The phone call to the Maine real estate office comes in and sometimes here is the dialogue that begins. "Ball park, what are houses going for in the Houlton Maine area?"
Whoa. It depends. On about 200 factors, variables of the property and the local market conditions that surround the real estate. The economic market for property sales that it is parked in. Supply and demand a big factor and how fast the sale is expected to happen all shape, increase or whittle away at the real value as of today. But the unique individual property itself specifically, what is it has to be out in open, broad daylight, fresh air to know what it is worth right now, today. Nothing cloaked, hidden or mysterious or vague helps the valuation process.
The caller is often in a very big hurry. The kind like when you have to go to the bathroom antsy, dancing, can't wait much longer. And can get irritated if the process of appraisal of a property listing is explained. They don't care, don't want to hear all that. Just give me a number, a range and then with the same quick like a bunny efficiency, tell me what the bull's eye figure for the value of their home that I have never set foot in is worth. The crystal ball is on the fritz. Or in the shop. So need to see what is being sized up for the real fair market value today. To know, determine what it is, then the second shoe drop of where it fits. Like a puzzle piece, they don't snap in to all the slots. Same thing with round pegs and those square holes right?
Right up front, the Maine home owner, caller states not going to list the place for sale, doesn't want you to come on over for a walk through either.
Often has a neighbor who wants to buy or a family member and just no expense please for this down and dirty valuation without knowing much of the vital information. Not going to engage the services of a real estate appraiser. Not wanting to know the results after study of the property itself of the good, bad and the ugly valuation. Stacking it up against the real estate sales of similar recent property listing sales not going to happen. Because the address is not even volunteered. And taking a gander at what is out there in the wild blue yonder currently in the market to do the side by side comparison.
To take a look see at what is competing for buyers wanting something just like its in the current market. And who are ready, willing and can afford it. Actually get the money to buy something pretty carbon copy look alike if possible. To locate in the inventory of what is out there needing to be sold three or more properties that are up for grabs and not under contract or almost sold. As close to a twin. Available, like someone like you alone, at a dance as it gets near closing and the bright lights come on. And you are told we don't care where you two go but you can not stay here.
I don't know the value of a Houlton Maine house until it is under the microscope, and one by one the physical features of the sticks and bricks are examined, sized up top to bottom, side to side.
Then the market the home, whatever real estate type that it is in studied. Is scoped out to see where it fits. Falls into place in the line of property listing ducks valuations. All the value numbers subject to change too if suddenly a glut of just like it, in this same bracket price range come online to compete for a buyer. Like a game of musical chairs where if more than one chair is open, available, there is less pushing, shoving, hustling to stay in the game.
The phone call is a wake up call that says "I want your knowledge, experience but I don't want to pay for it, not going to engage your services or any other real estate agency either."
Something for nothing works okay if you are are Robin Hood, the go between agent.
But appraisals done blindfolded, comparable market analysis (CMA's) or broker price opinions (BPO's) that don't let you kick the tires or start her up and take a test spin are dangerous, crazy, and ricochet back to bite you.
The boomerang in the head is when someone on the streets says they heard you told Jane Doe her house was worth a certain figure. When it is not the accurate number you would have arrived at had it not been for the being pushed into the one you spit out unseen. Like someone working at Three Blind Mice Realty would have. Do all the time. With no fear of the carver's knife.
With the "just a ball park, come on, won't hold you to it" pressure applied.
A different opinion happens once you figure out who the mystery owner who does not want to give their name or the location of the property actually is. And it becomes like what's a Maine tourmaline gem or diamond, any jewel worth examination for the three C's.
Where the value of a gem stone is directly related the rarity, scarcity. And the stone's weight, color, clarity and cut are all valued on top of that on that supply or rarity.
The same study, apples to apples sizing it up happens with gems, cars, houses, anything for a product or service today. Except with houses, homes it is beyond just what the "gem" is. But what is happening with the other dogs or castles around it. Affecting the price tag. Valuation, what's it worth now needs to be done with the eyes and ears wide open, not over the phone. At the property. The senses all working together and coupled with years of ME real estate listing, sales experience knowledge.
Maine, big state, less people, more wildlife, bluer skies, cleaner water and fresh air happen here.