How far back are appraisers currently going for comps?

Asked by C5000l, 92124 Mon May 10, 2010

We worked very hard to get our house ready for sale. A same-model house down the street has been on the market for over 6 months. It was a real fixer, not one dime spent on it in 25 yrs. Our home is completely upgraded, beautiful landscaping and move-in ready. Days before we were ready to list, the neighbors lowered their price $75,000 and of course, it sold. We listed a week ago and haven't had a single showing on our home. Is it because of this "comp?" Our realtor tells us we are priced right. We are considering de-listing and waiting until this so-called "comp" falls off the appraiser radar. We are not in a distress sale situation and don't want to give our house away simply because the neighbors never fixed up their house.

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Patrick Hale, , San Diego, CA
Thu Aug 12, 2010
Typically you want to go back 3 months max, however, it all depends on the property and similar sales comps. When doing an appraisal or estimate of value, the appraiser is going to look at what has been selling in the general area and make considerations based on the similarities. If there is a home that is exactly similar to the subject that sold 4 months ago, it may be used if there is not enough data that is current.

For properties that are in rural areas, it is not uncommon to even go back a few years in order to get the right comps. The appraiser just adjust the value as it relates to the current decline or increase in the market.

Patrick A. Hale, CDPE, RSD
Real Estate Broker & Investor

"Help Over 360 Distressed Home Owners Avoid Foreclosure"
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1 vote
Derek Rotzin…, , San Diego, CA
Tue Oct 4, 2011
I think it has to do with available comps and what the market is doing. Obviously 3 months would be most accurate but if it's for a unit in a building that has only had one other sale in the last year with no other similar building near by, parameters may have to change in order to come up with that appraisal. It's all relative.
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Matt Mcduffee, , Oceanside, CA
Tue May 11, 2010
This is a frustration of many that have kept up their house and now want to sell.
The fact of the matter is your competing with distressed sales. Not only in your immediate neighborhood but through out your lager community in the city, county and state. I would not worry about one bad comp. in your area. I would be more concerned if this is the right time to sell at all. Also ' for any one else who is considering working really hard to fix up their house to sell. What you do will probably not pay for itself in terms of value at the sale. However, it may bring in a buyer quicker. So, sweep the driveway and plant some flowers. Do not repave the drive way and re-landscape.
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Scott Schroe…, , Escondido, CA
Tue May 11, 2010
That will vary a bit from lender to lender, and remember that the bank is sending out their own appraiser at this point. Your realtor or mortgage broker will have no control over who does the appraisal.

If there are a lot of comparables, they will only go a few months, and a few blocks in radius. If the comparable pool is smaller, they may have to go further back and search a wider area. Most appraisers in my experience will opt for a wider radius and keep the comparables as current as possible.

Lenders do take into consideration the condition of the property and whether a low ball sale in the community was a "distressed" sale. If you want/need to get the house sold, I would not recommend taking it off of the market until the low comp"falls off the appraiser radar." You don't know whether there will be or how many other distressed properties hitting the market in the next weeks and months. If you need to sell, get it sold and don't try to time it to local comparables.
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Jayne Ewing , Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue May 11, 2010
My experience shows that with this current market, appraisers are generally looking at the last 60 to 90 days only, if available comps. Comps older than 90 days may not reflect the true value of what is selling NOW.
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Chad Basinger, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon May 10, 2010
In general, the appraiser should be using comps with transactions dated within the past 3 months. While the recent sale, given it's location, will be included in the comps, the appraiser should clearly be making adjustments for the different features and condition of each home. It is hard to know exactly why you aren't getting any showings without knowing what is being done to market the property. I'd make sure your REALTOR® outlines what they are doing to get your home sold and gives you timely feedback. Best of luck!

Chad Basinger, REALTOR® , CPA, CFP®
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Jill Wheeler, Agent, Del Mar, CA
Mon May 10, 2010
Comps in Tierrasanta as well as all of San Diego will take into account things such as upgrades and turn key amenities that you mentioned. Hold you ground and also know that depending on what your asking price is, the average days a home is on the market isn't what it used to be. Your home will not be held up to a distressed sale (bank owned or short) in a comparison approach, as yours is a regular sale.
Yes price reductions can certainly increase activity, but if your home is in the condition you say it is and your Realtor believes it is fairly priced, then trust in the process as one week is not a lot of time to gauge interest. If a month goes by without any showings, then you will want to regroup and strategize with your agent. Ensure that you have very high quality photos available for folks to view online, a virtual tour is always helpful, put it on your local broker caravan and other marketing avenues that your Realtor is likely pursuing to ensure you get the best coverage possible.
Rely on guidance from your agent and best of luck in your sale.

Jill Wheeler
Willis Allen Real Estate
Del Mar, CA 92014
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Nick Ruiz, , San Diego, CA
Mon May 10, 2010
Can you send me the addy of the home that sold?

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Jason Stevens, , Englewood, FL
Mon May 10, 2010
Don't worry about the recent comp. You have no control over it. Any appraisers will use at least 5-6 comps in the area to determine a value on your house. Just make sure you are not overpriced for the market. Before you listed with your agent I assumed they showed your some comparables to help you determine your asking price. In general an appraiser would like to use comps that are no more than 6 months old. 90 days or less is more desirable for them however. Good luck with the sale of your home.

Jason Stevens, GRI,ABR
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