Running comps on zillow

8 Replies

I found a house recently in Detroit that I liked and am trying to run comps on it, but am having a hard time. I'm using zillow and using "sold" houses to do it. What I was taught to do is run three houses that are sold same bed, baths less then ten years apart (year it was built) and sold within 30 days (I sometimes use 60) And within 2 or three blocks of each other.  The problem I'm having is one house might be sold for $5,000 and another house with same comparable went for $30,000 then another might be 17,000 and so on. My thinking is people who bought houses for $30,000 is the houses that are already repaired. And houses for $5000 are a wreck. Zillow doesn't give pics of already sold houses so I don't know for sure? I don't know how to run comps in this situation. I've ran into this problem with other houses as well. Any suggestions? What do you do? Do I need a realtor to run comps? I feel like that asking to much, is it not? 

Sorry for the long question

All help will be greatly appreciated,  

Hey Jon,

I occasionally use that site as well but it is only one tool in the tool box. I also run public MLS comps searches, and searches for county valuation, county sales history and tile chain. For tough ones to value, I will bring in a realtor to run licensed MLS comps and get opinions. For deals not involving a licensed realtor on the buy side, I will give that realtor the sell side of the flip for helping with the comps - most agents have been warm to that approach. And if I live in the general area I will always drive by the property (and get a showing if possible) to get a feel for the neighborhood and surrounding areas. You want to know are you buying the best house in the neighborhood or the worst ?

Zillow isn't much help in this situation. You've really got to talk with a real estate agent or an investor with first-hand knowledge of the specific area.

Contact a realtor. Zillow has too much information that is not correct. Redfin is better, but it wont give you information on the seller subsidy to a transaction which can be significant. Also many novices think they know how to comp a property, and I see novice flippers get themselves into trouble with this with an unrealistic ARV. Get a professional to do your comps...there are plenty out there willing to help you out.