comps - Posted by vicki

Posted by Davidatwork on March 15, 2006 at 10:07:08:

I use www.Zillow.com Before I bother a RE Agent.

comps - Posted by vicki

Posted by vicki on March 15, 2006 at 09:55:19:

When determining if a property is a good deal the comps are critical. If you are not working with a RE agent where do you get reliable comps? I know you need to know your area but you don’t always have time to do the research.
Thanks!

Re: comps - Posted by Steve (FL)

Posted by Steve (FL) on March 15, 2006 at 15:59:06:

I use a blend of free valuation websites: Domania, Zillow, Yahoo Real Estate (Comparable homes, and sales), Homegain, etc. From there I can get an average of the averages, and start getting familiar with $/sq ft, the preimum or discount off the averages for newer/older homes, and a range of values that may be appropriate for my subject home. I feel the more data I can grab for my “averages” the more it will normalize outliers (Such as Zillow being way off base sometimes)…all this coupled with an understanding of the market I am looking at, as well as a familiarity with the neighborhood has given me a pretty close estimate as to value. I’ve never been caught being “way off” in my overall average calcuation, in fact I usually underestimate value—

Hope this helps,
Steve

Re: comps - Posted by Killer Joe

Posted by Killer Joe on March 15, 2006 at 13:13:31:

Vicki,

A good REA can provide you with a lot more information regarding comps than just what comes from the MLS database. My REA in Virginia uses the service VaMANet ie: Virginia Mass Appraisal Network and a local GIS in addition to the MLS. The data that he provides me to help in my decision making is invaluable. I would suggest that for your long term prospects in this biz you team up with a good REA just as you would with a Title co, attorney, appraiser, etc.

The flip side to that coin is REAs do not participate to any large degree in the submarket (forclosures, tax lien sales, etc) so you want to be sure to have a way to gather that info as well.

Doing the proper research to determine value is critical to your financial success. It is easier to accomplish this as a team sport. Think of it this way…the time invested trying to track down all the relevent information could be better spent actually closing deals and generating profits. If that takes a little help from your friends just be sure to compensate them in a way they will appreciate. HTH

KJ

PS

Zillow is not a good place to start. Maybe in the future, but right now in the two areas I invest in they aren’t even close by a mile as far as comps go.