There are primarily four ways to get information on comparable sales (comps) when trying to determine the value of a target property. Those four are:

1. Doing Your Own Research
2. Internet Searches
3. Service Companies
4. Access to MLS

DOING YOUR OWN RESEARCH

Within this category, there are four subcategories. Those are:

 Courthouse Searches
 Newspaper Listings
 Tax Appraisal Districts
 Master the Neighborhood

Courthouse Searches
If you live in a state that is discloses property sales information, you will have a much easier time than those of us who live in a non-disclosure state, like Texas. My understanding for disclosure states is that information on sales can be found at the courthouse if you’re willing to spend the necessary time. From that information you could devise your own methodology for determining comps. Certainly, it would be beneficial to know the history of a target property which you can look up while you’re there, but I think this would be very slow and probably not worth your efforts if the only goal is to get comparable sales data.

Newspaper Listings
In some states the sales information is listed in the local newspapers so you could get a feel that way or create your own database and update it periodically. Again, I think this is a slow way to get things done, but it may prove useful to you in some circumstances.
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Tax Appraisal Districts
In my area, the tax assessed values provided by the tax appraisal districts are frequently useless. You’ll have to get a feel for this in your area as you may find that the assessed values are close in many neighborhoods.

Master the Neighborhood
Probably the most accurate way is to spend the necessary time to master your farm areas. By this I mean learning the values for certain neighborhoods that you target. You can speak with Realtors, attend open houses, view as many floorplans as possible, etc. until you can drive by a house at 30 mph and know within a reasonable range what the property will be worth in good condition. This information comes in extremely handy when talking to sellers on the phone. If a seller calls you and tells you the house is in ABC subdivision, it’s a three bedroom, two bath, two car garage house and it’s 1,500 square feet, it’s nice to immediately know the market value in your head.

By admin