The first step in comparing properties is to examine the factual components of each property. Many times properties that appear larger are in fact much smaller than people think. Quality characteristics should also be examined when making comparisons. For example, a property with a newer kitchen would sell for more than a property with a much older, unimproved kitchen with all other factors being comparable. Ultimately, the assessors have to determine if the assessment represents market value on the subject property and also if the assessed value on the neighbors' property represents market value. If a neighboring property is too low in relation to surrounding properties, the assessors cannot compound their low assessment by also lowering surrounding properties. The resolution may be that the assessors have to raise the neighboring property's assessed value to make it more in line with the surrounding properties. The most important criterion the assessors examine in an abatement request is the market value of the property of the person filing the abatement and the market value of any property that the person filing the abatement mentions on the application. For example, if there were 5 identical houses on a street and 4 were assessed for $500,000 and one was assessed for $100,000, and there were three sales on the street at $500,000 each, then the assessors could not lower the 4 properties to $100,000. Based upon the sales, the market value would be very close to $500,000. The correct action for the assessors would be to raise the property assessed for $100,000 to $500,000.