Using Trulia, Zillow, Redfin, Realtor, etc for comps

10 Replies

It is OK, but not great. Your information will likely be somewhat dated and less detailed to what the MLS will have. It is a good way to get an idea of value but you probably want something more solid (CMA/BPO/appraisal) before you do a deal. Of course, this assumes that you have the knowledge and expertise to evaluate the comps. If not, use a realtor.

@Matthew Fleming I would suggest using an Agent. An agent will be able to tell you information about the market that you will not find on these sites. These sites have a lot of the MLS listing but NOT ALL and sometimes the listings are missing information such as lot size. IMO if you find a good agent, he will be worth his weight in gold.

Originally posted by @Angel Rosado :

@Matthew Fleming I would suggest using an Agent. An agent will be able to tell you information about the market that you will not find on these sites. These sites have a lot of the MLS listing but NOT ALL and sometimes the listings are missing information such as lot size. IMO if you find a good agent, he will be worth his weight in gold.

 Thanks for the advice. I'm thinking I might have to find another agent. Sometimes he doesn't move fast enough for me. I already passed the test, so I need to become my own agent. My agent does come through sometimes though. I generally use these sights when I'm casually researching markets that I'm familiar with.

Originally posted by @Edward B. :

It is OK, but not great. Your information will likely be somewhat dated and less detailed to what the MLS will have. It is a good way to get an idea of value but you probably want something more solid (CMA/BPO/appraisal) before you do a deal. Of course, this assumes that you have the knowledge and expertise to evaluate the comps. If not, use a realtor.

 I wouldn't say I have expertise in evaluating comps, but I generally go by area (Usually inside of a zipcode), sq ft, beds, and baths. I use the AVI Calculator & the Philadelphia department of revenue websites to verify if the homes were recently sold and the accuracy of the sq footage.

Originally posted by @Matthew Fleming :
Originally posted by @Edward B.:

It is OK, but not great. Your information will likely be somewhat dated and less detailed to what the MLS will have. It is a good way to get an idea of value but you probably want something more solid (CMA/BPO/appraisal) before you do a deal. Of course, this assumes that you have the knowledge and expertise to evaluate the comps. If not, use a realtor.

 I wouldn't say I have expertise in evaluating comps, but I generally go by area (Usually inside of a zipcode), sq ft, beds, and baths. I use the AVI Calculator & the Philadelphia department of revenue websites to verify if the homes were recently sold and the accuracy of the sq footage.

 Philadelphia is VERY block by block. I live in 19146 (graduate hospital) and the comps for 19146 (point breeze) are quite different. even inside of "point breeze" the comps can differ drastically. 

Originally posted by @Matthew Fleming :

Is it okay to use the recently sold function from the above mentioned websites for comps? or should an investor only use a real estate agents comps from the MLS?

Hi Matthew, Depends on what your doing.  After a while you get to know these neighborhoods and what they are going for.  You can ballpark then look at some sales that the comps have already been done on.  Realtors usually get it right in there because they want to get the house sold.  Unless a seller balks at it.  So look for similar you have to take into account location, corner lots etc.  Look up how to make adjustments on the internet.  Another way is to make friends with a realtor or appraiser.  After you have been around for a while you will get to know a lot of them. If you have that function by all means use it. I doubt the detail is extensive.  Go look up an appraisal to see just how extensive the data here:

Home appraisal

Updated over 6 years ago

Once you get it going you can sign up with Core logic. Its kind of the oh Infinity or Lamborghini of databases.

@Matthew Fleming if you passed the test I would say just finish the process and in this manner you have access to the MLS. You will also be able to go view properties without having to deal with the Agent. I've heard on the podcast as well that some people are agents and still use agents and give away the commission which is a great way to help build relationships.

And tell your agent that he's too slow and if he doesn't adjust let him go unless there is something that he is giving you that you can't find elsewhere (which i doubt)

Originally posted by @Mark Redmann :
Originally posted by @Matthew Fleming:
Originally posted by @Edward B.:

It is OK, but not great. Your information will likely be somewhat dated and less detailed to what the MLS will have. It is a good way to get an idea of value but you probably want something more solid (CMA/BPO/appraisal) before you do a deal. Of course, this assumes that you have the knowledge and expertise to evaluate the comps. If not, use a realtor.

 I wouldn't say I have expertise in evaluating comps, but I generally go by area (Usually inside of a zipcode), sq ft, beds, and baths. I use the AVI Calculator & the Philadelphia department of revenue websites to verify if the homes were recently sold and the accuracy of the sq footage.

 Philadelphia is VERY block by block. I live in 19146 (graduate hospital) and the comps for 19146 (point breeze) are quite different. even inside of "point breeze" the comps can differ drastically. 

 Philly is definitely a block by block city. I see that you wholesale. What tools do you use for comps?

I use those websites, my title company, and some Realtors. A combination of them all. So far I'm nailing my ARV plus or minus $5000. And just knowing the area helps too. It gets a little tougher when I'm in a new section of the city, but the process remains the same. In some areas, the comps overlap into a different section. A house with an ARV of 300k could be only a street away from something with an arv of 120k