Less is not always more…

We have all heard the term, “Less is More”, but when trying to find comparable sales and listings that is not always the case.

There is a school of thought that if I keep my search simple, I will get everything I need, therefore, if you look for comparable sales and listings within 1 mile and 12 months from your subject property, that should return a sufficient set of results. Well, the problem with this logic is if all your searches are “generic”, your results in urban and rural areas will vary widely.

Consider a 1-mile radius search in Queens, NY, where there are hundreds of residential units of all types on one city block, therefore thousands within a 1-mile radius. A search in a densely populated area like this could return upwards of a thousand or more results, when only 50 or 100 are needed.

api search

Conversely, you run the same 1-mile radius, 12-month search in a rural area like Colts Neck, NJ where there are a multitude of mansions and horse farms on multiple acre lots, there may be a few dozen properties in total within a 1-mile radius. You would find results in the single digits for the same search in this area.

Understanding the market is paramount to getting the best possible results.

If you know you are working within an urban area, here are some suggestions:

  • Reduce your radius to half a mile
  • Shorten the timeframe to 6 months
  • Tighten search criteria such as:
    • GLA +/- 20% of the subject
    • +/- 1 Bedroom/Bathroom
    • Sale or List Price Range, etc.

Here are some suggestions when working within a rural or even some suburban markets:

  • Expand your radius to 3 or more miles
  • Add 6 months to the timeframe
  • Broaden the search criteria by as much as 50%
    • GLA +/- 40% of the subject
    • +/- 1 Bedroom and +/- 2 Bathrooms
    • A wider Sale or List Price Range, etc.

With PropMix API’s, you have the option of re-running your search as many times as necessary, without paying more for the same appraisal order. In fact, we encourage our clients to develop adaptive searches that will iteratively call our APIs and adjust the filter parameters to optimize time, distance, and additional filters to achieve the best comparable results.

To help our clients implement such best practices we launched a Professional Services division in 2018 that has already enabled many clients to retrieve the best comparables straight into their applications with optimal API integrations.

In my next blog post, I will explain some of these API integration scenarios so that you can achieve the same with PropMix APIs.