When Looking At Comparables, Make Sure You Are Comparing Apples to Apples

Compare Apples to Apples

Compare Apples to Apples Not Apples to Oranges

I received a list of comparables from an agent that was making an offer on one of my commercial listings. The comps resulted in a significantly lower price than what the sellers were looking for and my knowledge of the market told me something was wrong with his research. I went through the table he had prepared and compared his square footage to the square footage in the tax rolls and realized that the program that he was using did not always have the same square footage as that in the tax rolls. Since the discrepancy between the square footage of the subject property between one program and the tax rolls was almost 12,000 square feet, I recalculated the average price per square foot, which he was using to come up with his price, based on the tax rolls. The average was $30 per square foot higher than the one he had used, which resulted in a $400,000 difference in price in the sellers favor.

Now the tax rolls don’t always have the correct square footage, but if square footage is being used to arrive at a price, make sure all of the square footages come from the same source. If he had used his original average price per square foot but multiplied it by the subject property’s square footage from the program that had the higher square footage, the price difference would have been $700,000 in the seller’s favor. That is why it is important to compare apples to apples.

About The Author

Jennifer Wollmann


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