Your Offer Price
Sales in the Public Record
The most accessible
source of information on comparable sales is the public record. When
someone buys a home the property is deeded from the seller to the buyer.
In most circumstances, this deed is recorded at the local county
recorder's office. They combine sales data with information already
known about the property so they can assess property taxes correctly.
Provided there have been
no additions to the property, the information available from the public
record is usually correct regarding sales price, square footage, and
numbers of rooms. This makes it easy to use the public record as a
source of data for comparable sale information.
Accessing the data is
another matter, at least for the general public. Realtors can generally
look up this information through title insurance companies. The title
companies either compile the data directly from the county recorder's
office or purchase if from other companies.
One problem with the
public record is that it tends to run at least six to
eight weeks behind. Add another four to six weeks for the typical escrow
period and you can see the data is not current. The most current
information is the most valuable.
Sales in the Multiple Listing Service
Most of the public is
aware that the Multiple Listing Service is a private resource where
Realtors list properties available for sale. Recently, the public has
been able to access some of that information on such sites as
Realtor.com, MSN HomeAdvisor, and others.
Once a property is sold
and the transaction has closed, the selling price is posted to the
listing in the Multiple Listing Service. Over time, it has become a huge
database on past sales, containing much more information on individual
homes than can be gleaned from the public record. This information is
only available to real estate agents who are members of the local
Multiple Listing Service.
Your agent will provide
you with this data to help determine your offer price.
copyright 2006 by Terry
Light and RealEstate ABC