How To Price Rural Property For Sale In Northern California

How To Price Rural Property For Sale In Northern California

Ever wonder how to price rural property for sale in northern California when there are no comparable sales? This is not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure. First, there are so many factors, one being construction type, like a log home. If you’re lucky enough to find another log home, that is a start; however, it won’t be the same size or may not have your desired 360-degree wrap-around porch. Again, it is a start. But the acreage — is it usable? Is it functional for raising animals or vineyards? So many variables.

If you are looking for comps in a rural area, so often you may need to expand, to go out into other ZIP codes. Sometimes, moving to even neighboring (sister) ZIP codes until you get a flavor for pricing. Look at all of the closed sales and ask yourself, what are they averaging? Then, find one property to hang your hat on as the best comp, similar for size, acreage, year built, quality of construction and finishes. Then start to adjust amenities from there on with other potential comparable sales.

Pricing custom rural property is a tremendous job, a tedious body of work. What is interesting is you can easily take money from unsuspecting victims. Appraisers that set values for lenders are often not even from the same area. Some have little to no experience with rural, yet they set the value for what a property is worth? How to price rural property for sale in northern California? There is not a simple answer. It is a process, and when you do the work, there is a confidence that arises as the numbers do not lie. If you are not sure, keep working. Call agents on other properties find out how much action they have had.

A Realtor, though not a licensed appraiser, can prepare a market analysis that will undoubtedly give a healthy price range. The bottom line, put in the time to analyze everything you can get your hands on. Also, look at vacant land values as this gives you a look at the land acquisition cost. A shop and outbuilding are not worth what you paid to construct them. A garage value in an appraisal is about $20,000, but try to build a high-quality solid garage with a 50-year roof to match a custom home for $20,000? Much like a $50,000 swimming pool, approx worth in an appraisal, $15,000.

Fantastic mountain views are subjective as you would need to find similar properties without views and then compare against property with views to figure out the actual difference in property values with a view. If you have sold hundreds and hundreds of homes, and you understand the math of an appraisal, you can come close in a very complicated property market analysis. Am I saying it is easy, no way? This is definitely where an experienced Realtor pays off for you.

Further, the market tells you so much. If you are getting hundreds of online views of your video and photos and no one is coming to see it, chances are you may be priced high. Here is the beautiful thing, if you price a bit low, sometimes it creates a bidding war, and a property sells for more than list price. We once had a buyer come up over $500,000 due to a bidding war on a rural farm in Elk Grove. Does experience count? I think it does what do you think? 

I recently had an appraisal done on a property in Elk Grove as the seller would not listen to me and thought I had undervalued her home. The appraiser came in $30,000 under my market analysis. I sold it for $30,000 over that appraiser’s value. The second bank appraiser used my comparables and came in at the list price; the seller was ecstatic. This happens more than you think.

Like any job involving collaboration among professionals, there are some fabulous appraisers with whom I consult, and the difference is they put in the time and utilize their tremendous experience. We can always learn more about establishing list price values. To this day I keep copies of appraisals; they are a fabulous tool. Does experience count? I think it does. Call Weintraub and Wallace with RE/MAX Gold to obtain a free market analysis on your property. We can be reached at 916-233-6759.

— JaCi Wallace

JaCi Wallace
Weintraub & Wallace

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