The sales comparison approach to value is an analysis of comparable sales, contract sales, and listings of properties that are the most comparable to the subject property.
The appraiser’s analysis of a property must take into consideration all factors that have an effect on value. The appraiser must analyze all closed sales, contract sales, and offerings or listings of properties that are the most comparable to the subject property in order to identify any significant differences or elements of comparison that could affect his or her opinion of value for the subject property as of the effective date of the appraisal report. This is particularly important in changing (increasing or declining values) markets. Analyzing closed sales, contract sales, and offerings or listings is an important analysis in any market and will result in more accurate reporting on market conditions, including trends that indicate that sale prices for contract sales and asking prices for recent offerings or listings have changed. (Also see B4-1.3-03, Neighborhood Section of the Appraisal Report, for information regarding Trend of Neighborhood Property Values, Demand/Supply, and Marketing Time.)
Data and verification source(s) for each comparable sale must be reported on the appraisal report form. Examples of data sources include, but are not limited to, a multiple listing service, deed records, tax records, realtors, builders, appraisers, appraiser’s files, and other third party sources and vendors. The appraiser must state the specific data source (such as tax records or deed records), and refrain from using broad categories, such as “public records.” Data source(s) must be reliable sources for the area where the subject property is located.
Examples of verification sources include, but are not limited to, the buyer, seller, listing agent, selling agent, and closing documents in certain situations. Regardless of the source(s) used, there must be sufficient data to understand the conditions of sale, existence of financing concessions, physical characteristics of the subject property, and whether it was an arms-length transaction.
It is acceptable to obtain comparable sales data from parties that have a financial interest in either the sale or financing of the subject property; however, the appraiser must verify the data with a party that does not have a financial interest in the subject transaction. For example, if the real estate agent of the subject property has provided comparable sales data, that information must be verified through another disinterested source.
Fannie Mae’s appraisal report forms require the appraiser to report the three year subject property and twelve month comparable sales history.
The table below provides references to the Announcements that have been issued that are related to this topic.