I know this question sounds rhetorical, but hear me out.
I had recently had a listing open. The home was well received, several agents brought their clients, as this was the first chance to show, and all were impressed by the main point or the main value. This home is clean. Really, really clean.
What does “clean” mean?
When an agent says a home is “clean”, they mean it is ready to move in. When I say clean, I mean that the kitchen and bathrooms are remodeled or, at least, updated, the paint on the walls is fresh and the floors are in great shape. I usually mean that there is central AC, the pipes are copper and the roof is in good shape. The home smells good, looks good and is uncluttered. Your average Joe or Josette should feel like they can just move right in, that moment.
And your point?
I’m getting there! Amongst the lookers there is always someone who whips out a calculator and figures the price per square foot. And, unless I am a major fixer or a large house, I get the down the nose comment- “this is a very high price per square foot.”
I admit- this comment drives me insane, but it is a valid point of view. It’s just not valid for every house or every buyer.
Price per square foot ($/sqft) works as a measuring stick of the trends in an area, and it works for investors who are solely focused on bang for buck.
However, most people value aspects that $/sqft can not evaluate. The tear down vs. completely remodeled, the faceless stucco box on a busy street vs. the Craftsman on a tree lined avenue, a house near an apartment vs a home with a city view- these are extreme examples where $/sqft would not work as an evaluator.
Take it from professional residential home appraisers. They compare use factors like room count, bath count, effective age, view and location. They do NOT use $/sqft. If they don’t, why would you?
Is it Quality or Quantity?
Most buyers will make a choice, granted that both are important. Which one is most important for you?