If you contact a Realtor (me for one) and supply your name and the address of the property, you can receive what sales information there is available on a property.
Be aware, though, that when making an offer, it is not only significant what the house sold for previously, but also how much the owner currently owes (he may have taken out an equity loan) and whether the house was improved since it was last purchased, and finally what other similar houses in the same neighborhood are selling for.
A seller is not going to accept an offer that is well below what others are receiving for similar properties, and if his loans are not cleared off or his perceived value for improvements paid for, you will have a difficult time agreeing on a price.
It depends if SOLD in past 3 years and posted in MLS not Z amount would be posted.
County Tax records.
You need have property comp much more goes into trying determine correct offer without alienating the property owner OR if foreclosure a winning bid.
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Realtors
The only thing that matters is what the house is worth today. What are the comps? What are the competing actives on the market? What's it worth today?
Example: In a subdivision near where I live, one family bought a house 20 years ago for $200,000. Another family bought a house 7 years ago for $400,000. Another family bought a house 3 years ago for $725,000. Does that tell you anything--anything AT ALL--about how much the house is worth? Or what you should offer? Absolutely not. In fact, all three houses are worth about $625,000.
Oh, and that $725,000 house is now an REO--the seller did a deed in lieu of foreclosure--and it's on the market for $475,000 (It's a really good value. Some here will argue that if it's not selling for $475,000, then it's overpriced. Perhaps, but it's got a lot of superficial damage and needed maintenance--about $20,000 worth. People are having a hard time seeing through that. Others are selling for $625,000.
So, what a seller paid is irrelevant to how much it's worth. And while T.E. Sumner's advice is correct that a seller won't be inclined to accept an offer that's less than what he owes (unless it's a short sale), or under what he believes the value to be, that, too, is irrelevant to your inquiry. Doesn't matter.
What matters is what the house is worth. So: You pay no more than the house is worth. You may choose to offer less. It's really that simple.
That's one of the things we do with you when we make the offer. We sit down with you and discuss how much the seller paid, what their mortgage was, how much equity they might have in the house.....all of which might not matter...depending on the current market value of the house. We also discuss with you their motivations to sell, your motivations to buy and several other factors to consider when making your offer.
We do not publically disclose sales prices in all cases in Texas like some other states do. All we record at the courthouse is the mortgage amounts.
If you are not already working with a realtor we would be happy to work with you to write the offer, review offer amounts and strategy and see if we can't get you a great house at the best possible price.
Keller Williams Realty