Pricing a Property Based on Comps is Still the Rule—Unless It’s Incomparable

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When pricing a residential single-family listing, most agents’ first step is to look at the recent sales of comparable properties in the same neighborhood; about the same size; on a similar piece of land; and with similar features, like views, amenities and updates.

This process of evaluating comps is especially important when the buyer is likely to need financing, experts say, because an appraiser is going to perform the same exercise to justify the loan.

But when an agent is considering how to price a luxury property—specifically one that’s truly in a class of its own, and likely worth more than anything else out there— they become much less important. Or as Adam Rosenfeld, a founding partner at Los Angeles-based luxury brokerage Mercer Vine put it: “Comps are always relevant until a property becomes incomparable.”

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