Real Estate Appraisals Austin logo
Speak With an Appraiser

How Do Appraisers Pick Comparables?

how-appraiser-pick-compsIf you are out there in a free market to purchase or sell your house, you will likely hear the term “comps” or comparables used more than once. Comparables are usually a topic of great debate between real estate agents, appraisers, loan underwriters, buyers, and sellers throughout the buying and selling process.

So… What Are Comps Exactly?

In order to know or at least evaluate the price of a property, Austin real estate appraisers compare and evaluate recent sales and listings from within the market. This isn’t limited to residential appraisers either; commercial real estate appraisals utilize comps as part of the process in determining value as well. However, this process is still a fuzzy one and can be highly debatable. What requirements make a sale worth considering as comparable? How large should the considered market area be? How far back in time can you go to find a sale? Do active or pending listings count as comps? All good questions, all with varying answers depending on the situation.

How Do Appraisers Select Comps?

One of the first aspects to consider is market area, or, the relative proximity of sale to the Subject property. Normally you would want a comparable property that is no further than half a mile from the subject property. However, this kind of standard can be rigid and lead to skewed data when dealing with larger neighborhoods, rural properties or unique properties. For example, a house could have sold right down the road from you but if it was built on a lot with a far superior view, such as a hillside panoramic, it could be less desirable as a comp. Likewise, adverse conditions such as busy freeways could make a comp less desirable – these would be used only in an absolute worst case scenario because their difference are extremely difficult to place a value on. How much more is someone willing to pay for a view? How much less for a busy road nearby? Hard to extrapolate.

The next filtering parameter that should be considered is the age of sale. A house that has been sold recently is a better representation of current market conditions that a sale that transpired 6+ months back.  The best comps are usually 1-90 days old; however, if the market is really slow then you might not have the luxury of choosing a recently purchased home. This is common during late Fall and throughout Winter.

The next major filter will be the actual features of the properties themselves. Features such as, but not limited to, style, livable area square footage, zoning, lot size, etc. Ideally we are looking for comparables that are as identical to your Subject property as possible. If you have a condo two-one condo then your best comps are other two-one condos in the same complex.

The Sale Comparison Grid

The Sale Comparison Grid

How Do Appraisers Use Comparable Sales?

The Sales Comparison Approach is perhaps the most common approach utilized by appraisers. After identifying a set of comps, they then line them up and compare them with each other. They make adjustments along the grid based on the similarity in size, area, sale date, proximity and all other factors. After carefully analyzing these factors, they then make adjustments to the sales price of each comp to arrive at an “adjusted value”. These values are weighted and the most comparable properties, with the least required adjustments are favored as indicators of true value.

Fast & Accurate Real Estate Appraisals

Request an Appointment for Appraisal Service Now!

Austin neighborhoods we appraise

We provide real estate appraisals and related services to the following cities, towns and communities across the Austin metro area. We cover a large portion of Central Texas - if you don't see your area below, please call to confirm with one of our friendly staff.

head-sep

Anderson Mill | Bee Cave | Briafclif | Brushy Creek | Buda | Cedar Park | Creedmoor | Del Valle | Elgin | Georgetown | Hays | Hutto | Jollyville |
Jonestown | Kyle | Lago Vista | Lakeway | Leander | Manor | Mustang Ridge | Pflugerville | Point Venture | Rollingwood | Round Rock |
San Leanna | Shady Hollow | Sunset Valley | Webberville | Wells Branch | West Lake Hills

what customers like you say about our
Austin Property appraisal services

We stand behind our work and our customers have nothing but great things to say. Here are a few examples:

head-sep
Real Estate Appraisals Austin
4.8
Based on 45 reviews
Ed came out on short notice to measure a new home I was in the process of purchasing. He was professional and honest in his work. I found him online and it was not through my lender. I wanted an independent appraiser since the lender was connected to my builder. Definitely will use him again if I ever needed to. I was a first time home buyer and he was fair to me and helpful. Thank Ed!
Jennifer Nguyen
Jennifer Nguyen
The realtor that came out was very professional and thorough. I would recommend this service.
Nancy Crow
Nancy Crow
This company is contracted to my mortgage company for market appraisals to remove PMI. They contacted me right away and had the whole thing turned around in less than a week. Appreciate the speed and the quality of the service and would definitely recommend.
Jeanna Kozak
Jeanna Kozak
I was able to schedule an appraisal just two days after contacting the company. Likely this was a fluke, but it worked well for me! Our appraiser was a bit late, but that was the fault of the previous appointment. Once he arrived, he listened to everything we pointed out. Our appraisal was fair for our neighborhood we thought and the report arrived about 8 days after the appointment. We are happy and will recommend Real Estate Appraisals Austin to any others we know.
Leah L
Leah L
We used Real Estate Appraisals Austin and found them to be very professional, accommodating and efficient. Their work product was thorough and very well presented. We would definitely recommend them and would use them again.
Calvin Porter
Calvin Porter
I recently had a rental appraisal of my property. The appraiser showed up on time and did a thorough analysis. The report took a week, but it was very thorough. I am very happy with the appraiser and the report.
Karthik Manamcheri
Karthik Manamcheri
We recently used Real Estate Appraisals Austin to appraise a property we have owned over 15 years and have had multiple offers to sell. Michelle was very helpful and professional in coordinating with our property manager. She responds very quickly to calls or emails. Edward did a thorough appraisal and took the time to call and discuss details. I definitely would recommend this company to anyone considering an appraisal in Austin. The price was very reasonable, I felt, for the value we received.
Lorrie Coles
Lorrie Coles