22 Fottler Ave, Lexington

Market Analysis for:

Julia Forgaard

I've done a market analysis on your home at 22 Fottler Ave in Lexington and have prepared this document to help explain how I've arrived at a price for your home. I perform a market analysis and calculate a price taking into consideration a home’s location, size, configuration, number of bedrooms and baths, lot size and general condition. I also scrutinize the home for issues that, in my experience, will impact the price of a home making it more or less valuable. Then, I look at your current competition - the other homes that buyers in your price range will be viewing, to help determine your price.

Contents

  1. Description of Home
  2. Market Dynamics
  3. Analysis of Relevant Properties
  4. Pricing Recommendation
  5. Marketing

Description of home

Please note that these comments do not relate to marketing, but are included purely to ensure that we have captured the information and reflect the major components of your home.

The home is a Cape built in 1938. It offers nice curb appeal set on a corner lot of 0.27 acres. The home has a total living area of 1960 sq. ft. The home is steps from easy access to the Minuteman Bike Path and also abuts the beautiful Great Meadows Conservation area. There are 3 bedrooms and 3 full bathrooms in total. The home also offers a 2-car detached garage.

A small entry foyer, with a closet and accent window, welcomes you inside the formal living room featuring hardwood floors, a double window, and a French door out to the sunroom. The sunroom is bright and cheerful surrounded by walls of windows. A narrow partition wall eases the transition from the living room into the formal dining room as the hardwood floors continue to span the first level. The dining room is full of natural light with a double window and a built-in china cabinet.  

The dining room flows into the kitchen through a cased opening. The kitchen currently has a vinyl floor which will be replaced. The appliances are older. There is abundant cabinetry and a large picture window over the sink offering delightful views of the huge, fully fenced backyard and conservation land beyond. The kitchen offers an informal dining area with a sliding glass door out to a small balcony for more tranquil views of the spacious backyard.  

The first level continues with a bedroom and a full bathroom. A carpeted hallway from both the kitchen and living room allows access to the bedroom wing and the stairway to the second level. The first level bedroom is generously sized with hardwood floors underneath the carpeting. The full family bathroom has a tiled tub/shower and would freshen up nicely by painting the wall tiles and the mirror’s light fixture, which is a bit rusted.  

The master and another family bedroom are on the second level. The master bedroom has space for a sitting area with a beautiful bay window and a large double closet.  This room would present nicely with the wallpaper removed and the walls painted. Another family bedroom offers a large closet, double window, and a lower height door into a small adjacent room that would work well as a fun play space for a child or an additional sitting area. This small room is also accessible from the top of the stairway. It is recommended the wallpaper in the family bedroom and small adjacent room be removed as well.  The second level has a beautifully tiled family bathroom with a  skylight, corner shower stall, and a vanity with a Corian countertop.

The basement has a finished room with ceramic floor tiles. There is some wallpaper, which may be fine to leave in place. The basement is a full walk out with a sliding glass door out to the backyard. The full bathroom in the basement has basic finishes and a shower stall. A utility room houses the laundry area, gas fueled furnace, and hot water tank. There is another walk out door for additional exterior access off from the utility room, which also offers additional storage space.  

The home will be cleared before painting and the floors will be refinished.  

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Market Dynamics

We have been experiencing shortages of housing inventory in Lexington over the last 5 years or so. There are always a number of buyers looking to buy in Lexington because of the strong school system, the community dynamics and vibrant downtown. People like the feeling of the downtown area, and want to stop and have a coffee, or have dinner at the many restaurants, or just watch the world go by, chatting with folks who are out and about. The Minuteman bike path and conservation areas close by pull those who desire an outdoor lifestyle while still remaining within commuting distance to Boston.

The Lexington market has seen increasing prices over the last few years given the limited inventory. The demand for homes in Lexington far outweighs the supply and each month a snapshot of available homes for sale shows the declining inventory levels.

Average prices in Lexington are well above average prices obtained in the peak of the market in 2005. Average single family home prices have been increasing steadily since 2009. The real estate market downturn that existed for the last few years is well and truly over and prices are continuing to increase each year.

Sales distribution statistics for single family homes show that the $1M-$1.5M price-range is the most active in Lexington. The next busiest price range in Lexington is the $1.5M - $2M price range. This is an indicator that new construction is having a significant impact on the average single family home prices in Lexington. The number of new construction homes being built in Lexington in 2013 was 55 homes, 70 homes in 2014, 71 homes in 2015, 66 homes in 2016, and 55 in 2017.

Before reviewing the price per sq foot charts it is important to throw in a caveat of using the average as the definitive guide. There is wide variability among agents as to what is included in the living area reported in MLS. In some instances, agents will include a finished component of the basement in the living area and this is acceptable so long as how the living area is calculated is disclosed. Others report the living area reported in public record, which never includes finished areas in the basement, but note in MLS that there is a finished basement. To this end, it is important to review each individual listing to determine the ‘true’ price per sq. ft. of above ground living area, but we also need to factor into this when a home has a finished basement.

Reviewing the price per sq. foot charts for single family homes shows us that the average price per sq. ft. in Lexington around the $800K price range is around $415 per sq. ft. It’s important to note that the maximum price per sq. ft. achieved varies across most price ranges, along with the minimum obtained for each price range.

When the year built in the 1930’s the average price per sq. ft. is $429.

The chart below shows that single family homes in Lexington of similar size to your home in the 1,000 square foot range, have an average price per square foot of $478 but it increases to $595 per sq. ft. when you decrease to the under 1,000 square foot range. It is common across municipalities to see an increase in the price per square foot for smaller sized homes, as it reflects the minimum cost of a home in a town irrespective of the property size.

The chart below shows how many months’ supply of inventory there is in a given price range. It uses the assumption that given the same rate of sales over the prior 12 months, and considering current inventory available for sale, how many months it should take to sell the available inventory. This is referred to “Absorption” in the real estate world. 

Any price range where there is more than 7 months’ supply, we consider there to be an oversupply of inventory, also known as a ‘buyer’s market’. Anything between 4 – 6 months is considered a balanced market. Anything less than 3 months’ supply is considered a shortage of inventory on the market at this price range, also known as a ‘sellers’ market’. As can be seen, currently, absorption rates for all homes in the $800K price range is no supply showing a severe shortage.

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Analysis of Relevant Properties

The following map shows the  homes that we believe to be of value in determining the price of your  home. Below the map you will find basic information  provided for each home including the price the home was  listed at, and the price the home sold at (if sold), the listing date, Days on market, Bedrooms, Bathrooms, living area size and lot size.  Noted for each home is a classification of Relevance which outlines whether we think the  property is valued Less (L), Relevant/Comparable (R) or Higher (H) than  your home. The notes for each home outlines the similarities and differences between  your home and the one being analyzed.

Your details: Living area 1960 sq ft (includes 416 sq ft of finished lower level) | 3 beds | 3 baths | Lot size 0.27 acres | Built 1938 | detached 2 car garage

This contemporized colonial style home was built in 1953.  It doesnt have the same curb appeal as your home has, not by a long shot. It is of similar size as your home with 2,107 sq ft of all above ground approx living area. Your home has 1,960 sq ft of approx  living area  which includes 416 sq ft in the finished lower level.  This home has 1 more bedroom than your home having 4 bedrooms, yours has 3 bedrooms. It has 1 less bathroom than your home, having 2 full bathrooms, yours has 2 above ground and 1 basic one in the lower level. It sits on a larger size 0.46 acre lot on a busy street whereas your home sits on a 0.27 acre lot in a lovely neighborhood.
The main level has an open floor plan. The living room has a fireplace, beamed ceiling, double windows, crown molding, and hardwood floors. The dining area has crown molding, and hardwood floors. The kitchen has a breakfast bar peninsula, granite countertop, white cabinets, stainless steel appliances, ceramic tile floors, and exterior access to the deck . The main level also includes an office which has wainscoting, hardwood floors, and exterior access through sliding glass doors. The family bedrooms, including the master bedroom, are on the upper level and these bedrooms have hardwood floors, and beamed and vaulted ceiling.
This home has an attached 2 car garage and paved 10 car off street parking, and has forced air heating and central air cooling. It was listed for $775,000 and was sold lower than the listing price for $765,000.

Relevance: Relevant, but less.  Given the inferior location of the home, the lack of a basement (which buyers do not like), the lack of curb appeal, superior condition of the kitchen once all factors are considered I believe this home is relevant to your home but your home should sell for more.

Your details: Living area 1960 sq ft (includes 416 sq ft of finished lower level) | 3 beds | 3 baths | Lot size 0.27 acres | Built 1938 | detached 2 car garage

This split entry style home was built in 1967.  It is smaller than your home with 1,572 sq ft of approx living area which includes a finished lower level. Your home has 1,960 sq ft of approx  living area  which includes 416 sq ft in the finished lower level.  This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 3 bedrooms. It has 1 less bathroom than your home, having 2 full and 1 half bathrooms, yours has 3 although the one in the lower level is pretty basic. It sits on a larger size 0.39 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.27 acre lot.
Upon entry to this home, one has an option to go up the main living area or go down to the lower level. The living room is immediately on the left as one goes up to the main living area and it has a fireplace with brick facing, picture window, and hardwood floors. The formal dining room has picture window, and hardwood floors. The kitchen has wood cabinetry, white appliances, ceramic tile backsplash, ceramic tile floors, an informal dining area, and has an exterior access to the deck. This level also includes the master bedroom and 2 family bedrooms which have hardwood floors. The master bedroom has hardwood floors, and a half bathroom. This level also includes a full bathroom. The family room is on the lower level and it has a fireplace on bricks to the ceiling, with built ins on either sides of the fireplace, chair rails, hardwood floors, and a full bathroom.
This home has an attached 2 car garage and 2 car off street parking, and has hot water baseboard heating. It was listed for $799,000 and was sold for $802,000.

Relevance: Relevant but less. Given the smaller size, 1 less full bathroom even though your extra is fairly basic, superior condition of kitchen, I believe this home is relevant to yours but yours should sell for more.

Your details: Living area 1960 sq ft (includes 416 sq ft of finished lower level) | 3 beds | 3 baths | Lot size 0.27 acres | Built 1938 | detached 2 car garage

This ranch style home was built in 1960.  It is a similar size to your home with 1,872 sq ft of all above ground approx living area. Your home has 1,960 sq ft of approx  living area  which includes 416 sq ft in the finished lower level.  This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 3 bedrooms. It has 1 more half bathroom than your home, having 3 full and 1 half bathrooms. It sits on a larger size 0.42 acre lot on a busy street whereas your home sits on a 0.27 acre lot.
The living room has a fireplace, crown molding, bay windows, and hardwood floors. The formal dining room has two china cabinets, picture windows, crown molding, chair rails, hardwood floors, and access to the sunroom and the kitchen. The kitchen has white cabinetry, white appliances, crown molding, picture windows, laminate flooring, and an informal dining area. The master bedroom has picture windows, hardwood floors, an attached full bathroom with ceramic floor tiles, a modern vanity, and corner shower. The family bathroom is on this level, along with the additional half bath.
This home has an attached 2 car garage and 2 car off street parking, and has oil heating and central air cooling. It was listed for $875,000 but was dropped to $849,000 after almost a month on the market. It went under agreement and finally sold for an even lower price of $840,000

Relevance: Relevant, but higher. Given the similar size, but this all being above ground, the master having a master bathroom, the kitchen being a little more modern, central air, extra half bathroom, larger lot versus the busier road I believe this home is relevant to your home but it will sell for more.

Your details: Living area 1960 sq ft (includes 416 sq ft of finished lower level) | 3 beds | 3 baths | Lot size 0.27 acres | Built 1938 | detached 2 car garage

This was listed by one of our team members. This ranch style home was built in 1960.  It is larger than your home with 1,921 sq ft of all above ground approx living area and does not include the finished basement. Your home has 1,960 sq ft of approx  living area  which includes 416 sq ft in the finished lower level.  This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 3 bedrooms. It has 2 full and 1 half bathrooms, yours has 3 full bathrooms albeit one in the lower level is pretty basic. It sits on a larger size 0.45 acre lot in a very desirable area whereas your home sits on a 0.27 acre lot.
The living room has a fireplace inset into a wall of bricks to the ceiling, picture window, and hardwood floors. The formal dining room has double windows, hardwood floors, and has an open floor plan with the family room defined by a decorative metal faux wall. The family room has a fireplace inset into a wall of bricks to the ceiling, wall of windows to the ceiling with an atrium section, hardwood floors, and has exterior access to the deck. The kitchen has black appliances, ceramic tile countertops, decorative ceramic tile backsplash, stylish white cabinets, ceramic tile floors, and an informal dining area with bay windows and china cabinet. The master bedroom has hardwood floors, and an attached bathroom which has a double sink vanity with white cabinets, shower stall, and a jacuzzi. The other family bedrooms also have hardwood floors and share the family bathroom. Another half bathroom is on this level. The lower level has a fireplace with a wall of bricks to the ceiling and is finished although it was not included in the living area. This home was sold “as is” with the sellers wanting a certain price for their home, which we almost got them :-)
This home has an attached 2 car garage and 4 car off street parking, and has hot water baseboard heating and central air cooling. It was listed for $899,000 and was sold for $865,000.

Relevance: Higher. Given the much larger size, larger lot, superior location, master suite I believe this home will sell for more than your home.

Your details: Living area 1960 sq ft (includes 416 sq ft of finished lower level) | 3 beds | 3 baths | Lot size 0.27 acres | Built 1938 | detached 2 car garage

This colonial style home was built in 1910 and has lovely curb appeal.  It is a similar size to your home with 1,548 sq ft of all above ground approx living area and does not include the finished rooms in the basement. Your home has 1,960 sq ft of approx  living area  which includes 416 sq ft in the finished lower level.  This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 3 bedrooms. It has 1 less bathroom than your home, having 2 full bathrooms. It sits on a similar size 0.19 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.27 acre lot.
The main level has an open floor plan of the living room, dining room, and the kitchen. The living room/dining room has bay windows, hardwood floors, and has a an exterior access to the deck. The kitchen is stunning and is directly connected through a cased opening and it has a breakfast bar peninsula, granite countertops, stylish white cabinetry some with glass panels on the upper cabinets, stainless steel appliances, double and picture windows, hardwood floors, exterior access, an informal dining area. The second level has 2 family bedrooms with access to a jack and jill bathroom which has double vanity sinks, tub, and shower stall. The master suite is on the 3rd level and it has vaulted ceiling, walk in closet, a study alcove, wall to wall carpeting, and an attached bathroom which has double sink vanity, skylight, and shower stall. The home was freshly painted inside and out.
This home has a detached 2 car garage and paved 2 car off street parking, and has electric baseboard, hot water baseboard heating. It was listed for $819,000 and was sold for $865,000 after competition pushed the price higher.

Relevance: Higher. Given the similar size, superior condition, master suite I believe it will sell for more than your home.

Your details: Living area 1960 sq ft (includes 416 sq ft of finished lower level) | 3 beds | 3 baths | Lot size 0.27 acres | Built 1938 | detached 2 car garage

This classic colonial style home was built in 1944. Buyers love center entrance colonials.  It has larger above ground living area than your home with 1,886 sq ft. Your home has 1,960 sq ft of approx  living area  which includes 416 sq ft in the finished lower level.  This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 3 bedrooms. It has 1 less bathroom than your home, having 2 full bathrooms albeit one of your bathrooms is very basic and in the lower level. It sits on a smaller size 0.20 acre lot in a very popular area whereas your home sits on a 0.27 acre lot.
From the foyer, the living room is on the right through double french doors and it has a fireplace with brick facing and white mantel, chair rails, crown molding, and hardwood floors. The formal dining room is on the right from the foyer through a cased opening and it has chair rails, crown molding, and hardwood floors. The family room has a cathedral ceiling, picture windows, custom built ins, hardwood floors, and has an exterior access. The kitchen is updated and has granite countertops,ceramic tile backsplash, white cabinetry to the ceiling, white appliances, an arched accent window, and ceramic tile floors. There is a full bathroom on this level. The family bedrooms, including the master bedroom, are on the upper level and they all have hardwood floors and share a family bathroom on this level.
This home is located in  The Manor neighborhood. It has an attached 2 car garage and 4 car off street parking, and has hydro air, gas heating and central air cooling. It was initially listed for $939,000 by price was dropped to $919,000 after more than a month on the market before it went under agreement and was sold for $907,000 after 55 days on the market.

Relevance: Higher.  Given the larger size of the home with it all being above ground living area, the superior condition, traditional layout, similar size lot, central A/C I believe this home will sell for more than your home.

Your details: Living area 1960 sq ft (includes 416 sq ft of finished lower level) | 3 beds | 3 baths | Lot size 0.27 acres | Built 1938 | detached 2 car garage

This cape style home was built in 1952.  It is larger than your home with 2,026 sq ft of all above ground approx living area. Your home has 1,960 sq ft of approx  living area  which includes 416 sq ft in the finished lower level.  This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 3 bedrooms. It has the same number of bathrooms as your home, having 3 full bathrooms. It sits on a larger size 0.75 acre lot walking distance to the town center whereas your home sits on a 0.27 acre lot.
The main level has an open floor plan with hardwood floors. The living room has a fireplace, and bay windows. The kitchen has white appliances, cherry cabinets, a large box window with views of the backyard, and vinyl floors. The family room has an open floor plan with the informal dining area. It has a fireplace with cast iron and brick facing, vaulted ceiling with skylights, picture windows, brick floors, walk in closet, and exterior access. The master suite is also on the main level and it has vaulted ceiling with skylights, bay windows, double closets, hardwood floors, and has an attached bathroom which has a skylight. This level also includes an office which has hardwood floors, and an attached bathroom. The upper level has 2 family bedrooms with hardwood floors and they share a family bathroom in this level.
This home has a detached 2 car garage and 6 car off street parking, and has gas forced air. It was listed for $995,000 and was sold for $1,000,000.

Relevance: Higher. Given the larger above ground living area, larger lot, superior condition, traditional layout, superior location I believe this home will sell for higher than your home.

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Pricing Recommendation

My analysis of the relevant homes outlined above suggests a final market value for your home of $800,000 - $840,000.  

Given the current market dynamics in Lexington, I would suggest  listing your home at the lower end of this price range to attract more  interest and potentially multiple offers.  If the market deems your home  to be worth more than the list price, then the price will be pushed  over the market value of your home, and sometimes well over when we get  multiple offers.  

When homes are overpriced they end up sitting on the  market and ultimately selling for less than market value, whereas homes  priced realistically can often sell for well over market value.  Competition is what will get us the highest sales price. As we see time  and time again, if the buyers consider the market value of your home to  be realistic in relation to the asking price, then competition will push  the price up higher and often over the market value of the home. The  challenge with overpricing is that the buyers are very educated – they  go week after week to see homes in their price range so they KNOW what  the prices are and what ‘feels’ right.

I have to stress that these are recommendations. We would bring your home on the market at whatever price you deem to be appropriate.  

When determining the right price - it all depends on your motivation and your risk tolerance level. We know that homes that are priced at the 'strike price' will sell quicker and may generate more than one offer.  I’m an excellent negotiator and know how to push a price up if we have the market activity. I also know that some sellers want to put their home on for a higher price than I might recommend, which I’m willing to do, so long as it is understood that putting the home on for more than the majority of buyers perceive its value, could mean that your home will have a much longer market time and sell for less than it should have had it been priced properly out of the gate.

I DO NOT DETERMINE THE PRICE - the market dictates the value - what a buyer is willing to pay. My job is to make sure that you have the best market exposure and that your home is positioned well in the market.   I do not believe in projecting more money than I think your home will sell for just to get your business.

My team and I know how to stage and market your home, and I understand its value, but I can only sell it for what the market or a buyer will pay. I strongly believe that a home should be priced compared to the current competition, not just on what has sold in the last six months.  At the end of the day, you will be competing for the buyers looking for a home like yours and in the same price range. You can do far more 'damage' to the resultant price we get for your home if we overprice. The prospective serious buyers will see your home within the first weekend of your home coming on the market, and they will have seen everything else in this price range.  In other words, the serious buyer knows what is priced well.  If they don't see value in your home at its listing price and are not motivated to make an offer, then they will move on and keep looking.  In times of increasing prices, it is often hard to predict what a home will sell for, but be assured that even if we price your home lower than what market value is currently, market dynamics will bring the price of the home up to where it should be.  Prospective buyers should walk in thinking the price 'feels right' and are motivated to make an offer in the short term, rather than letting several months’ pass.

It is important to stress the value of marketing your home to capture the highest price.  In times of low inventory, we know your home will sell by doing the bare minimum to market it, BUT that is not going to get you the maximum price for your home.  Key to getting the maximum price for your home is to prepare a comprehensive marketing plan that incorporates all avenues available to us to expose your home to the maximum number of buyers out there looking.  Exposure, and feet in the door, is what will get you the highest price for your home. Basic ratios help explain this.  If 10% of the buyers who walk in your door fall in love with your home, then if you only have 10 buyers walking in, then potentially there is only 1 buyer - if you have 100 buyers walking in your door then using the same ratios, you will potentially have 10 buyers falling in love with your home.  10 buyers will push the price up versus only one buyer.

 New statistics state that over 100% of potential buyers search the web as their primary search vehicle.  Thankfully, your home will show fabulously in photos. With historically low interest rates likely to increase and inventory at a 7-year low, there are still homes that do not sell in this market.  I’m making my recommendations to ensure that you are one of the sellers who will have success in the first month of being on the market, but optimally the first weekend.

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