Choosing Just-The-Right Real Estate Comps

Comps are used across the nation to help determine what a property is worth. There’s a knack to finding good ones in NYC. Let’s break down what a comp is and how to compare ‘em!

Tell me More about this 'comp.'

‘Comp’ is short for comparable. Everyone talks comps—buyers, sellers, brokers. A comp is a point of reference and comparison—it is ideally very like the home being sold aka the subject property—and comparing it to the home being sold helps to understand that home’s value. A comp is a property that has recently been sold, it is not still listed.

Comps are useful for many reasons.

  • Technically, appraisers use comps to evaluate and confirm the value of a given property.There is so much more to property value than a tax assessment. We’ll get more into that in a bit.
  • Brokers are so interested in comps because they inform how to best set bothsale pricesand bid prices.They can change on a dime and a really good broker is going to eat, sleep, and breath this industry knowledge.
  • Comps will also help you secure financing. Lenders want to know that they’re lending smartly—they will want to see good comps to prove this.
  • Having killer comps is also just good research for your home-buying journey. Comps set your expectation regarding price. They prove what people are paying for very similar properties—in the same area, same type of building, similar layout & square footage, with similar interior finishes, monthly taxes and fees . With good comps in your back pocket, you will recognize good deals and bad, and can make more informed decisions.

So comps are awesome—but what makes a really good one? Onward!

Comps are used across the nation to help determine what a property is worth. There’s a knack to finding good ones in NYC. 

Let’s break down what a comp is and how to compare ‘em!

Points of Comparison – Cast the widest net and go smaller from there.

Final Thoughts:  

There are a lot of elements to consider when finding good comps. And—your broker and the appraiser can use completely different comps! Your broker may use some to help set prices and the appraiser may use totally different comps to calculate valuation for financing.

If you’re selling: good comps help smooth the way for buyers to secure financing and seal the deal.

If you’re buying: good comps help you get that financing and let you know that you’re paying the going rate.

The market is constantly changing and property values keep inching upward. Don’t worry about finding the doppelgänger of your dream home, but about finding other properties that are headed the same way as the subject property i.e. being treated similarly moving forward.