Why Comps Matter When Buying or Selling in the Breckenridge-Frisco Area

Why Comps Matter When Buying or Selling in the Breckenridge-Frisco Area

Comparables, also known as comps, can be very important when it comes to buying or selling your home in the Breckenridge-Frisco area. But what are comps exactly? Comps are homes near a specific home that are similar and have sold in the last few months or are currently for sale. Sometimes comps are homes that have sold in the last year if there are few transactions in that area.

So why do comps matter when buying or selling in the Breckenridge-Frisco area? Comps are used to figure out the value of a home by comparing it to other similar homes around it. This is done by both appraisers and real estate agents and helps determine the estimated value of a home. In theory this idea is quite simple, but no two homes are exactly alike. Comparing homes in the Breckenridge-Frisco area can sometimes be complicated. This is why it helps to have a knowledgeable real estate agent to help you through the process and find out why a home may be priced above or below other comparable homes. 

Homes in the Mountains are Different

In truth, every home is unique and different, but this is even more so in the mountain towns in Summit County. In other places the homes you find in the suburbs and subdivisions are generally quite similar in age, size, finishes, quality and thus, price point. But in the Breckenridge-Frisco area this doesn’t really apply. There are renovated cabins that were originally built in the 1800s but have been extensively remodeled next to homes built in the 80s that haven’t been updated. And maybe the lot next to that just sold in 2020 and the owner is building something brand-new. Even though they may all be three bedroom homes, they aren’t necessarily comps for each. A good real estate agent who is familiar with the Breckenridge-Frisco area will know this and can help you estimate an accurate price.

When looking for comps, the goal is to find the closest match possible to the particular home. This means looking at similar locations, size, age, and quality and then seeing when a home was sold. It’s not accurate to use a home that sold years ago because the market changes so much during that time. If you are ever curious how the real estate market is doing right now, take a look at my monthly market report for regular updates. 

Comparing Condos and Townhomes

The Breckenridge-Frisco area has several ski areas which feature many condo and townhome developments. There are some beautiful new base area condo developments. Many of these condos were built during the boom time of ski area development in the mid 1980s. Many of the condos’ interiors have had minor updates done to the kitchen and bathroom. It is hard to raise ceiling heights, and it is impossible to make a three-bedroom 1,200 square foot condo into a four-bedroom 2,000 square foot condo. Usually these condo projects had two, three and four bedroom options, and each floor plan was identical in layout, quality, and finish-out. It is easier to identify comps for these properties. The differences will be location, access to ski runs, views, furniture, and whether the individual unit has had remodels and updates.

Appraisers and Real Estate Agents Using Comps

Comps are obviously valuable to you as a buyer or seller. As a buyer you can see if the value of a home is reasonable given the comps and market, and as a seller you can estimate how much your home will sell for. I use comps when I prepare a Home Estimate or Comparative Market  Analysis for sellers. A good real estate agent will be familiar with the market and the similar homes that are currently for sale or have recently sold in the area. Looking at comps can also be a great way to see the difference between asking and selling price for similar homes. This is helpful in determining an accurate value for your Breckenridge-Frisco home. 

Appraisals are usually done for the buyer, although I often recommend it for sellers as well, and appraisers also use the comps. In this case the comps are very important because the appraisers provide market value information to lenders. At the end of an appraisal you receive a valuation report which will contain the comps, supporting documentation, pictures and a narrative summary. Appraisers mainly use comps for the lender’s benefit while real estate agents use them as a buying or selling tool. But in either case they are very useful in pricing a home accurately. But it is important to know that real estate comps are an estimate, not a true appraisal. 

How Can I Help?

Hopefully this has explained exactly what comparables, or comps, are and why they matter when buying or selling in the Breckenridge-Frisco area. Please feel free to reach out to me with any further questions! I want my clients to know I am here for them. I strive to provide my clients with relevant and up-to-date information. If you would like to know more about how I can help you with your real estate needs please reach out!  

If you would like more information on how the Breckenridge Frisco Area Real Estate Market is doing, you can also sign up for my detailed monthly market report here

Scott Lerner
Managing Broker
Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties