Markets can change by the year or by the season. Many homeowners, whether they are
interested in selling or not, are often curious how the market has affected the value of their
home. Finding a comparable comp to your home is very much a numbers game. There is not
much guessing involved. If you know the right properties and the right timelines, creating your
own comps can help you find some reassurance or build up your confidence in the market. As
long as it is done correctly.

Real Estate agents have access to special tools such as the MLS or Infosparks to help them
create the most accurate comparable for a home, but tools such as zillow.com can help any
homeowner get an overall idea of how their home is doing in the market. A homeowner looking
to find comps nearby should be looking both within their neighborhood or building, and within a
mile radius of their home. Depending on your location of course, 1 mile in a busy city is different
than 1 mile in the suburbs or even a rural area. Often times, when doing a search in the city, a
quarter to half a mile radius is sufficient. The goal is to get about 3-4 properties that look a lot
like yours which have recently sold and are currently on the market within your building /
neighborhood and within your search range.

Comparables are homes of similar size, condition, age, and style that recently sold or are
currently on the market in a certain neighborhood. Comparables are often used by home
appraisers to determine the fair market value of a home during an appraisal. An appraisal is
always asked for by the lender before any purchase to validate the loan amount awarded to the
purchaser. Often times, sellers do not like to go into a deal blindly, they like to know ahead of
time what the value of their home is worth. Many times, you will see online ads asking if you are
curious what your home is worth. Often times, these are local real estate agents looking to help
potential or curious sellers.
The reason you look nearby is be

cause location is a key factor in price. In a busy city, one
block can be different than the next, and comparables would be inaccurate if you chose to
include areas that are not within the same make or neighborhood as you. You must know the
area and calculate the uniqueness of the property. Sellers are emotionally attached to their
homes, so usually a second opinion from a third party is ideal. As mentioned a little bit prior,
uniqueness of a property can make finding 3-4 comparables more difficult. For example, are
you living in a modernized city but your home is a remodel of a historic pre-war building? Those
are gems, and often times an agent is a key player to help you put an accurate price point on
your home. Both uniqueness, market value, and demand go into the pricing of a home to get it
sold at its best price.

Don’t overanalyze the comps. It can be comforting to know an overall idea of how your home
stands within a changing market, but putting your trust in a good local real estate agent will keep
you from agonizing over the petty details of each comparable home. A local real estate agent is
probably already familiar with some of the recent sales, and can share why one comp is better
than another. For example, you may not know one home is next to a fire station or a parking lot,
which can affect a homes value. Do use your research to help you get an overall idea, so when
you are looking to sell, you can contribute to the conversation with your agent, in an enlightened
and educational way.