How To... in 20009>Question Details

Leeanne, Both Buyer and Seller in Washington, DC

How do I find out the past purchase prices on a home in Washington DC?

Asked by Leeanne, Washington, DC Sun Dec 21, 2008

0 votes Share Flag How To... in 20009

Help the community by answering this question:


The Washington Post real estate section has a useful past price function:

Checking past prices yourself is more reliable than asking a real estate agents to find their own subjective "comps." Real estate agents only get paid when a transaction takes place; even a big swing in price that mean a lot to you (as buyer or seller) means very little to the size of an agent's commission. This means that - paradoxically - a buyers agent has an inherent bias toward encouraging buyers to make the highest possible offer and a seller's agent has an inherent bias toward accepting the lowest possible offer.

This doesn't mean agents are bad people, just that they are motivated by self-interest just like everyone else and so consciously or unconsciously find comp prices that reinforce that bias, and you should always find independent price information rather than relying on your real estate agent for everything. "Trust but verify" applies to your real estate agent same as it would to a used car dealer or anyone else.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 25, 2009
Try the DC gov tax record site and search under Sales database. It is somewhat tricky though. The system needs certain information to pull the tax record. Also, if you are trying to see what someone bought in new construction, be aware that the settlement does not get logged into the system the next day - more like 90 days.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 24, 2009
Dear Leeanne,

A real estate professional can give you access to this, along with a number of other critical factors in addition to previous-sale info. At this particular time in the market it pays to know "everything" about a property; as you do this it will become known which individual, or combination of factors, properly determine the value of a home. Cheers,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 29, 2008
You can ask any real estate professional. Send me the address and I'd be glad to check it out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 22, 2008
One of the best "public" sites is…

which is the DC government site. It is generally up to date and easy to use. If you need more information or details about past sales, feel free to email me at

Good Luck!
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 22, 2008
You can find that out via the homepage.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 21, 2008
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