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All About Comps

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    At some point during a home buying or selling experience, you will come face-to-face with comps.

    Comps, or comparables, are regarded as the single-best tool in determining a home's value. They contrast criteria from recently-sold properties in a neighborhood, such as sale price, age of house, size, and square footage. Real estate agents use comps to prepare a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for their clients. Zillow also identifies nearby similar sales of homes and uses that information to help calculate the Zestimate for homes.

    Similar recently-sold homes on Zillow

    Every address has a set of nearby recently-sold homes. Since these homes might not exactly match yours, we make adjustments for any differences when we calculate the Zestimate. For example, there might be a recently-sold home nearby just like yours, but it has one more bedroom. Therefore, that house would probably be valued higher; we adjust for this in computing your home's Zestimate. Ditto for the square footage, etc.

    How a home stacks up

    Cost per square foot is an important measure in determining a home's value relative to a set of comparable homes. For example, if your home's value per square foot is $216 and the average per square foot of nearby similar recently sold homes is $291, this will indicate your home is valued less per square foot than nearby similar homes.

    And, if you go by real estate conventional wisdom, the mantra has been: Buy the least expensive home in the best neighborhood because the opportunity for appreciation is much greater.

    View nearby similar sales:

    1.Go to your home details page and click on "Similar Homes for Sale." This page will map and list homes that recently sold near yours that we think are similar. You can click on each of the homes to get a closer look.

    2. From your home details page, click "Edit" to update your home facts and if the changes are big enough, a different set of similar homes for sale could be shown.

    For more information about comps, read Picking the Best Comps.

    By Diane Tuman
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    • Last edited January 09

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