Author Topic: How to find the sales price of recently sold properties?  (Read 11707 times)

Powers

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How to find the sales price of recently sold properties?
« on: May 07, 2012, 12:54:42 PM »
My wife and I are looking to buy our first home, and I'm having a tough time finding a reliable resource for recently sold properties.  Websites like Zillow will show when a property was sold, but rarely show the sales price.  Also, when checking the tax appraisal values, I've been told that when you see the market value jump after a sale, that the number is largely based off of what is financed, and not necessarily the total price paid (This makes sense after seeing a house with a $175k value on the central appraisal district website, list for $250k, then after the sale the tax value jumps up to $210k).

I keep reading articles that say you should know the market you're looking in and that the list price does not indicate market value.  How am I supposed to determine current market value without the historical sales prices of comps?

salmp01

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Re: How to find the sales price of recently sold properties?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2012, 01:23:34 PM »
Talk with one of your local Realtors.  They should be able to get you comps in a matter of minutes. 

darkelenchus

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Re: How to find the sales price of recently sold properties?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2012, 01:40:38 PM »
Trulia.com shows recent purchase prices and sales history. Also, check with the Assessor's office for the municipality in which you're looking to buy.

James

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Re: How to find the sales price of recently sold properties?
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2012, 02:10:37 PM »
Talk with one of your local Realtors.  They should be able to get you comps in a matter of minutes.

Ditto, but make sure to ask to see all the comps they pull up.  Some will just find a few, or narrow it down to a few of the same type you asked about.  The bigger sample of sales you have to look through and compare, the better idea you will have about the market in your area.

Powers

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Re: How to find the sales price of recently sold properties?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2012, 02:20:56 PM »
@salmp01 - I know I could get some comps through a realtor, but I was really hoping to be able to do my own research and not be dependent on someone who is profiting from the transaction.

@darkelenchus - From what I can tell, Trulia has the same problem as zillow.  It will show a few recent sales prices, but many that have sold in my area are left off the results.  If I had to guess, I'd say it only shows about 20% of the actual sales taking place.  And regarding your suggestion to talk to the assesor's office - will they be able to tell me anything that I can't find through their website?  I would assume if they had access to the actual sales price, it would be recorded electronically and easily viewed along with the other public data.  Have you done this in your area (in Texas, our CADs go by county)?
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 02:22:57 PM by Powers »

salmp01

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Re: How to find the sales price of recently sold properties?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2012, 02:34:09 PM »
Im a part-time realtor in the Minneapolis area.  Before I got my license (2 years ago) I had a difficult time gathering comps.  The tools I get as a realtor allow me to draw a circle on a map and tell me all houses that have sold in the past XX months. 

Another option is for you to get your real estate license.  In my area it costs a little over 1k so youd just have to buy/sell one house to pay for your expenses.   This would give you the most freedom. 

darkelenchus

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Re: How to find the sales price of recently sold properties?
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2012, 03:01:48 PM »
Yes, I have done this when my wife and I were searching for a home. We searched public records available on Milwaukee County Assessor's office website. Supposing the records are digitized, you should be able to do the same with your county.

Neither the most "bleeding edge" nor the most complete information is available from the Assessor's records, but we found it to suffice.

If you want more details and the most up to date info, contact a realtor. As sampl01 and James have said, they've got the fancy tools for that!

austin33

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Re: How to find the sales price of recently sold properties?
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2012, 02:39:53 PM »
If it's available in your area, you can do this research on redfin.com.   You can setup a search to automatically email you when listing are sold, the status has changed, or as soon as the listing has hit the market.   The idea behind it is that they will give you a small portion of the listing agent's commission back at closing if you do your own research and use them as the realtor.  So far I haven't bought a house with them so I can't vouch for that.   But just using the site for research, it's as close to having a realtor without a realtor.

happy

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Re: How to find the sales price of recently sold properties?
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2012, 07:20:23 AM »
Where I am, Down Under,  there is a website called allhomes.com.au that lists sold prices. Sometimes it takes a few months to come through. A number of our  realestate websites have sold listings but not all agents will list the sold price.  One of our big websites (realestate.com.au), gives  a number of  homes"recently sold in this area" , in the additional print down the bottom, but you need to go into a house listing to see it. You can find out what most houses sold for this way if you keep an eye on this: they may not be listed anywhere else and will only show up for a few weeks. Additionally Dept of Lands allocates a land value on each property for  local council rates (tax), which is approximate (and not necessarily the same as market value but not too far out) but can give a relative idea of one plot to another - can be accessed for a small fee around $10 on the internet.

Obviously none of these directly apply to you in US, but I mention them because often systems are similar across oceans.

The best way is to be" in the market" so to speak: view properties, and talk to realtors. You can't really value accurately unless you see properties in the flesh, often listings are misleading. You can ask agents (realtors) what a property sold for, they usually know and I find are happy to tell you. They want to impress you that they have their finger on the pulse. Often there is story behind why a property sold for a certain price, you need to be in the loop to find out. Helps negotiating the right price if you know your stuff as well.  Nothing beats due diligence.



twinge

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Re: How to find the sales price of recently sold properties?
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2012, 08:03:55 AM »
Quote
Talk with one of your local Realtors.  They should be able to get you comps in a matter of minutes. 

+1.  When we did this after searching over Zillow/Trulia etc., we found that the realtors had many sales that weren't listed on the sites and extra information on sales that were listed on the sites, such as the sellers paid out cash that wasn't included in the price listed on Zillow, or there were other extras included like home warranties, or some additional reasoning behind some unusually low sale prices etc.  It helped us get a far more accurate picture.

plantingourpennies

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Re: How to find the sales price of recently sold properties?
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2012, 06:58:53 PM »
Hi,

My wife and I have used 3 different realtors over the past 3 years to purchase our properties. While they were honest, pleasant and professional, they could not be trusted to give accurate valuations. Don't use "comps," you're better off going to the courthouse or courthouse website and access the records yourself-you want the public records information for sales, not what the property is assessed at. If you think the realtor has as much on the line as you do, and is able to work as hard as you to deduce fair market value, you're a fool.

Disclaimer-we purchased two damaged foreclosures (our main house and a rental duplex), and a unique piece of land on the water, all in Florida during the down-turn. The realtors could not put together a rational price model because the properties were odd, damaged, or thinly traded. Ironically, because these assets were difficult to value, we were able to get our money's worth and more.

Trulia and the like are for entertainment purposes only...

Good luck!

ShavinItForLater

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Re: How to find the sales price of recently sold properties?
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2012, 06:50:12 AM »
I'll jump on the "use a realtor" bandwagon.  There is no obligation to use them just because they provide you with comp sales information, but I'd honestly say you should use a good one, especially when buying your first home.  You shouldn't have to sign anything to have someone show you houses or give you comps, if you are asked to just say no, or move on to someone else.  I understand the desire to DIY, but the real estate market with the MLS really is set up in such a way that realtors have proprietary access to a lot of this data that isn't publicly available.  It's easily available to you, but the way you get it is to ask a realtor for it.

The other suggestion though is to just go see a whole bunch of properties in your area.  Go to open houses if you don't like having a realtor accompany you, that's what they're for.  Some realtors may push you to look at 3 properties and pick one--probably a sign of a bad realtor if you get that kind of pressure.  I'd suggest looking at 30.  We did that, and by the end of that process we had a pretty solid handle on property values in our area, and we knew a good deal when we saw it--and this was before the bubble burst so you had to move fast with an offer, now you've got plenty of time in most cases.  It's a huge purchase--it's worth putting in the time and effort.

grantmeaname

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Re: How to find the sales price of recently sold properties?
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2012, 07:21:59 AM »
YMOYL notes that there may be public access to your regional MLS. It helpfully provides no advice on how to find out if there is, but it's something to think about: the MLS may not be totally "proprietary".

ShavinItForLater

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Re: How to find the sales price of recently sold properties?
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2012, 08:23:19 AM »
Sales comps are separate from listings in the MLS, and I believe the listings part is much more public--makes sense since the listings are ads, and they want as many people to to see those as possible.  Comps, not so much--nothing to sell there apart from realtor services.

Arbor33

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Re: How to find the sales price of recently sold properties?
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2012, 10:16:21 AM »
I'm only aware of NYS stuff but I use this website. There's likely others for the area you're interested in.

www.sdgnys.com/imo

You can search via Tax ID, Owners Names, Address... Lots of good info.

plantingourpennies

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Re: How to find the sales price of recently sold properties?
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2012, 10:09:47 AM »
That looks like a good site! Counties in my area have similar access over the web, so you don't have to walk down to the courthouse...