Home Buying in Albany>Question Details

Elm, Home Buyer in Albany, NY

Is there a way to find recently sold home prices?

Asked by Elm, Albany, NY Thu Nov 13, 2008

Looking to find the most recent prices of sold homes in my area. How do you know what the house value is?

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Ok let's clarify a bit. Zillow, Cyberhome and RealtorABC among other sites gve their esimate of the value of homes (zillow calls it a 'zestimate'). Zillow doesn't have a clue when it comes to making even a reasonable estimate (they suggest you use the "range" they give to estimate what a house is worth -they got you there lol - when they say a home's estimated "range" value is $285,600 to $396,480--uh duh)- so don't use these sites for estimates. However, trullia and zillow do pull sales prices from government sources and it is my expeience that when they say a home sold at $xxxxxxx, it is accurrate, if a month late. Your best source for up to date sales info is the county auditor/recorder--if your state allows them to be published.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 2, 2008
Some MLS searches have a checkbox to select sold. You could find one with that option.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 2, 2008
It is possible that your local MLS is offering this service for REALTORS (R) in your area to give public access, and if so, that would be your best resource. I don't want to single out Zillow, but I agree with Ryan that sites of this kind are not built on reliable database platforms and for such an important purchase in life, personally I wouldn't want to base my valuations on anything but solid ground. That means getting it from a professional source, not some random aggregate site, where you really can't be sure where it's coming from. Know your source!.

First I suggest you contact your local MLS to find out if they even offer a live data feed to their brokers, and if so, then you need to find one who is offering it to the public.

Let me add a word of caution. A live raw data feed is just that, raw data, and it would be a mistake to think that's the whole story. We do have a genuine concern that someone who has access to the sold data is not going to quite fully appreciate what they are seeing. That's not arrogance, it's a feature of the imperfect world in which we live in.

I'm not one for analogies, but one way to look at it would be to think about whether or not you would be happy to represent yourself in a legal matter having only read some parts of the law and not having consulted any lawyer . Only an attorney knows exactly which laws would be applicable to your situation, and would have knowledge of the case law which may impact how the law is interpreted. Similarly, you're still going to need a REALTOR to advise how it might apply to your situation based on a number of factors too numerous to mention here.

All of the above means to say that finding a source for sold data is the easy part. What you ought to worry about is how you are going to be able to analyze the data in a meaningful way. Nothing is ever as simple as it seem before you start doing it. There's a lot more to evaluating buyer behavior than taking a bunch of sold numbers and averaging them out!

Please consult a REALTOR (R), who by the way, already has all the data you need and more at their fingertips. Good luck with your purchase.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 2, 2008
This varies from state to state. For example Texas is a non-disclose state, so the sold prices are not readily available to the public. Only your Realtor can tell you exactly what a home sold for. You couold go to the county tax records and look up the countys appraised value of the property. This amount is not the sales price, but what the county thinks its worth and its the figure they use to determine your property taxes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 14, 2008
Hi Elm: In most counties there are public records that are available to everyone. Depending on the size of the county, some records are easily found online while with smaller counties you may have to go to the county courthouse or where they keep public records. Even though the information is pubic, if you don't know the address of the homes you want the information for then the search become very cumbersome, time consuming and frustrating. The good news is that all and every home homes that is sold through a REALTOR is easily researched through the MLS. These records are not open to the public, but most real estate professionals will be glad to do the reserch and give you the information without any obligation to use their service. It's a public service that most are happy to provide. Of course, they would be very happy if you did use them for your real estate needs or if you were to refere others to their service.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 14, 2008
A Realtor has all the tools and analysis you will need to help you make a wise choice before purchasing a home in today's market. Realtors make it their business to know the housing market and this protects a buyer clients best interest from pricing, contracts to negotiations. Working with a Realtor will greatly reduce liability risks associated with real estate transactions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 14, 2008
The most reliable data is found through Realtors. Zillow is not always correct. If you would like, I can get you in touch with a Realtor with " the heart of a teacher" in you area.

Ryan Newlin
Web Reference: http://www.RyanNewlin.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 14, 2008
zillow.com (about amonth delay), the county auditor's site, most list recent sales within a day they are recorded and uh, hmmm,--- Trulia? (about a month delay)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 13, 2008
Yes, Elm, there is a way to find recently sold home prices in your area. Ask your realtor.
Web Reference: http://www.mariatmorton.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 13, 2008
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