103 College Ave Arlington

Market Analysis for:

Keith & Margaret Woodworth

I've done a market analysis on your home at 103 College Ave in Arlington 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 take into account your reported condition and how, in my experience, that will impact the price of a home making it more or less valuable.  

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.

Your home is in the desirable area of Morningside on a culdesac in Arlington. It has great curb appeal being the classic raised ranch style home with a single car garage. It is on 0.17 acre lot.  According to public record your home is 2597 sq ft  which includes the finished areas in the lower level. Your home has 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms. We will indicate when marketing the home that there are more bonus rooms which could be considered bedrooms if desired by the buyers.

As you walk in the front door you have an immediate decision to either go up or down. Up lands you in the living room to the right, the kitchen directly in front and the bedroom wing off to the left.  The living room is large with picture windows, a wood burning fireplace set in a brick  and is open to the formal dining room.  The kitchen can be accessed via cased openings from both the dining room and the hallway at the top of the front stairs. The kitchen is large with room for informal dining area, and has a family room/bedroom off it, along with an exterior half french door leading to the 3 season sunroom and the deck beyond. The kitchen has contemporary style wood veneer cabinets which will paint up stunningly. White appliances and lemon laminate countertop. The family room/bedroom is large with lovely natural light and double closets.

Along the hallway to the bedroom wing is a full bathroom. The full bathroom is quite dated but can be smartened up nicely and inexepensively. It has a dual sink vanity. 2 family bedrooms and the master bedroom are in this wing. The master bedroom has an attached full bathroom which will smarten up nicely once the sink has been replaced.

Downstairs to the lower level we have an office to the left, and a laundry.  Through the laundry are 2 more large rooms, 1 we will consider and stage as a bedroom.  The family room has an exterior half french door leading to the backyard, and the other room could be staged as a bedroom with double closets and exterior access outside. The single car garage has interior access into the lower level from the family room. Along a hallway adjacent to the office is another finished room perfect for a playroom with exterior access and an attached half bathroom.

Hot water baseboard heat.

This market analysis assumes the painting we discussed being done, including kitchen cabinets, new sheet vinyl flooring in the kitchen along with carpet in the adjacent family room/bedroom.

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Market Dynamics

We have been experiencing shortages of housing inventory in Arlington over the last 5 years or so. There are always a number of buyers looking to buy in Arlington 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 Arlington market has seen increasing prices over the last few years given the limited inventory. The demand for homes in Arlington far outweighs the supply and each month a snapshot of available homes for sale shows the declining inventory levels.

Average prices in Arlington are well above average prices obtained in the peak of the market in 2010. Average home prices have been increasing steadily since 2011. 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 homes show that the $600K price-range is the most active in Arlington. The next busiest price range in Arlington is the $700K price range. 

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 Arlington around the $800K price range is around $413 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 1960’s the average price per sq. ft. is $382. 

The chart below shows that single family homes in Arlington of similar size to your home in the 2,000 square foot range, have an average price per square foot of $389 but it increases to $432 per sq. ft. when you decrease to the 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 is almost nothing indicating a severe shortage in every price range.

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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 2597 sq ft | 4+ beds | 2.5 baths | Built 1964 | 1 car garage | 0.17 acres

This cape style home was built in 1962.  It is smaller than your home with 1,944 sq ft of approx living area including the finished lower level. Your home has 2,597 sq ft of living area which includes the finished areas in the lower level.  This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 4 bedrooms. It has less bathrooms than your home, having 2 full bathrooms. It sits on a larger size 0.60 acre lot but it is an odd shape so the lot size is of less import, whereas your home sits on a 0.17 acre lot.
As one enters this home, the living room is on the left and it has a fireplace with brick facing and wood stained mantel, picture windows, and hardwood floors. The dining area is slightly open to the kitchen with exterior access to the deck and both have hardwood floors. A family bedroom and a full bathroom which has a shower stall with glass doors are also located in the main level. The other family bedrooms including the master bedroom are on the upper level and they all have vaulted ceiling, hardwood floors, and share a family bathroom. The family room is on the finished lower level and it has wall to wall carpeting. The home needs smartening up both from the perspective of paint, and presentation.
This home has an attached single car garage and paved 3 car off street parking, and has hot water baseboard heating. It was listed for $639,900 and was sold higher than the listing price, due to competition, for $662,500.

Relevance: Less. Given the smaller size, inferior condition, 1 less half bathroom, similar location I believe your home will sell for more than this home.

Your details: Living area 2597 sq ft | 4+ beds | 2.5 baths | Built 1964 | 1 car garage | 0.17 acres

This garrison style home was built in 1969.  It is smaller than your home with 2,324 sq ft of approx living area including the partially finished lower level. Your home has 2,597 sq ft of living area which includes the finished areas in the lower level.  This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 4 bedrooms. It has 1 less full bathroom than your home, having 1.5 bathrooms. It sits on a similar size 0.14 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.17 acre lot.
Upon entry to this home, the living room is on the left and i t has a fireplace with brick facade, with built ins on its sides, picture windows, and hardwood floors. The dining room has hardwood floors, and exterior access to the deck through sliding glass doors. It has an open floor plan with the kitchen. The kitchen has white cabinets, white appliances, ceramic tile backsplash, and vinyl floors. The den has bay windows, and vinyl floors. The family bedrooms are on the upper level and they all have hardwood floors while one has a cathedral ceiling. The family room is on the finished lower level and it has a fireplace with brick facade and wood veneer paneled wall, and has built in shelves. The home had not been freshened, although the kitchen cabinets had been painted.
This home has 3 car off street parking, and has hot water baseboard heating. It was listed for $749,900 and after several price reductions finally sold for $675,000 after 72 days on the market.


Relevance: Less. Given the smaller size, 1 full bathroom less, no garage, inferior condition I believe your home will sell for more than this home.

Your details: Living area 2597 sq ft | 4+ beds | 2.5 baths | Built 1964 | 1 car garage | 0.17 acres

This was our listing. This cape style home was built in 1947.  It is smaller than your home with 2,197 sq ft of approx living area including the finished lower level. Your home has 2,597 sq ft of living area which includes the finished areas in the lower level.  This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 4 bedrooms. It has more bathrooms than your home, having 3 full bathrooms. It sits on a same size 0.17 acre lot as your home.
As one enters a small foyer from the portico, the options are to either go straight up to the upper level through the staircase, to the living room on the left, or to the formal dining area on the right. The living room has a fireplace with white mantel, bay windows, and hardwood floors. The formal dining room has chair rails, a built in china cabinet, picture window, and hardwood floors. The kitchen has cherry cabinets with china cabinets, granite countertops, ceramic tile backsplash, stainless steel appliances, picture windows, hardwood floors, and access to the sunroom through a half french door. The sunroom has an exterior access to the front patio and another exterior access to the deck through glass sliders. The master bedroom with hardwood floors, and an adjacent renovated full bathroom with shower stall are also on the main level. There are 2 bedrooms with hardwood floors on the upper level together with a totally renovated family bathroom. Another bedroom is on the finished lower level and it has an attached renovated bathroom with shower and tub, and kitchenette. The home was immaculate inside and freshly painted.
This home has 2 car off street parking, and has hot water radiators heating. It was listed for $699,000 and we sold it for higher than the listing price due to competition, for $790,000.

Relevance: Relevant. Given the superior condition of this home, but smaller living area, 3 full bathrooms along with no garage I believe with all factors considered this home is relevant to your home.

Your details: Living area 2597 sq ft | 4+ beds | 2.5 baths | Built 1964 | 1 car garage | 0.17 acres

This colonial style home was built in 1949.  It is larger than your home with 2,800 sq ft of approx living area including the finished lower level. Your home has 2,597 sq ft of living area which includes the finished areas in the lower level.  This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 4 bedrooms. It has 1 half bathroom less than your home, having 2 full bathrooms. It sits on a similar size 0.18 acre lot on the same street whereas your home sits on a 0.17 acre lot.
As one enters this home’s hall, the living room is on the left and it has a fireplace with white mantel, picture windows, and hardwood floors. The formal dining room has chair rails, crown molding, bay windows, and hardwood floors. The kitchen has white cabinets and shelves, vinyl flooring, a beverage bar, white appliances, an informal dining area, and an exterior access to the patio. A bedroom, adjacent to the full bathroom, is also on the main level and it has hardwood floors. There are 2 family bedrooms and the master bedroom on the upper level. The master bedroom has an attached bathroom with double vanity sink but this bathroom is also the family bathroom as it has access from the hall. The family room and the recreation room are on the finished lower level and it has a fireplace in a brick facade, and wall to wall carpeting. The home had been presented well. The bathrooms were more updated than your bathrooms.
This home has an attached single car garage which is detached from the home and is embedded into the hill, and a paved off street parking space, and has hot water baseboard heating and central cooling. It was listed for $759,000 and was sold higher than the listing price, due to competition, for $825,000.

Relevance: Relevant. Given the larger size, superior condition of bathrooms but 1 half bathroom less, detached garage versus your attached garage I believe this home is relevant to your home.

Your details: Living area 2597 sq ft | 4+ beds | 2.5 baths | Built 1964 | 1 car garage | 0.17 acres

This colonial style home was built in 1930.  It is smaller than your home with 2,271 sq ft of all above ground living area which doesnt include the finished area in a loft. Your home has 2,597 sq ft of living area which includes the finished areas in the lower level.  This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 4 bedrooms. It has the same number of bathrooms as your home, having 2 full and 1 half bathrooms. It sits on a similar size 0.14 acre lot whereas your home sits on a 0.17 acre lot.
The living room is on the left from the foyer and it has a fireplace with brick facade, a coffered ceiling, wainscoting, picture windows, and hardwood floors. It is open to the formal dining room through a cased opening. The formal dining room has a built in china cabinet in the corner, crown molding, picture windows, and hardwood floors. It leads to the family room through custom built ins with modern half columns. The family room has walls of picture windows with transoms, crown molding, recessed custom built ins, hardwood floors, and exterior access to the deck via french doors. The kitchen has custom built white cabinets, white appliances, ceramic tile backsplash, crown molding and vinyl flooring. It has a built-in circular eating nook overlooking the huge family room and has picture windows overlooking the deck. This level also includes a bedroom with lots of built ins, crown molding, picture windows, and hardwood floors. The family bedrooms including the master bedroom are on the upper level. The master bedroom has picture windows with a large porthole window, cathedral ceiling, walk in closet, an attached bathroom, and hardwood floors. The attached bathroom has a circular shape and has picture windows with seats. Another bedroom on this level has a high cathedral ceiling with skylight, picture windows, hardwood floors, and has a loft with hardwood floors, built ins, and a small bay window with seat. There is also a study with high cathedral ceiling and loft with access to the third level porch on this level.
This home has an attached single car garage and 2 car off street parking, and has hot water baseboard heating and central air heating. It was listed for $850,000 and was sold at its listing price after 6 days on the market.

Relevance: Relevant, but higher.  Given the superior condition, similar living area, open plan living areas I believe this home is relevant to your home but it will sell for higher.

Your details: Living area 2597 sq ft | 4+ beds | 2.5 baths | Built 1964 | 1 car garage | 0.17 acres

This colonial style home was built in 1986.  It is larger than your home with 2,192 sq ft of all above ground living area, but this does not include the fully finished basement. Your home has 2,597 sq ft of living area which includes the finished areas in the lower level.  This home has the same number of bedrooms as your home, both having 4 bedrooms. It has 1 more full bathroom than your home, having 3 full and 1 half bathrooms. It sits on a larger size 0.26 acre lot in the Morningside neighborhood, whereas your home sits on a 0.17 acre lot.
From the foyer, the living room is on the left and it has hardwood floors. The formal dining room is on the right of the foyer and it has chair rails, and hardwood floors and access to the family room. The family room has a fireplace with brick facade, a cathedral ceiling, picture windows, hardwood floors, access to the kitchen, and an external access to the deck through double glass doors. The kitchen is huge and has cherry cabinets, white appliances, laminate floors, an informal dining area and is adjacent to the updated main level bathroom. The 3 family bedrooms and the master bedroom are on the upper level and they all have wall to wall carpeting. The master bedroom has an attached full bathroom while the other bedrooms share a family bathroom. The finished lower level also has a full bathroom.
This home has an attached single car garage, and has hot water baseboard heating. It was listed for $829,000 and was sold higher than the listing price, due to competition, for $875,000.

Relevance: Higher. Given the larger size of the home, superior condition, open plan with a cathedral ceiling family room, extra full bathroom I believe this home will sell for more 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 between $780,000 - $830,000.

Given the current market dynamics in Arlington, I would suggest listing  your home at the lower end of this price range estimated 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 that when  we get multiple offers.  You can see many examples in the above  mentioned properties that came on the market for a lot less and  competition pushed them up to a higher final sale price. The challenge  in estimating a price for a home is ‘would this home have sold for this  price if they had priced it for higher’ or was competition the driving  factor that got to this price.  Experience tells us that competition is  why they sold for what they did, so we have to be careful with pricing.   A few recent examples of competition pushing a price higher than market  value is our listing at 163 Charlton St which came on the market for $699,000 and sold for  $790,000,  36 College Ave which came on the market for $759,000 and  sold for $825,000.

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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We look forward to working with you!   Please reach out if you have any questions at all about this market analysis or our plans to market your home! 

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