When you decide to put your Manhattan apartment on the market, it may be confusing trying to determine what the listing price should be. Home prices have fluctuated so much over the past few years due to the housing market crisis that it can be difficult to know just what your home is worth today.
The best way to determine how to price your Manhattan home for the market is to look at comps. Comps, or comparables, are generally thought of as the best tool for determining your home’s value. Comps look at criteria from other properties in your area that have recently sold, such as the sale price, the age of the apartment, the size and the overall square footage.
Start Your Comps Search
A great place to begin your search for comps is the internet. There is a wealth of information online about real estate that is public knowledge. You can search closing prices, a building’s sales history, and read forums about housing prices in your area. Here’s a look at some great online resources for finding comps to help price your Manhattan apartment.
- Streeteasy – Streeteasy is a website that allows you to search properties by neighborhood, zip code, address, building, street, or even commute time. While access to the site is free, you will have to pay a small fee of $10 per month to access more detailed information, such as sales prices.
- ACRIS – Acris allows you to search by deeds, mortgages, and liens, among other information. While the site contains a lot of useful information and official documents, it can be tough to navigate. You’ll need to know a property’s borough/block/lot in order to access specific information.
- PropertyShark – This website allows you to get basic information for free upon sign-up. However, if you want to get comp information you will need to pay for their monthly access which runs about $65 per month.
- New York Times – The New York Times allows users to search properties by address, borough, neighborhood, or date range. It is a great place to start for a basic search.
- Trulia and Zillow – These well-known websites will show you properties that are currently on the market in your area. While this information can be quite helpful, it doesn’t always deliver when looking specifically for comps.
How to Use Comps
To determine the value of your apartment, find homes that are similar in size, condition and location that have recently been sold in your area. Take a look at three similar properties that have sold within the last six months, and compensate for the differences . For example, if one of the comps has 100 square feet less than your apartment, find out the cost per square foot in your neighborhood and add that to your home’s value.
Keep in mind that this is a simple approach to determining the value of your apartment. An appraiser can do a more thorough search and determine a value that is slightly different than yours. However, by doing some searching on your own beforehand, you can reasonably expect to get a good idea of what your listing price should be.