Elements of Comparison

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An Element of Comparison is a categorization of property characteristics that causes real estate prices to vary.  Some elements of comparison are:

 

Property rights
Financing terms
Conditions of sale
Date of sale (or market conditions),
Location
Physical characteristics

 

The most common unit of comparison for a single-family residence is square feet.  There are, however, many units of comparison depending on the property being appraised.  Here are some examples.

 

Front foot for commercial property
Acres for land
Square feet for land
Lake front for lake properties
Rooms for hotels
Units for apartments
Seats for theaters and churches
Cells for jails
Cubic feet for warehouses
Income for businesses

 

An appraiser may use one or multiple units of comparison to assist in evaluating a property.

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