How Personal Taste Affects Pricing, Marketing, and Positioning of a Coral Ridge Country Club Home
Your Coral Ridge Country Club home has a roof less than two decades old. It’s spacious, with more than 3,000 square feet under air. It has at least four bedrooms – maybe five; it’s unclear from MLS data and county tax records. It was richly remodeled with stately finishes that were hand-selected by the current owners. But how will the owner’s Fort Lauderdale real estate agent price the home? And will the home match prospective buyers’ unique tastes? Even with 3,000 other homes in the neighborhood, setting the price is a matter of matching a prospective buyer’s personal preference.
In this third of four articles by Gary Lanham Group at Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach Office team members Danny Shears, Richard Rogowski, and Eileen Mulkey, a senior forensic Fannie Mae appraiser who has spent three decades performing difficult reviews and handling home pricing comparables, we delve into how upgrades affect home pricing of Coral Ridge Country Club residences. We also discuss the role preferences play in matching listing price to buyer interest.
First, a bit about Coral Ridge Country Club. As discussed previously, this community is unique to greater Fort Lauderdale. Nestled along U.S. 1 / Federal Highway and the Intracoastal Waterway between Commercial and Oakland Park boulevards, the ranch-style, single-story homes date back to the 1960s and ‘70s. Those single-story, ranch-style homes have been joined over the years by rebuilt residences and, several years ago, the addition of Enclave at Coral Ridge Country Club development. Lots there scale from 17,000 square feet to one-acre spreads, with homes ranging from the $800,000s to $1.8 million and up.
Homesites range from interior lots, to golf course residences, to waterfront parcels with “deep-water” access to the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean.
They began by reviewing different data available from a variety of sources. Using Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, data, and county tax assessor’s records, they were able to determine – or at least approximate – the home’s square footage and number of rooms. We say “approximate” because sometimes various resources aren’t in agreement.
Square footage can be a curious thing. County tax records reflect home plans as submitted originally by the builder. Along the way, especially in a community dating back 50 years or more, renovations can change a home’s square footage. Patios and porches often are enclosed to “under air” space, sometimes without permits being applied for or issued. The garage may have been converted to home use, even if officially not designated as being “under air.”
These are vital distinctions. The single most important differentiator often is the home’s actual square footage. This also is critical when setting a home’s listing price. As discussed previously, homes in and around Coral Ridge Country Club are fetching some $440 per square foot. So if the home has additional space than what is reflected on county records or the MLS, this could affect the listing price.
Bedrooms also drive preference and pricing. But first their existence must be affirmed. For example, the MLS listing and county records disagreed on whether a home recently sold by our team had four or five bedrooms. Official records also can differ from actual use. Builders and county assessors often designate a “bedroom” by whether a room with a door for ingress and egress, a window, a closet, and a vent from the central air conditioner. To some homeowners and buyers, the distinctions are subjective.
So, if a home has four bedrooms, but the fifth room is used as an office or den, for example, and lacks the components that may define it as a “bedroom,” how will that be seen by prospective buyers? Some might prefer it as a “bedroom.” Some might have no preference at all.
Again, the distinction can be reflected on the listing price. Many agents set the value of each bedroom at $15,000; because of their utility, bathrooms are valued at $10,000.
Including remodels, renovations and additions in the pricing matrix also can dramatically change a home’s listed price. Often called “entrepreneurial profit,” remodels or additions bring finishes that add value to the listing price. This assumes, of course, the prospective buyer perceives those changes as “upgrades.” Again, much of this is market perception.
Sellers also must be realistic in their expectations and the perceived value they place on the home. The home we’re discussing has a roof that was permitted and replaced in 1999. Though not “new,” Realtors consider this age as still having functionality and usable life expectancy remaining, making it a benefit that should not negatively affect the selling price.
Many buyers and their Realtors will seek to negotiate away some of these attributes that add value to a home. As many Realtors will acknowledge, buyers who expect too many upgrades, a newer roof, or other fresh or refreshed elements, likely are seeking new construction. They should expect to pay for that.
Anticipating buyer preference can be important in updating or renovating a home, and especially when pricing it for sale. It’s also important for prospective buyers to realize where their preferences don’t align with market realities. Working with your trusted Fort Lauderdale Realtor, sellers and buyers together can benefit from a realistic pricing process, which can carry over into negotiations and the eventual sale.
Gary Lanham Group at Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach Office is a boutique real estate organization offering sales, leasing, and brokerage services to the Greater Fort Lauderdale area. A listings agent matches home sellers with buyers and tenants with landlords. While Broward County is our universe, we focus on Coral Ridge Country Club, Oakland Park, Wilton Manors, Pompano Beach, and the surrounding areas. Call us today at (954) 695-6518 or visit www.GaryLanhamGroup.com.