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Old 05-11-2008, 07:37 PM
 
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We are first time buyers and are working with a realtor but I am the type of person who likes to do some research on my own. Can anyone suggest some sites to check comps and especially to see how long a home has been on the market?

Thanks!
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Old 05-11-2008, 08:12 PM
 
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It's going to depend on where you live. Texas, for instance is a non-disclosure state so it's extremely hard to do comps on your own. But a realtor can pull them up easily. In Bexar county at least, you can go to the Bexar County Clerk site and pull up the loans amount for homes purchased but it won't show the sales price.

In Georgia (at least Upson County) it's a quite simple. You can go to the County Tax Assessor's website and pull up a property. You can see what what was paid for it and what nearby properties sold for.
The Okahoma County tax assessor's website is also useful but not as useful as Georgia's.
Zillow will do comps nationally but only if the state you are searching is a disclosure state. City-data also has comps. Go to city-data.com then enter the city. But once again, it's only going to list prices if you are in a disclosure state.
There are lots of other sides out there as well.
Good for you for doing your own research. You should also learn all you can about different type of loans as well. So many these people caught up in the foreclosure mess are blaiming loan officers and mortgage brokers but if you are making a 6 figure purchase, it's wise to get educated as much as you can before you sign.

Good luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bodeca30 View Post
We are first time buyers and are working with a realtor but I am the type of person who likes to do some research on my own. Can anyone suggest some sites to check comps and especially to see how long a home has been on the market?

Thanks!
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Old 05-11-2008, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
19,832 posts, read 36,314,136 times
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In Bexar county at least, you can go to the Bexar County Clerk site and pull up the loans amount for homes purchased but it won't show the sales price.

This assumes, of course, that the buyer/lender has elected to give the information to the County Clerk or taxing authority, which is not always the case.
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Old 05-11-2008, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
8,829 posts, read 17,408,495 times
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I suggest sitting down with your agent and ask them to do a CMA with you so you can see it for yourself.
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:05 AM
 
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It's especially wise for you to do any research you can on your own. Your county/city should have records. I think Trulia lists sold properties as well as limited information on foreclosures.

My previous realtor pulled comps that are for much higher (20-30% more square footage, different/upscale builder, etc.) than the sale price and said - look here - you will be getting a good deal if you offer full price...

Both agents simply want to sell a property. Even a buyer's agent. The only one who is looking at this as "buying a home" and shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars is the home buyer.

I am friendly, cordial and professional with my buyer's agent, as she is with me, but I get my own comps and compare them with hers, and do my own research, point out the negatives of the property that she has missed, and the realtor will ultimately put in an offer I am comfortable with and will present the compelling argument for the price offered.

As they say "we won't get fooled again".
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Oxxford Hunt, Cary NC
4,188 posts, read 9,796,550 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by housewatcher View Post
It's especially wise for you to do any research you can on your own. Your county/city should have records.
The main problem with using public records for comps is that they do not (at least in my area) show seller concessions/credits at closing. For example, one house that I know of shows as sold for $235K on the county website actually was $228K due to $7K in closing costs paid by the seller. That's a pretty big difference. Zillow reflects the inflated price because it just pulls from the county records.

That said, I do think it's worthwhile to poke around on your county website. You can then ask your realtor for exact sales prices on houses that are comparable to the one you are buying/selling.
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:31 AM
 
88 posts, read 233,110 times
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Very true ADLNC. My realtor has access to some back-end database in MLS/MRIS or whatever it is called and it has loads of information, including the subsidy offered. Very interesting and useful information.

I have found Zillow price estimates to be useless. I think many realtors and buyers agree. I think Sellers love the site estimated sale price....
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:34 AM
 
58 posts, read 168,814 times
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I agree. I was perusing Zillow yesterday and the prices were quite inflated for where I live now so don't actually trust them for where I am going to. We are looking to relocate to NJ so I will see if the counties have any information listed.
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:40 AM
 
Location: OK
2,717 posts, read 6,280,314 times
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Pulling a CMA won't give you Days on Market.

I applaud your desire to do your own research and not to depend on somebody who has a financial interest in the transaction.

Perhaps you could find a good appraiser in the area where you are going to live and make a deal with him/her to do a DOM and CMA project for you.
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Oxxford Hunt, Cary NC
4,188 posts, read 9,796,550 times
Reputation: 3821
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schousse View Post
Pulling a CMA won't give you Days on Market.

I applaud your desire to do your own research and not to depend on somebody who has a financial interest in the transaction.

Perhaps you could find a good appraiser in the area where you are going to live and make a deal with him/her to do a DOM and CMA project for you.
The CMA my agent gave did show "days on market." But once again, that information only reflects the most recent listing of the house on the market up until when it sold. A realtor can pull up the history on a house to see all the data on when it was listed, price drops, etc.

I guess you could pay an appraiser to put together similar reports for you - might just be easier to find a realtor you trust (something I've not had a problem doing).
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