the ligua franca it is cracked up to be. Too many variables for each unit to comapre that way overall. But once you factor out all the other stuff, the square footage obviously has its value, albeit less so.
Listed on 2/2 at $1,299,000, it sold at $1,315,000 after 22 days on market. My analysis of this property suggests a selling price for yours of about $1,331,500+-.
One garage space and no private outdoor space.
This unit is new to market with 2 days on-market. Our assumption for this analysis is that it sells at asking, so take that with a grain of salt. Based upon this, my analysis suggests selling price for your unit of approximately $1,360,000+-.
This unit was listed at $1,999,000 on 9/14/2021. Went under agreement on 9/18 at $1,229.000. I adjusted 2% for the market. My analysis suggests selling price for your unit of approximately $1,343,000+-+-.
I would take this one with a bit of a grain of salt. At the Cosmopolitan (the renovated church on Harrison Ave).
Brand new reno, higher end finishes. Has an extra half bath, and it does have a private balcony. No garage parking included. Inferior views, no storage.
This unit was listed at $1,245,000 in Jan of 2021. The price weas lowered in October of that year, it went under agreement on 12/11 at $1,150,000. I did adjust 2% for the fact that it sold in December. My analysis suggests selling price for your unit of approximately $1,314,0000+-.
This one is a 2018 brand-new build. I did sell one of these. Really nice units with very nice, relatively high end finishes, direct elevator access. Great location. NIce views in front with a large sliding glass door to a Juliet balcony (not a real balcony). On the other hand, no parking, no storage. Somewhat smaller, which I adjusted for.
This unit was listed at $1,169,000 on 6/23/21, it went under agreement on 6/21/22 at $1,150,000. I again adjusted for this spring market. My analysis suggests selling price for your unit of approximately $1,376,000+-.
After doing this analysis, my feeling is that $1,349,000 would be the appropriate asking price. Which does not rule out the possibility that that a highly motivated cash buyer would put in a higher offer. The market is *extremely* busy right now, and properly priced properties have been bid up. That having been said, I do still have a bit of skepticism having to do with the location. Another approach is to sell it with only one of the parking spaces for $1,299,000 and offer the other one for sale separately at $65-$70k
Getting asking price or above depends upon getting multiple offers. The question is, what is the best price to list at in order to get to that highest price?
My M.O. in listing prices has been to list reasonably based on already sold comparable properties (rather than hanging it out at an overly high price and hoping someone will make an offer). The goal is to collect competitive bids bids at the end of a relatively short, predetermined marketing period( i.e list on Tuesday, broker open Wednesday, commuter open house Thursday, open houses Friday and Saturday, and review offers Monday evening). In this way, we create demand for your property, and a competitive situation for buyers. This gives you the best possible selling price and the most highly motivated buyer. The greatest number of highly motivated buyers are out there the first week that your property is on the market. After that, motivation diminishes as more people who are in the market have seen your property. Time is not your friend in this case. If your unit is really worth more to the market, we will get a higher price. If not, we won’t
I believe that that is the price that will attract the largest number of buyers and the most competition for your property.
"Joe Wolvek went above and beyond to help us renovate, show and sell our condo in the South End. He helped us decide which renovations would make sense and which were not necessary. He worked with our contractors to get the work done in a very timely fashion. Once the condo was ready, he immediately got us two great offers. Finally, he made the negotiation of the P&S and the closing go smoothly...he is a master at his craft!"
Joan W., South End
Selling your Boston condo or home
Is my number one business priority. This is what I do and what I love. I am the opposite of an absentee broker and I will be available and responsive to you. I have over 30 years and hundreds of transactions of experience and success marketing and selling condos and homes in Boston. My strength is in maximizing demand for your property, as well as in negotiation and transaction management. The great majority of my listings in the last five years have gone under agreement in under a week, at or above asking price.
Here's what I do.
I. MARKETING AND SALES ACTIVITY
I will gather all relevent information with regard to the specific property and the condo association. This is in order to represent the property correctly on showings and advertising, as well as to avoid problems down the road. As you know, I have a significant amount of experience in the building with regard to sales and also working with Urban as Trustee. I obviously know the history of the building and its finances. I've also sold several other properties that Urban manages plus one I have coming on in May at 14 W Broadway. I have a good working relationship with them.
I will professionally photograph exterior and interior for use in ads, promotions, all online venues, and multiple listing services. I use only quality high-resolution photos from trusted vendors. If your property needs to be virtually staged, I can facilitate that.
I will photograph for 3-D Matterport tour and video. Due to COVID, buyers now expect these materials in order to vet properties prior to visiting.
I will create "Coming Soon" postings in: MLS-PIN, TAN (Top Agent Network), All-Agent Connect, as well as Social Media postings in FB, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, blog.
Plan “white glove” advertising program for appropriate properties.
I will mail "Just Listed" cards to neighbors and other potential buyers.
Entry to market
Ideally post the listing to MLS-PIN, LINK (secondary MLS) and all other venues on a Tuesday for showings to begin on Wednesday. I want to get as many showings as possible, and make it as easy for buyers to view as is practicable.
Mass emailing from Gibson Sotheby's to over 10,000 brokers and potential buyers, with photos, info, notice of open houses, and links to website.
Mass emailing to my own network of clients and contacts.
Social media postings and ads: Your property listing is promoted through a targeted Facebook and Instagram campaign, as well as LinkedIn. By leveraging social media, we are able to position your home in front of a diverse and savvy audience online, creating optimal exposure.
MLS "reverse prospecting". Property listing sent to brokers with matching buyer-clients.
I (and Gibson Sotheby's International Realty) will post the property to more than 40 top lead generating local, national, and international websites including Boston.com, Realtor.com, (and of course) Trulia and Zillow, NewYorkTimes.com (and the International edition), WashingtonPost.com, WSJ.com (WallStreetJournal), and FT.com (Financial Times), Hong Kong Tatler, South China Morning Post, Juwai.com (accessible inside China), Sothebysrealty.com, GibsonSothebysRealty.com and many, many more, along with photos and virtual tours. We do more exclusive marketing to buyers, both locally and internationally than anyone else. See here and here and here for more info (It will also filter out to all the other brokerage and agent websites).
My preference is to show by appointment all week, with broker open house 12-1:30 on Thursday, "commuter open house" Friday 5:30-6:30, Saturday and Sunday open houses 11-3 for new listings. For ongoing listings, 1.5 hours for most weekends with additional appointments available. I also post the 3-D virtual tour in MLS as a virtual open house.
I bring my 30+ years of experience of Boston real estate to bear by providing quality professional showings to prospective buyers. What comes out of one's mouth during a showing can have consequences down the road. I perform all showings. I do not hand off keys or use lockboxes.
Appointments to be made with prior-day notice unless otherwise arranged.
COVID-19: For all open houses and showings, one party at a time. Gel at door. All masked up.
Spread the word in my own extensive network.
II. OFFERS TO PURCHASE
Our objective is to procure multiple offers from qualified clients after the first weekend of open houses. If we are fortunate enough to accomplish that, review offers Monday around 6PM-ish. The listing in MLS and everywhere else will say, "Offers reviewed Monday at 6PM. Seller reserves the right to accept an exceptional offer prior to that." This ensures that everyone knows that they will have to step up to the plate in terms of price, contingencies, and financing (or lack thereof), and that we intend to wait for the deadline unless someone does submit an exceptional offer.
Do a best and final call for offers for the next afternoon in the event of multiples, or if we don't just want to grab one.It's not just about the money, it's about getting the best, most motivated buyer.
In this way, we create demand for your property, and a competitive situation for buyers. This gives you the best possible selling price and the most highly motivated buyer.
Evaluate offers on the basis of
Financing, if any. We obviously prefer cash offers, but if financed, evaluate the pre-approval terms, the credibility of lender, the ability of a particular lender to do a particular transaction (I like lenders that I know and who can get the job done), percentage financed.
Other contingencies, particularly contingencies for inspection. If the inspection contingency is not waived, encourage a high "deductible" for no "nickel and diming". I've seen many contingencies, in many flavors. We have to make sure there are no minefields, and the devil, to coin a phrase, is in the details....
Timing. Does the offer fit the seller's timeline needs (i.e. buying and selling on the same day)? Do the events of the transaction (such as buyer's financing committment) occur at the appropriate times?
My gut feeling on the buyer. How likely is this transaction to actually close? Do we want to get into a transaction with this potential buyer?
I will co-ordinate all offer related paperwork and make sure it is completed and submitted appropriately.
I will secure a mortgage pre-approval from buyer and ascertain that the lender can follow through. If not financed, procure a "proof-of-funds" document.
I will secure the buyer's "good faith" binder deposit and deposit in a Gibson Sotheby’s escrow account and account for all funds.
III. PURCHASE AND SALES CONTRACT ACTIVITIES
Co-ordinate all activities, paperwork, and negotiations (along with seller's attorney) between seller's side and buyer's side. Help to ensure problem resolution and progress. Proactively assist in managing the details of the transaction. I take pride in my meticulous transaction management skills and seeing my transactions through to closing.
Co-ordinate with lender for condo questionnaires etc, expedite all needed documentation such as condominium documents, association financials, etc.
Attend the inspection, if there is one. The inspector will need access to the roof and all systems. Make note of any verbal comments from the inspector, ask questions where appropriate. Ascertain that seller attains the best possible outcome.
Co-ordinate and attend property appraisal by buyer's lender. Provide appraiser desired comparables and association information.
Monitor buyer's mortgage application status.
Retain buyer's P&S deposit in our escrow account. This figure is usually 5% of the purchase price and is determined on the offer.
Co-ordinate execution of the P&S. This usually occurs 10 days to 2 weeks after the offer execution.
IV. CLOSING ON YOUR HOME
Obtain and present a Certificate of Insurance for the condo association, if applicable, for the buyer's lending institution in order to demonstrate sufficient coverage.
Obtain and present a 6(d) certificate from the condo association certifying that there are no unpaid condo fees or assessments.
Obtain and present a Smoke Detector/Carbon Monoxide Detector Certificate from the Fire Department.
Obtain a final water reading if you are in a single family or a separately metered condominium.
Expedite any remaining issues.
Ensure the proper flow of all deposited funds to closing attorney.
Organize and attend buyer's walk-through prior to closing.
Confirm closing date and time for all participants. Attend closing to in order to help resolve any problems.
Send you a closing gift and celebrate!
And this, my friends, is my job. This is what I do and what I love. And has been for many years!
The costs on the table below are called "closing costs", and will appear on your settlement statement. These costs are mostly approximate and very general. Assumes you've sold your home for $1m. You will be prorated back any unused condo fees and taxes. Your outstanding mortgage balance will be deducted from your proceeds.
|Seller attorney fee||$1,000-$1,500+-|
|Seller brokerage commission||Per agreement|
|Buyer brokerage commission||Per agreement|
|6(d) recording fee (for condos)||109.50|
|Transfer tax ($4.56 per thousand)||$4,560|
|Discharge tracking fee||$250+-|
|Mortgage discharge recording||$200+-|
|City smoke/CO cert and related services||$150+-|
|Broker reimbursements (documents, misc purchases)||vary|
Additionally, if you are in a condo that is in a professionally managed building, your management company may charge for documents such as a filled out condo-questionnaire and procuring a 6(d), which certifies that you have paid all outstanding fees and assessments. If you use oil heat in a single family or a separately-fueled condo, you may receive a credit for unused fuel in the tank.