Vince, the non-disclosure issue it accurate and an agent should only be disclosing when they are presenting comparables for a potential listing. We can't even advertise (ie), 429 Main Street sold for $125,000...Go ahead and have a market analysis done and be forthright with the agent on the reason you are doing so, (just curious, may list, may sell on my own, etc.). Zillow obviously makes things up because there is no data feed on sales price they could be using for NM. I'm confident you'll find an agent to help that won't bug you for eternity (if you were worried about this...). Remember, an analysis is one person's opinion and although the data should provide an overall idea, I've seen 3 appraisals on the same home with 3 different values (and square footage I might add) so it's not an exact science.
If you purchased in 2005 on, chances are, there is relatively flat value growth. While you keep seeing agents say sales are up, prices are typically not. Again, I stress the number of short sales and pre-foreclosure activity because that's the indicator of value to come. These type of sales drive value down. I was showing homes in Rio Rancho last week and of the 8 we saw, 5 were short sales all within a 1 mile radius. A buyer will think twice about purchasing in an area where the value is declining...things that impact value...and the appraisal.
I think it would be a lot of work and money to get a real estate license for the ability to look at comps. What about training for appraisal work, you would have access to the comps then, it would cost less and you could get paid to use that knowledge!
Not only are the number of sales in your area of Rio Rancho pacing higher 2009 vs. 2008, but the number of homes selling are also up July over June by 9%! I agree with Rich that the first time homebuyer $8,000 tax credit has a lot to do with this wonderful activity, making right now finally a very opportune time to sell. Nevertheless, whether or not your home will sell fast and for a reasonable price is a function of pricing it correctly and delivering a very polished presentation. If you would like specific information on your home, please visit (cut and paste this address into your browser): http://www.nmhomesonline.com/home-seller_worth-rio-rancho-corrales-albuquerque-new-mexico-real-estate.asp. Please let me know if you have any other questions that I can offer you great service with!~