7 Fern St, Lexington

Market Analysis for:

Christine Grace

I've done a market analysis on your home at 7 Fern St 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.

Your home is a stunning example of how old meets new, and becomes transformed. It is located in a prime location of Lexington being walking distance to the town center, the Minuteman bike path and is across the road from the ever popular Wilsons Farm. The home was built originally in 1787 and has 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, 2 car garage, on 0.32 acres.  The home has 2374 sq ft according to public record, along with another 1326 sq ft in the finished basement, and another 532 sq ft over the garage totaling 4232 sq ft.  

As you walk up the front path the curb appeal of the home beckons, and harkens to another era, but as you set foot over the front hearth you move into the current era.  With a bedroom/office to the left, stairs up to the second floor directly in front, and the living room off to the right. The living room has beamed ceilings, stained glass front windows, with an alcove with shelving, drawers and a desk. There is a side entry with a half french door from the living room out to the private side patio. From the living room you enter the stunningly renovated kitchen. The kitchen has a beamed ceiling, marble tile backsplash, shaker style white cabinetry, granite counters, stainless steel appliances, obscured glass cabinetry, breakfast bar island and is stunning. It is open to the family room beyond. The family room has been transformed and has a wood burning fireplace and painted brick chimney, cathedral ceiling with painted exposed rafters, wainscoting, bay window, half french exterior door, dining area and stairs to the lower level. The family room also has an exterior door out to the back patio and the garage. From the kitchen you have a wide hall with lots of closets, desk area, entry into the bedroom/office and a full bathroom with a corner shower, new vanity and updated fixtures.

Up the stairs you have a landing with a large skylight providing lots of natural light, closets, and off this are you have a completely renovated family bathroom with subway tiled tub/shower, marble floor tiles,white vanity. There are 2 family bedrooms off the landing, both with skylights and lots of natural light. The newly created master suite is stunning. With a cathedral ceiling, walk through closet, and stunning master bathroom. The master bathroom has dual sink vanity, granite counters, stunning glass paneled shower and door with white subway tiles, and an obscured glass toilet. Simply stunning.

In the lower level, accessed by stairs from the kitchen along with stairs from the family room you have a huge ceramic tiled laundry, with a quarter bath, and a renovated family room space. With painted brick wall, bench seating with custom cushions, ceramic tile floor, large closet, and a great hangout space. A storage area with a rock outcrop is accessed from the family room.

There is a teen suite above the 2 car garage which has been completely renovated and has lots of natural light with 2 skylights and a wall of windows.  A full bathroom with ceramic floor tiles, shower and toilet are located on this level.

The home has hot water baseboard/radiator heat, split system air conditioning. Everything has been renovated and feels fresh and new.

From the private courtyard, to the private brick patio behind the home, to the lovely gardens beyond, this home is peaceful. Imagine yourself sitting on the patio with a cup of coffee, reading the daily newspaper while enjoying the solitude of the natural environment.

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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 $1M - $1.5M price range is around $392 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 prior to the 1900’s the average price per sq. ft. is $414.

The chart below shows that single family homes in Lexington of similar size to your home in the 4,000 square foot range, have an average price per square foot of $379 but it increases to $386 per sq. ft. when you decrease to the 3,000 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 $1M - $1.5M price range are less than 1 month’s 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 4232 sq ft | 5 beds | 4.5 baths | Lot size 0.32 acres | Built 1787 | 2 car garage

This home is smaller than your home at 3528 sq ft which includes the  finished lower level, yours is 4232 sq ft including the lower level and  the suite above the garage. This home is on a larger lot than yours of  0.45 acres, yours is 0.32 acres, but the location of this home is far  inferior to yours with it backing onto an entry ramp to Route 2.  It has  the same number of bedrooms as your home at 5 bedrooms, but has 5 full  bathrooms versus your 4.5 bathrooms. The kitchen in this home had been  renovated but was nowhere near as stunning as your home. The bathrooms  were all renovated but not with the same style as yours. The main level  of the home was all open plan which appeals to the buyers, but your open  plan kitchen and family room will appeal just as much. The home went under agreement within days of coming on the market and sold for almost the asking price.

Relevance: Less. Given the smaller size, inferior location, inferior renovations I believe your home will sell for more than this home.

Your details: Living area 4232 sq ft | 5 beds | 4.5 baths | Lot size 0.32 acres | Built 1787 | 2 car garage

This home is larger than your home at 4364 sq ft which includes living area in a guest house, and the lower level. Your home is 4232 sq ft which includes the lower level along with the teen suite above the garage. It is located in Merriam Hill which is a more desirable location, but it was on a narrow private lane so it wasn't in a prime location in the neighborhood. The home is on a similar lot size of 0.30 acres with yours at 0.32 acres. It was built in 1992 on a 1950's foundation. Your home was built in 1787. It did not have a garage, whereas yours has a 2 car semi-detached garage.  The home wasnt in anywhere near as good a condition as your home with the kitchen being quite dated and none of the 'wow' factor of your home. The main floor layout wasnt as appealing as your home, and this home also didnt have the curb appeal your home has.

Relevance: Less. Given the similar size, similar bedroom/bathroom count, similar lot size, no garage, inferior condition I believe your home will sell for more than this home.

Your details: Living area 4232 sq ft | 5 beds | 4.5 baths | Lot size 0.32 acres | Built 1787 | 2 car garage

This home was built in 2008 so it would have appealed more to buyers who want newer construction. It is smaller than your home at 3829 sq ft which is all above ground living area whereas your home is 4232 sq ft in size, which includes the finished lower level as well as the teen suite over the garage. It has the same number of bedrooms as your home at 5 bedrooms, but has 3.5 bathrooms versus your 4.5 bathrooms so there is 1 bathroom less than your home. It is on half the size lot as your home at 0.17 acres, yours is 0.32 acres. Its location is not as desirable also as it is a busier street than yours. The home was beautiful inside and beautifully presented. It felt 'new' throughout. It had a lovely outdoor area with patio and was very private. There was a screened porch off the breakfast area accessed by double french doors. The family room was open to the kitchen and had built ins on either side of the fireplace with white mantel. It had competing offers on it and sold for over the asking price.

Relevance: Relevant. Given the smaller size, 1 less bathroom, smaller lot size, but newness of the home which would have appealed to a lot more buyers I believe it is relevant to your home.

Your details: Living area 4232 sq ft | 5 beds | 4.5 baths | Lot size 0.32 acres | Built 1787 | 2 car garage

This home is a popular colonial style home located on a larger lot size of 0.92 acres. Your home is on 0.32 acres.  It is smaller than your home at 3513 sq ft but this is all above ground living area. Your home is 4232 sq ft which includes the teen suite above the garage and the finished lower level. It has the same number of bedrooms as your home at 5 bedrooms, and has 1 less bathroom than your home at 3.5 baths vs your 4.5 baths. It was built in 1993 versus your home built in 1787. The kitchen was large with off white cabinetry, granite counters, a center island breakfast bar, stainless steel appliances and was open to the informal dining area and the cathedral ceiling family room. The family room had a fireplace, skylights and french doors leading out to the backyard. A couple of the bathrooms weren't as updated as your home's bathrooms. It had an inlaw apartment and an attached 2 car garage. Competing offers pushed this home higher than its asking price.

Relevance: Relevant. Given the larger lot size, smaller living area, popular style, 1 less bathroom, attached garage, inferior condition of bathrooms I believe this home is relevant to your home.

Your details: Living area 4232 sq ft | 5 beds | 4.5 baths | Lot size 0.32 acres | Built 1787 | 2 car garage

This home is larger than your home at 4672 sq ft which includes the finished basement. Your home is 4232 sq ft which includes the finished basement and the teen suite above the garage.  It has the same number of bedrooms as your home and it has 4 bathrooms versus your 4.5 bathrooms, although your half bathroom is really a quarter bathroom :-).  It is on a similar size lot of 0.39 acres, yours is 0.32 acres but this one is on a busier street. The home has a 2 car attached garage whereas yours is a 2 car semi detached garage. The home had recently been completely renovated and had some lovely spaces inside with soaring ceilings, walls of windows, open plan living and a huge kitchen. The kitchen was open to an informal dining area which had a cathedral ceiling, skylights, french door out to the patio. The master bedroom was huge with a fireplace and seating area, huge modern bathroom. The forrmal dining room was huge at 24' * 17'. The family room was adjacent to the kitchen and the ceilings were 2 stories high. The bathrooms were modern and large. The backyard was flat and grassed. There were competing offers on the home and it sold for well over the asking price.

Relevance: Relevant, but higher. Given the busier road, but larger size, superior size of bathrooms and living areas, along with the flat backyard, attached garage and huge master suite I believe this home is relevant to yours but it will sell for more than yours will.

Your details: Living area 4232 sq ft | 5 beds | 4.5 baths | Lot size 0.32 acres | Built 1787 | 2 car garage

This home is smaller than your home at 3762 sq ft which includes the finished lower level. Your home is 4232 sq ft which includes the finished lower level and the teen suite above the garage. It is in a very desirable area steps to the high school and town center. It has the same number of bedrooms as your home, but has 3.5 baths versus your 4.5 baths. It is on a larger lot of 0.58 acres, with yours being 0.32 acres. It was built in 1961 but renovated totally for sale, and yours was built in 1787 and gradually renovated in the last few years. The kitchen was new and appealing, as is yours, with white cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, granite counters and is adjacent to the informal dining area which also has a french door leading out to the huge sunroom. There is a huge mudroom leading from the garage into the home. The home had an inlaw apartment also.

Relevance: Relevant, but higher. Given the superior location, larger lot, new renovations I believe this home is relevant to your home but it will sell for more.

Your details: Living area 4232 sq ft | 5 beds | 4.5 baths | Lot size 0.32 acres | Built 1787 | 2 car garage

This home is located in desirable Munroe Hill and is walking distance to the town center and is a similar size lot to your home. The home is larger than your home at 4560 sq ft which includes the finished walkout lower level, whereas yours at 4232 sq ft includes the finished basement and the teen suite above the garage. It was built in 1959 versus your home built in 1787. It has the same number of bedrooms as your home with 5, and has 3.5 bathrooms versus your 4.5 bathrooms. It has lovely curb appeal and is in a very desirable environment. The home has red birch hardwood floors, a huge newer cherry cabinet kitchen with SubZero, Wolf appliances, granite counters, a large breakfast bar center island and opens the informal dining area, and to the huge sunroom out the back which has walls of windows and skylights.  The master bedroom suite is enormous and is the entire third floor. Competing offers pushed this home higher than its asking price.

Relevance: Higher. Given the homes larger size, superior location, superior curb appeal I believe it will sell for more than your home.

Your details: Living area 4232 sq ft | 5 beds | 4.5 baths | Lot size 0.32 acres | Built 1787 | 2 car garage

This home is walking distance to the town center. It is a classic center entrance brick colonial which is very popular with buyers. It is larger than your home at 4525 sq ft which includes the finished lower level. Your home is 4232 sq ft which includes the lower level and the teen suite above the garage. It has the same number of bedrooms as your home with 5 bedrooms, and has the same number of bathrooms as yours at 4.5 bathrooms. It is on double the size lot as your home at 0.69 acres whereas yours is 0.32 acres. The kitchen in the home was huge, with cherry cabinets, high end stainless steel appliances, a breakfast bar island, granite counters with a huge informal dining area and french doors leading out to the deck. The living room has been beautifully done with transom windows on all, crown, and double sets of french doors leading out to the deck. The formal dining room is elegant with wainscoting and crown molding. The lower level has been finished to a very high level. Competing offers pushed this home higher than its asking price.

Relevance: Higher. Given the larger size of the home, superior location, larger lot size, traditional style which appeals to 80% of the buyers, 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 $1,370,000-$1,410,000.  

Given the current market dynamics in Lexington and the trepidation that most buyers will have in buying a home built in 1787, 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. You can see many examples above that came on the market for a lot less, and competition pushed them up to the price they sold for. The challenge in estimating a price for a home is ‘would this home have sold for this price if they had priced it higher?’ or was competition the driving factor that got to this price.  Experience tells me that competition is why they sold for what they did, so we have to be careful with pricing. A couple of good examples of competition pushing a price higher are at 2 Currier Court which came on the market for $1,495,000 and sold for $1,548,500, the listing at 171 Burlington St which came on the market for $1,299,000 and sold for $1,425,000 and the home at 9 Minola Rd which came on the market for $1,499,000 and sold for $1,540,000.  

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. Competition occurs with homes in your price range so the value of  pricing realistically is that sometimes competition will push the price  up over market value when buyers become emotional about 'have to have  this home'.

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.

Given the price point you are at your home would be categorized as a RE/MAX Collections home, which is the Luxury home brand for RE/MAX. For the first Open House we would organize to have a pianist come in to play, and food for Open House guests. We would market it as our Signature Open House. The aim is to have an ‘event’ of your Open House and get serious buyers seeing the home with as many people as we can to stimulate activity and excitement for the home. In addition to this we do additional marketing for our Collections listings and can be reviewed below.

 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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So, what is our Marketing Plan? 

Read More to find out all about the standard marketing we offer, at no additional charge to the standard fee.

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 Because your home is a Luxury home, we offer additional marketing on top of the standard marketing seen above.

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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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