How to find recently sold houses to use for comparison?

5 Replies

Hello,

I've been studying and learning as much as I can before getting on my first investment property and currently analizing deals for BRRR method. What is a good source to find recently sold homes?

I've been looking at the usual suspects Zillow and Trulia but the information is not well organized I guess... What others do you guys use for this?

@Luis R. the tried and true answer is to work with an agent to help you. If you want to do it on your own you will need to use those sorts of sites. Redfin, zillow, realtor.com, trulia, etc. 

If you build a good relationship with an agent though they will likely help you with this for no cost. I do that for my clients as long as we have a working relationship. 

Or if you plan on doing a bunch of these you could become an agent to get into the MLS. The portal makes it a lot easier to run comps than the public sites.

@Luis R. The websites @Anthony Angotti mentioned are great for find properties that have sold.  I mostly use Zillow.  The problem is, their records are not always correct.  Sometimes it'll say a property sold for 150K when it really sold for 100K.  So you might want to search your county public records to verify sale prices.  I did a little search for you and came up with this:

http://www.ncpub.org/_web/maps/mapadv.aspx

That is for Northampton County.  You can drill into the map, click on a parcel, and see the last sale prices.  Keep in mind that this won't tell you if there was a seller concession for closing costs.  Or the type of transaction--for instance, financed or cash.  Those things affect sales price.   A realtor could likely give you that information, but I generally feel like I have good enough into without those bits.  The other thing you want to consider is condition.  That obviously affects price, too.  Sometimes you can see the old pictures on Zillow.  If not, make sure you drive by and at least get an outside look.

Awesome resources. 

I want to try and meet a good realtor in the area to help me out with this but at the same time I feel is not going to be much worth it on his end since I will be looking at getting just 1 property first.

Originally posted by @Luis R. :

Awesome resources. 

I want to try and meet a good realtor in the area to help me out with this but at the same time I feel is not going to be much worth it on his end since I will be looking at getting just 1 property first.

Hi Luis, thanks for this question. I, too, feel bad about asking realtors for comps all the time while getting a feel for the market. Most of the podcasts, blogs, and/or books that talk about starting out, mention steps like analyze 100 first or go see 50 houses first and it seems realtors get bored when you constantly ask for comps but aren't ready to buy, either because you're getting your education or the deal turns out not to be a deal (which you don't know until you analyze it with a good ARV lol) ... But maybe I haven't been talking to the right realtors? Some have been very helpful, like the lady that is helping me in OH. Did you find any other 'good' way to find sale prices, other than a realtor?

Not all states/counties make the info public, but if you are in a state that does so, you can go to the county website the property of interest is located in, usually by their GIS system, and find what properties sold nearby to use as a comparison. A little more labor intensive that MLS, but does provide accurate info and you can capture transactions that were never listed on MLS. Info you can get on county GIS site includes sale date, specs on the house (s.f., basement,etc.) and purchaser name, etc. Our county GIS sites also typically provide a photo of the comparable property.