Board of Assessment Review BAR Challenges

Sales Information

Using a variety of techniques, sales verification is an ongoing process by the Department of Assessment and Taxation, through which we determine the circumstances and inventories of real property sales in the City of Buffalo and their usability for purposes of valuation. This is a normal activity of assessor’s offices throughout the State.

The sales reports presented contain sales in our records, as of the indicated date, which we have determined to be valid for purposes of valuation. Invalid sales are not listed. Examples of some of the circumstances that invalidate sales are:

  • Auctions
  • Estate settlements, buyer or seller is a governmental agency or lending institution, and other unusual circumstances of duress or distress
  • Foreclosures
  • Marital settlements
  • Multi-parcel sales
  • Sales between relatives or former relatives

Abnormally high-priced sales are also eliminated. These sales sometimes result from an untypical desirability for the property class. An example would be, when a business buys a residential property for business expansion and therefore pays a premium price, in order to convince the seller to sell a property not otherwise on the market. This is not the price a residential buyer would normally pay for this property.

Although efforts have been made to represent only valid sales in this report, there is a possibility of some erroneous listings due to insufficient or incorrect evidence in our records at the time the report was prepared. This list, therefore, is constantly subject to revision. For this reason, It should not be assumed that any particular sales were or were not used in this year’s valuation work relative to any specific properties. Public comment is welcomed.

Residential Sales Data

  • NBHB CODE - Neighborhood code. It represents an identifiable geographic area, as determined by the Department’s valuation staff, wherein similar properties have similar values for various inventory items, such as square foot of living area (SFLA), garage, number of baths, etc. When making comparisons, it is generally best to use comparable sales from the same neighborhood as the subject property.
  • SBL Number - This means the map number for the parcel on the Erie County Tax Maps. Copies of these maps are in use in our office. This SBL Number provides us with another method of sorting and also of filing property records geographically.
  • Inventory - Shown with each sale is a selection of important inventory items. Our records contain additional items such as garage capacity and air conditioning, etc.
  • Prop class - Property class. This is a classification of the property, according to its primary use. The residential classes presented are:
    • 210 - One Family
    • 215 - One Family with additional living area, but not two family. Sometimes referred to as having an "in-law" apartment.
    • 220 - Two Family
    • 230 - Three Family
    • 281 - Two or more of the above classes on the same parcel. That is, more than one house on the same parcel.
  • SFLA - Represents the Square Foot of Living Area, as measured from the exterior of the dwelling. This is helpful in comparing properties, however other factors such as number of baths, garage, exterior siding material and overall condition, among others, should also be considered.
  • Gross Per Square Foot- Is the sales price per square foot of living area
  • Net Per Square Foot - Is the sales price per square foot of living area after subtracting the assessment land value. This figure is useful when comparing properties where the parcel shapes and sizes vary significantly.

Commercial Sales Data

  • Prop Class
    A complete list of property classification codes is attached. This would be a classification of the primary use of the property
  • Gross Floor Area
    This gives the totaled floor area of all buildings on the property

Note: Commercial properties are often very complex. Often there are multiple uses and even more than one building on the property. Furthermore inventory items are numerous. For this reason, you are encouraged to contact the Department of Assessment and Taxation or visit our office for more specific information regarding commercial properties.