We recently bought a house:

Asked by Nate, 93955 Sun Jan 20, 2008

We have a contract on a house:


The sales history shows a drop of $132,000 in 4 months. What could cause this? Could the previous owners have somehow extracted their equity and then refinanced?

Thank you,

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Web reference:


Walstmnky, Home Buyer, 07093
Sun Jan 20, 2008
If you go to this site (Stafford County Real Estate Assessment)


and search by Street Address, you can find that property and some nearby ones (I suspect that's where Trulia gets its information).

Now, once you have selected that property, click on "Transfer" Tab on the right side to see the property transfer history (sales).

You will see the following:

Deed ------------- Sale Price ------ Date ----- Prev Owner -------------------- New Owner
030024342 $319,300.00 6/20/2003 SPEAR BUILDERS OF VIRGINIA INC -----reducted -----
030005987X $451,140.00 2/19/2003 STAFFORD LAKES L C I
990022050 $0.00 10/24/2002 SUBSETUP BY STAFFORD LAKES LC

(I removed the current owners name, although that's really public information - anyone with a computer can look that up).

Sounds like the current owners bought the place for $319K, just like Trulia said, but before that there was a sale for $451K, just like Trulia said.

However, what you said, and I am quoting, [[[The drop occurred while the current sellers owned the house.]]], is not correct.

The previous transfer was between the land owner and builder, I would guess related companies. It appears that a subsidiary of Stafford Lakes LLC initially bought the property (probably land at that time) for $0.00, and then sold what was probably the finished property for $451K, and then the builder sold to the first owner at $319K. I have no idea why they would do this, but I am sure they had very good reasons of their own to do that. I can tell you that in terms of accounting, at least on paper, Stafford Lakes, LC made $451K revenue minus their costs, and Spears Builders made $319 - $451 = $132K loss.

In fact, if you check nearby properties, like 8 Abington Court, they all look to have the same transfer trail.

Your real estate agent, I am sure, has a better explanation than mine why this might have occured.
0 votes
Cindy Jones, Agent, Alexandira, VA
Sun Jan 20, 2008
I checked the MLS records and it does not show a contract on the property hower I would ask your agent to research the history of the property. The owners may have overpriced the home initially to try and get it sold. If you are not working with a buyers agent to represent you then you may want to discuss with the agent the pricing strategy and make sure that the home isn't a short sale.
1 vote
Frank Bigans…, Agent, Newport News, VA
Sun Jan 20, 2008

That's a really tough question to answer, and one that should only be answered by your Realtor - assuming you had your own Realtor and you didn’t use the seller’s agent.

There literally could be hundreds of reasons why the price is dropping but my long-distance guess would be new construction in the area that’s priced lower than your home, combined with a slower market. It could also be in pre-foreclosure?

I’ve seen slight price drops in some areas of Chesapeake Virginia, but not by $100,000, just $10,000 - $15,000 because of new construction.

Talk to your Realtor, and get their opinion (and I really hope you had an agent representing you).

Frank Biganski, Realtor ABR
1 vote
Michael Stra…, Agent, Stafford, VA
Mon Nov 2, 2009
Like to hear if you bought the house? Are you satisfied and do you feel like you paid a "fair " value? Often times, more important than price, is if the house is the right fit for our family. Hope you are feeling cozy and comfortable.
0 votes
Poodlelover, Home Seller, Fredericksburg, VA
Thu Oct 8, 2009
The owner of the home has simply dropped the price of the home three times recently in a determined attempt to get the home sold. They could be transferring or have a divorce, or other matters forcing them to sell quickly. This means the owners will lose $132,000 of the equity they would have had if the home had sold at the original sales price. The owners really want to sell and have obviously lost money, like everyone who must sell quickly in this market. It's a buyers market -big time- and you are the one getting the deal. Congratulations and best of luck on your new home.
0 votes
Nate, Home Buyer, 93955
Sun Jan 20, 2008
Oh, yeah I forgot. Yes, we are using our own buyer's agent.
0 votes
Nate, Home Buyer, 93955
Sun Jan 20, 2008
Just to elaborate a little, the sellers are in 2 different locations, so the offer isn't formally ratified yet. This, however is inmaterial to my question. The public record sales prices show a drop of $132k , four years ago. The drop occurred while the current sellers owned the house. The records can be found at the link in my original question. A Zillow search confirms the first (higher price).

Thank you in advance,
0 votes
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