The market is heating up and there are homes listed at market value, listed over market, priced below market value to encourage competition and multiple offers. A look at the overall listings these days may leave you scratching your head at reviewing home value.

At the end of the day, market value is what someone is willing to pay for a home. In that end, current active listings really don’t give you a real view of pricing. Sold information does.

Looking at sold information recently with clients, we got into an interesting conversation about why some very similar homes often sell for a difference of $10,000 or even $20,000 when there isn’t any material difference. They are built to similar standards with similar finishes, styling, lot size, location and even color and decoration style.

It is only on touring these homes that you begin to understand. Some homes are loved and some are not.

Some homes have been cared for over the years, with fresh paint on the trim, recaulked windows, the roof checked and repaired, downspouts intact, and landscaping and plants carefully selected. The carpets are cleaned, there are no scratches on the floors or counters. Any minor needed repair was made and someone took care to install the new crown molding perfectly so. There are no loose cubboard hinges and the door hardware and home fixtures all match.

On the other side, the alternate house next door was lived in hard. It may have a granite counter, but there was no special attention to regular furnace maintenance, the weeds have taken over a little bit, the carpet is a bit more worn, the doors have odd little knicks and bumps, the walls and floors scratched. It doesn’t smell as nice as the first house.

The pictures don’t show it but a walkthrough does. Some people are willing to pay more for the house that was loved because it is a home and they want it to be their home.

Special homes pass from dedicated homeowner to dedicated homeowner. There are often thank you cards, keys laid out and labelled, a map to the mailbox, and warm wishes. Pride of ownership has value to those with pride of ownership.

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