How to Compare House Values

••• houses on a pond 1 image by Jim Parkin from

Whether in the real estate market to buy or sell a home, an individual can find a home’s value by comparing home values of properties with a similar floor-plan (the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and livable square feet) that have recently sold within the past three to six months or are currently on the market for sale.

Real estate agents and brokers use “comps” (an inside industry abbreviation of the term “comparable homes” or “comparable properties”) to determine the selling price for a house.

Determine comparable properties. Comps or comparable properties are those that have approximately the same square footage, number of bedrooms and bathroom, same size garage and/or enjoyable outdoor square footage (such as patios, decks, pools, screen rooms). Other factors are conditions of the roof, the exterior and interior, and access to schools, amenities, dining and shopping.

Search for comparable houses in the same area (preferably in the same neighborhood or in a similar neighborhood) that are currently being marketed for sale or have sold in the past three to six months. A list of these properties can be found by going to a local real estate broker’s office or online.

Calculate the price per square foot. Take the price of each of the comparable properties found and divide it by the livable square footage (sometimes referred to as heated/climate controlled square footage); this will yield the price per square foot. House values of comparable homes can then be compared based on price per square foot.


  • Contact a real estate agent or broker to determine which homes truly have comparable values


About the Author

Owen Richason grew up working in his family's small contracting business. He later became an outplacement consultant, then a retail business consultant. Richason is a former personal finance and business writer for "Tampa Bay Business and Financier." He now writes for various publications, websites and blogs.

Photo Credits

  • houses on a pond 1 image by Jim Parkin from