How to Run an Accurate Condo Appraisal in NYC

Editor’s Note: This article was updated on July 31, 2023.

Whether you’re trying to determine the best listing price for a unit in a condo building or running a valuation or condo appraisal for a potential investment property, there are multiple factors to consider in order to get the most accurate results. Some factors may be based on similar unit sales in the area or the rate of price growth in your neighborhood, while others may be less quantifiable — like views, the amount of natural light the property receives, the building’s reputation and more.

What do you need to consider for a condominium appraisal?

The main factors to consider for the most accurate condominium appraisals are:

  • Recent comparable sales in the area
  • Active for-sale inventory
  • Market conditions, such as sales and price trends; expected new supply; and more
  • Foreclosure and pre-foreclosure activity
  • Physical condition of the unit and building
  • Size, layout and floor height of the unit
  • Building amenities
  • Location

Although there’s no universal equation that can be applied to all condo appraisals, these factors all play an essential part. Likewise, a broker’s personal knowledge and experience will also play a key role, especially when complemented by accurate and up-to-date real estate data, which is readily available on PropertyShark.

1. Comparables

  • Comparable Sales Within the Building

Looking at sales within the same building is the most common starting point and can provide the most accurate data for reliable condo appraisals. However, buildings will usually comprise several different sizes, layouts, views and amounts of natural light. So, to increase your condo appraisal’s accuracy, you should focus on units on the same line and/or on similar floors.

When available, unit information can be found in the building’s property report in the “Units” tab at the top of page. Here, you can research and select units to include in your comps by line, floor or building entrance, or select only special units, like penthouses. Simply click on each dropdown menu that applies for your comps.

  1. Go to the “Comparables” tool and enter the address (both the building’s street address, as well as the unit number) in the “Subject Property” box in the upper, left-hand corner.
  2. Select the “Just This Building” option in the “Radius” section below the property address box.
  3. Select any additional criteria that is relevant for your condo appraisal, such as:
    • square footage
    • number of bedrooms and bathrooms
    • sales dates
    • sales prices
    • previous ownership within a specific timeframe
    • tax class

4. Once you click on the “Search” button in the lower leftcorner, results will be generated exclusively based on your search criteria. This will also generate with a “Valuation Dashboard,” which you can view by pressing the button.

The Valuation Dashboard will display an estimated price based on your search criteria, along with the price range of properties found; their median and average price (both as a sale price, as well as in price per square foot format); the number of properties used for the valuation; as well as the median and average unit size.

5. For even more precise condo appraisals, you can further customize your search by including and excluding results or setting an even tighter price range in the Valuation Dashboard. You can also manage and refine your results by clicking the “Manage Columns” option located above the search result list and adding/removing columns.

6. If you’d like to pull up your result at a later date, simply click the “Save this Search” option on the left side of the screen, right above the “Search” button. Alternatively, you can print the results or export your results as an Excel spreadsheet, CSV table, WinTotal file or PDF.

7. You can also generate a 1004MC form, also known as an FNMA – Market Conditions Addendum. This form is also exportable as an Excel or CSV file.

  • Other Comparable Condo Sales

Ideally, using sales within the same building is the best avenue to determine the listing price of a unit, which will work very well in the case of new developments or buildings with high sales activity. That said, with resale units, you might need to look outside of the building, as well, in order to find comparable sales and run the most accurate condo appraisal possible.

When running Comparables using units from other buildings, you can also use the tool’s advanced filtering options to get results that are most relevant for your research, such as:

  • unit size
  • property size, including square footage as well as width and depth
  • lot size, including square footage as well as width and depth
  • total number of units or total number of residential units
  • year built
  • zoning
  • tax class
  • block

Additionally, you have multiple options to determine your search area, such as:

  • searching by radius with distance options ranging from one-quarter mile to five miles
  • searching by street
  • searching directly on a map, where you can further narrow your search by:
    • borough
    • neighborhood
    • zip code
    • community district

2. Active Condos for Sale Inventory

After having looked at recently closed sales of similar units, the same approach can be taken with active for-sale listings. This will help you determine how market supply and demand can be used for your condo appraisal. Being aware of the competition the listing will have once on the market is another essential step when looking to find the right listing price for your condo unit. Additionally, this will also help you identify the characteristics, amenities and other elements that will make your listing stand out.

For this, we recommend you run your search on Point2Homes and follow these steps:

  1. Go to point2homes.com and select “Homes for Sale & Rentals.”
  2. Enter the city/neighborhood you’re researching into the “Buy” box. This will pull up all active listings in your search area, regardless of property type.
  3. To narrow your search, select “Condo/Apartment” in the “Property Type” dropdown menu at the top of the page and click “Apply.”
  4. You can further restrict your search area to a specific borough in the location box in the upper left corner.
  5. You can then customize your search by price and/or number of bedrooms and bathrooms using the dropdown menus at the top of the page.
  6. For more specific characteristics, click the “More” dropdown menu at the top of the page and customize by:
    • Square footage
    • Lot size
    • Year built
    • Listing date
    • Listing status (price drop, new construction, open house or sale pending)
    • Amenities like a pool, garage, landscaping, gym, storage space, views and more

3. Other Factors That Might Influence the Price

In addition to looking at recent sales and active for-sale listings, there are also other elements that can significantly influence the sale price of units, other than recent market conditions; the active for-sale inventory; the condition of the unit and building; the size, layout and floor height of the unit amenities; and location.

Specifically, other factors that can affect the appraisal of your condominium include:

  • Foreclosure and pre-foreclosure activity in the area, which you can also view in a map format both at the city and borough level
  • Views and natural light
  • School districts and school proximity
  • Proximity and ease of access to mass transit, especially subways
  • Potential for appreciation and/or income generations
  • Time spent on the market
  • Potential new developments in the area and their proximity to the unit’s building
  • Traffic conditions; parking availability; and safe access to other means of transportation, such as bike lanes
  • Building common charges and fees
  • Crime levels and crime types
  • Toxic sites
  • Hurricane evacuation zones

Explore our full map collection to research any other factors that may have an influence on your condo appraisal.

Disclaimer

Information provided on this page is purely informational. It is not and should not be regarded as investment advice.

Eliza Theiss

Eliza Theiss

Eliza Theiss is a senior writer reporting real estate trends in the US. Her work has been cited by CBS News, Curbed, The Los Angeles Times, and Forbes among others. With an academic background in journalism, Eliza has been covering real estate since 2012. Before joining PropertyShark, Eliza was an associate editor at Multi-Housing News and Commercial Property Executive. Eliza writes for both PropertyShark and CommercialEdge. Reach her at [email protected]

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