When a seller begins to consider the process of selling a condo in San Diego, an estimate of value is always one of starting points. When the right characteristics are taken into account, it is possible to become very specific with a condo evaluation. However, the unique characteristics of typical San Diego Condos are many: what type of construction, what floor level, what is the square footage, what is the physical orientation of the condo, etc? There are generally two ways to approach a value estimate of a San Diego Condo: Physical Inspection from a licensed professional or online from a website valuation estimate.
The more official path a seller may take is to approach a local real estate agent or appraiser for a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). I say this is an official approach because it involves a licensed professional who can visit the condo personally and make an estimate of value based on other sales “of like kind” that have sold in the area. The physical inspection takes special features, location, and relevant market conditions into account. The only downside to this method is that you have to contact a local agent to provide this information. If you have worked with someone in the past or have a relationship with a local specialist, this is not a problem; if you don’t have a relationship with anyone yet, it may not be appropriate should you just be looking for a rough estimate.
With the rise of national real estate websites such as Zillow, Trulia, and Redfin, it is now possible for a seller of a San Diego condo to generate a rough estimate of value on the internet without the opinion of a licensed professional. These larger websites that offer estimates apply algorithms to analyse real estate data in order to identify relationships between specific home or condo-related characteristics and actual sales prices. In relation to San Diego condos, characteristics such as square footage, number of bathrooms, number of parking spaces, Tax assessments, neighborhood location, and prior and current transactions are all taken into account.
I am approached by sellers of San Diego condos all the time asking me which method is more accurate. I think that in any case where a physical inspection of the condo is possible will always be the most accurate approach; anytime there is an estimate without inspection, iit will always just be a good neutral or objective guess at value. Typically, San Diego condos are usually so unique in many ways; for this reason, their value estimates when using an algorithm may be less accurate. In this case, estimates from websites become starting points for conversation about the real value of a San Diego Condo. As an example of this, consider Downtown San Diego specifically. One of the major issues in using an algorithm type method to try and determine value of condos in Downtown San Diego is that within a specific geographic area there are many types of property that get bunched together. In a 2 or 3 block radius within the East Village for example you can have a loft building next to a luxury condo; you have cement high rises next to wood constructed midrises; and finally, you may have a low amenity building with lower monthly HOAs directly next to a luxury amenity complex with higher monthly HOAs.
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