Real estate prices are strong, but there are still ways to find value if you know what you’re looking for.

While some Park City real estate buyers are looking for shiny new construction in the most desirable areas, many buyers still appreciate a good value when they see one. 

But in an up real estate market, is there such a thing as a good value?

Park City Realtor Kristen Barber, the principal broker at Stein Eriksen Realty Group, said you just have to know what to look for. Here are four ways to find value — even in a hot market. 


1. Keep a close eye on the entire market

If you have a really good eye on the overall market, it becomes easier to understand where market value exists, Barber said. 

“That can be as detailed as understanding the micro-market of a specific subdivision where you want to buy,” she said. “As long as you have a good understanding of values, you’ll know a good value when you see it.”

In a subdivision where the age of the homes might be the same, things like view lines, upgraded systems and finishes can add value. 


2. Accurately weigh the costs of upgrades

When comparing properties that have updated finishes versus fixer-uppers, Barber said it’s essential to know the inventory and also be in touch with local vendors who can provide current renovation costs per square foot. 

If you’re buying a property as an investment, you should also consider how long it will be out of the rental pool during a renovation.

“Something might be below median price in a neighborhood and seem like a good value, but if you don’t know what it costs to put a new furnace in, a new roof, to reconfigure, put in a new kitchen, etc. — those things can vary in cost greatly — regionally and over time,” Barber said. “It’s a matter of knowing all the ingredients of what’s going to affect your bottom line.”


3. Look at comparable homes in different neighborhoods

Barber spends a lot of time educating clients about market conditions. Even if they’re not targeting a particular area or neighborhood, she’ll sit down with them to help them understand what types of products are selling for in all areas. 

“Here’s what new product is selling for in Canyons versus new product at Deer Valley,” Barber said. “There can be pretty dramatic differences in new v. old, on the slopes or off. Sometimes clients will change their minds about where they want to buy because of this.”


4. Use a savvy, experienced Realtor with local market knowledge

Realtors are like detectives who try to figure out exactly what their buyers want. Is the buyer willing to do the work on an older house? Do they want new construction? Is it more important to have a large, fenced-in yard or a newer product with a smaller yard?

These are just some of the questions she asks her clients in order to gain some insight into what they really want. 

Barber said it goes back to knowing the local market inside and out. 

“You want to give them the best options,” she said of her clients. “When you’re out there showing them properties, you have to know what the alternatives are and where the other homes are that have these features that are really important to them. That’s where really good Realtors excel — it’s like matchmaking.”


Buying or selling real estate in Park City?

Kristen Barber, principal broker at Stein Eriksen Realty Group, is passionate about real estate in Park City. To learn more or to view current listings, contact us today.