Residential Area Sales Listing

​​What is an Area Sales Listing?

An area sales listing is a listing of property sales in a given area or neighborhood that have occurred during a specified time. In Maryland, all property transfers are recorded with the Clerk of the Court for the County in which the property is located. These recorded transfers are copied to local assessment offices for updating of Departmental records. These transfers are reviewed, and the transfers that are considered to be arms-length in nature and representative of the market area are then used in a sales analysis.  The sale transactions that have been used by the Department are included on the area sales listing report. All transactions can also be viewed by going to our website and using the real property search of sales.
For each residential property, the following characteristics are identified:

1. Property Site Address
2. Residential Property Type – Split Level, Split Foyer, Standard Unit Detached Dwelling, Townhouse End Unit, Townhouse Center Unit, Condo, etc.
3. Stories – Split Foyer, 1 Story No Basement, 1 Story With Basement, 2 Story No Basement, 2 Story With Basement, etc.
4. Quality – Construction Quality based on a numeric scale of 1-9.
5. Actual Year Built
6. Enclosed Area - Area which is above ground level. Finished areas in the attic or basement are NOT included in the Enclosed Area calculation. Any above grade area of the dwelling that has been adjusted for an unfinished portion is NOT deducted from the Enclosed Area calculation. If more than one dwelling exists on an account, the Enclosed Area calculation will reflect the combined area of all dwellings.
7. Land Area - Total land area is expressed in square feet, acres, or simply as the number of building sites.
8. Sales Date
9. Sales Price
10. Account Number

How Is It Used by the Department?

The sales for market areas are analyzed as a part of our valuation process. Residential property is valued using both a cost model and a sales comparison model. The basic concept of the sales comparison model is that the estimated market value of a property equals the sale price of a comparable property after adjustments for differences are made. For example, if property X has a garage but the comparable property has none, the value of the garage would be added to the sale price of the comparable property. The result would be evidence of what property X’s selling price might be. Assessors use more than one comparable to determine values using the sales approach. By using statistical models, similar properties in similar markets are analyzed so that a neighborhood adjustment factor can be derived at the reassessment. Rather than considering properties one at a time, assessors use mass appraisal techniques and computer software to appraise many properties of the same general type. This listing represents one part of the total process to determine market value.
The Department also uses the sales listing as a quality control measure. For assessments, one measurement of quality is the ratio of the assessed value to the sales price. Simply stated, a ratio is the relationship of two numbers. The assessed value (the Department’s estimated market value) divided by the sale price will provide the ratio. This allows assessors to measure how closely their assessed values compare to the actual sale prices.

How Is Sales Listing of Use to the Customer?

The customer can use the sales listing as a tool to compare their property to similar properties that have recently sold in their neighborhood or surrounding area. The best indicator of fair market value is market activity. Buyers and sellers create market values by their transactions. In an appeal, the best evidence of market value is sale price - the sale price of the subject property or of similar properties.
Go through the area sales listing to find properties that are most similar to the property in question. Compare the market value of the property in question to the prices at which the similar properties have sold. Remember, sale dates are also important when comparing values. Assessed values are as of January 1 of the year indicated on the report, while sale prices are as of the date of sale. The real estate market is constantly changing. Therefore, the most recent sales of comparable properties typically offer the best evidence of market value.

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