Choice Valuation, PLLC

Your choice for residential appraisals and appraiser products

Performing single- and multi-family residential appraisals and creating simple, useful software for appraisers.

Click here for more information about Spark. Below are the instructions you need for the one-time setup of your export file in Northstar (Matrix version).

To purchase Spark or get the free trial go to the TOTAL Store page here.

When the one-time file setup is complete and you've purchased Spark (or got the free trial) click here to start using it!  If, for any reason, you have trouble with the file setup in your MLS contact us here for assistance.

Please contact us immediately if you ever experience a problem with the listing information not being entered correctly into your report.

Creating a Custom Export for use in the Northstar Matrix system

MLS export files that are uploaded to Spark must be in a specific format in order to provide both accurate data and all possible fields.

You can either watch the above video or follow the instructions below to complete the one-time setup for Spark in the Northstar Matrix system.  Contact us here if you have problems with the file setup and we'll be glad to help.

These are the instructions for the SFR/Condo/Rental setup. To see the instructions for the setup specific to multi-family properties click here.

  • Hover your mouse over 'My Matrix' and select 'Settings'.
  • Click on 'Custom Exports' then click on 'Add Export'. 
  • Name the export 'Spark'.
  • IMPORTANT: Verify toward the bottom that 'Label' and 'Comma' are chosen. The 'Label' button is TO THE RIGHT of the word 'Label'.
    Looks like this:      None ( )     Label (●)     Name ( )
    No need to enter a description.
  • Double-click on each of the following features individually (you can also click on each one and click 'Add'). Once you are done, the categories will appear on the right side of the window. NOTE: Keep in mind the list is long but once this is set up in your MLS you'll never have to do it again. 
    • Above Ground Finished Square Footage
    • Acres
    • Air Conditioning
    • Amenities - Shared
    • Amenities - Unit
    • Association Fee
    • Auction Y/N
    • Basement
    • Bath - Full
    • Bath - Half
    • Bath - Three Quarters
    • Bath Description
    • Bedroom 1 Level
    • Bedroom 2 Level
    • Bedroom 3 Level
    • Bedroom 4 Level
    • Bedrooms
    • Below Ground Finished Square Footage
    • CDOM
    • Closed Date
    • Common Wall Yes/No
    • Community Name
    • Complex/Development/Subdivision Name
    • County
    • Date ListPrice Change
    • Date Status Mod
    • Dining Room Level
    • DOM
    • Exterior
    • Extra Room 1 Description
    • Extra Room 1 Level
    • Extra Room 2 Description
    • Extra Room 2 Level
    • Extra Room 3 Description
    • Extra Room 3 Level
    • Extra Room 4 Description
    • Extra Room 4 Level
    • Extra Room 5 Description
    • Extra Room 5 Level
    • Extra Room 6 Description
    • Extra Room 6 Level
    • Family Room Level
    • Fee Frequency
    • Fencing
    • Financing Terms of Closed Sale
    • Foundation Size
    • Fuel
    • Garage Stalls
    • Heating
    • In Foreclosure?
    • Kitchen Level
    • Legal Description
    • Lender Owned
    • List Date
    • List Number
    • List Price
    • Living Room Level
    • Lot Description
    • Manufactured Home?
    • Neighborhood
    • Number of Fireplaces
    • Off Market Date
    • Original List Price
    • Out Buildings
    • Parking Characteristics
    • Pending Date
    • Pool
    • Postal City
    • Potential Short Sale
    • Property Identification (PID)
    • Public Remarks
    • School District
    • Second Unit
    • Seller Contribution
    • Shared Rooms
    • Sold Price
    • State
    • Status
    • Street Address
    • Style
    • Tax Amount
    • Tax Year
    • Total Finished Square Footage
    • Townhouse Characteristics
    • Unit Number
    • Waterfront Frontage
    • Waterfront View
    • Year Built
    • Zip Code
  • Once the list is complete, click 'Save' and you are done.

Click here for the multi-family setup instructions.

How to Export your Data

  • Verify that the search you are exporting includes the sales/listings/rentals you want to put into the grid(s) of your appraisal report.
  • On the results page of your search choose the listings/sales/rentals you want included (using the check box to the left) or click 'All' if you want all of them.
  • Click 'Export' which is on the bottom row of buttons.
  • Verify the custom export you made is selected in the drop-down which should be 'Spark' then click 'Export'. 
  • Save the file by whichever file name and into whichever folder you prefer (depending on browser settings you may not be given the option to choose the file name/location).
  • Now load Spark by going to and follow the steps.

Note: Spark can input a maximum of 30 properties for each grid (sales grid/listing grid/rental grid) and a maximum of 10,000 for your 1004MC files (Competing and/or Neighborhood File).