If you are in sticker shock by the price of a Salt Lake City home, you are not alone. Home prices along the Wasatch Front have risen 31% over the last year. If you go back five years, to 2016, they have risen a dramatic 80%. The escalation is indeed jaw dropping. But sometimes the algorithms, industry norms and especially the list price of your neighbor’s home can be misleading. Before you start self-assessing how much your home in Salt Lake is worth, you should know these 7 things.
#1 Your Neighborhood Baseline
As of June 2021, the average home in Salt Lake sold for $535,000 at $280/sf. But cost by neighborhood will vary significantly. This home-value calculator will help you figure out what homes are selling for in your zip code now.
Use these quick links for popular Salt Lake neighborhood home values.
#2 The Market is Slowing
The market is no longer trending up at the same rapid rate it was between February and May. A common mistake is homeowners projecting that their home’s valuation is still tracking up the same steep incline. We are seeing only slight price increases now with home-offer competitiveness steeply dropping off. Where in April or May we could expect 10-15 offers for a mid-range home, now we are seeing 1-2 offers. Buyers are also backing off reckless contingencies and regaining negotiating power.
#3 Algorithms Don’t See Everything
There are countless websites willing to serve up your home’s value with a zip code and the click of a button (see above!). But no algorithm can measure the true qualitative value or “je ne sais quoi” of your home. Nuances such as your street, the condition of your home, nearby amenities, green space, walkability or even where your home falls on a block can significantly affect price.
#4 Homes Sitting on the Market For More Than 14 Days Are Overpriced
If your neighbor puts their home on the market in SLC for an eye-bulging amount, just wait. Chances are if it is accurately priced it will go (and stay) under contract over the weekend. If it sits for more than seven days it is most likely overpriced. And if it sits for more than 14 days, it is most definitely overpriced. Homes near you that are stagnating on the market will give you a solid indication of how much your home is not worth.
#5 Compare Apples to Apples
We’ve all seen the ramshackle rambler sitting near a multi-million dollar rebuild. A common situation like this will really throw a home-value algorithm off. It is also why when assessing how much your SLC home is worth, to look at several comparables. When we determine a home’s value we look at a minimum of three CMA (comparative market analysis) reports of recently sold homes. Sometimes it takes pulling bits and pieces from several CMAs to get an accurate picture. Avoid valuing your home on one outlier in the neighborhood or a home that doesn’t accurately reflect your home’s condition or square footage.
#6 Don’t Be Greedy
Believe us, you are not the first person in this market to see dollar signs flashing before their eyes. It’s only human to start counting your thousands (or millions!) when your neighbor puts a sign in front of their house for a surprising amount. But there’s a fine line between wanting the most from your home and wanting more than your home is worth. In our experience a rightly-priced home will have many offers within days. And if it is worth more, it will receive offers over the listing amount. It is still a sellers market and one that continues to self adjust prices.
#7 Home Buyers Pay For Substance
Another big mistake we see is homeowners overvaluing their home based on their personal opinion of their home’s condition. For example, landscaping, solar panels, and some cosmetic upgrades are valueless when large systems like HVAC, plumbing, electrical or roofing aren’t up to grade. No matter how stylishly you’ve furnished or decked out your home, if the bones aren’t solid, the price of your home will reflect that. If you are wanting to get the most out of your home, make sure you have all the major systems updated. Then if you are looking for cosmetic improvements, focus on your kitchen, bathrooms, and permanent fixtures.
Hubbard Case Study
This stunning c. 1936 tudor on Hubbard Avenue recently went on the market. The owners remodeled the home from top to bottom over the last two years with contemporary luxury finishes while carefully restoring the historic details. Like many homes in the area, it has a smaller square footage. But because of its condition, and placement on one of the city’s most exclusive streets, cost per square foot is high.
We pulled our first CMAs for this home in April of 2021. At that point, we estimated a price range of $900-961,000. We pulled the second round of CMAs in July. The market had dramatically risen at this point, and our home-value recommendation rose to $1.2 million. Immediately before listing in August, we pulled a last round of reports. Reports indicated a price increase of 3% to $1.24 million.
Because our client’s move was time sensitive, we recommended that they list at a lower amount to attract the most buyers and bids. With a hot sellers market, a rightly-priced (or slightly under priced) home will attract multiple offers that most often drive up the final sale price.
We prepared the home with our proprietary Niche Homes Way market-prep and free staging process. Sure enough, our clients received 4 offers (2 in cash) and went under contract for $1,275,000.
Ask an Expert
The best (and only) way to know what your home in SLC is really worth is to get an expert opinion. At Niche Homes, we offer free property analysis as well as suggestions for improving your home’s value.
Give us a call, we’d love to have a no-pressure conversation about your home’s real value!