Selecting Comparable Appraisal Sales in San Diego Real Estate

How Does a San Diego Appraiser Select Comparable Sales for an Appraisal?

A common question appraisers are asked is how they select comparable sales for an appraisal. Comparables are properties used in the appraisal to compare to the subject and help determine the appraised value. Homeowners and realtors can often be confused as to how the appraiser selects these properties and why some properties are not selected to use in the appraisal. There are three major factors that help determine which comparables the appraiser selects, these factors are how current the sale or listing are, the distance from the subject, and the similarities in amenities.

Factors for Comparables

Due to the ever changing market, it is important to choose current comparables. Most lenders require at least 2 sales to be within 90 days and the others to be no more than 6 months. There are many factors such as social and economic climate, interest rates, and seasons that can affect the market regularly, which is why it is important to select current comparables.

The distance between the subject and the comparable is another factor that determines which comparables are used. Comparables within the same community or neighborhood are almost always selected. In the instances where there are few or no comparables in the neighborhood the appraiser will search for comparables further away, however appraisers try to stay within in a 1 mile radius. In some cases there are no comparables available within the desired 1 mile due to factors such as a rural neighborhood, site size, lack of sales, and other property amenities. In these instances the appraiser must select comparables outside of the 1 mile radius in similar neighborhoods.

The similarity between the subject and the comparables is important when choosing comparables. These may include amenities such as bedroom count, bathroom count, gross living area, lot size, pools, views, condition, etc. If the subject is a 1 bedroom and all of the sales in the neighborhood are 2 bedrooms, the appraiser will go outside of the neighborhood to select comparables with similar bedroom count. Having said this, it can also be helpful to provide a comparable that is superior or inferior in similarities to show how those differences are affecting the subject’s appraised value.

Bottom Line

When choosing comparables in San Diego county  the appraiser selects properties that are the most similar in every way to the subject which means amenities, proximity to the subject and how recently the property was sold or listed.

Brandlin Appraisals Inc. specialize in helping people who need appraisals for estate purposes, divorce, date of death, bankruptcy, FSBO’s and more throughout San Diego county. For more information please contact us at (760)741-7699, or visit our website at, or email us at

Mike Brandlin
San Diego, CA // Real Estate Appraiser
(760) 741-7699

San Diego Real Estate Appraisal Services For:
Divorce Appraisals / Marriage Dissolution
Bankruptcy Appraisals
Bail Bonds Appraisals
Estate / Date of Death / Retrospective Appraisals
Financial Planning & Trusts
PMI Removal Appraisals
Pre-Foreclosure & Short Sales
Tax Assessment Appeals
Pre-Listing, Pre-Purchase, FSBO’s
Probate Appraisals

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