How do I Find out How Much a House in My Neighborhood Sold For?

September 3, 2011

in Calculating Home Value

If you’re thinking about selling your home, you are probably asking yourself, “How do I find out how much a house in my neighborhood sold for, and are the prices houses sold for in my neighborhood comparable to the price I could ask for my house?”

When deciding how much you should list your house for, you have a couple of options.

A CMA will Show what Prices Houses Sold for in Your Neighborhood

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If you’re looking to sell your home, a real estate agent will be able to give you the prices houses sold for in your neighborhood. This will help you determine how much you should list your home for.

If you’re selling your home, you need to get the best and most accurate pricing data you can find. The best way to do that is by contacting a real estate agent. There is typically no charge for getting specific information on how much houses in your neighborhood sold for. A realtor® will go through your home and provide a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). This is typically free of charge, and there is no obligation for you to list with anyone who prepares the Comparative Market Analysis. The CMA will provide information on how much several comparable houses in your neighborhood sold for.

Just ask a local real estate agent to give you a Comparative Market Analysis or information on the prices of houses that sold within the past three months in your neighborhood.  You’ll also want to know which of the houses sold in your neighborhood were short sales and bank owned.

Using Tax Assessor’s Data to Find House Prices in Your Neighborhood

If you’re thinking about selling your own home as  “For Sale By Owner” or if you’re just doing research out of curiosity for future planning, many counties have their real estate records online. These are typically found through the county tax assessor’s data. If your city doesn’t have this information available online, you could go down to the courthouse and look it up.  Keep in mind that doing this research can be time consuming.

If you are hoping to sell your home without a realtor®, there is one thing to consider when finding out how much houses sold for in your neighborhood. Statistically, For Sale By Owner homes usually sell for less and remain on the market longer than those represented by a licensed real estate agent. An agent would contact his or her network of realtors® and potential buyers to quickly get the word out about your property, and your home would be listed in at least one Multiple Listing Service (MLS), giving other agents a way of finding out that your home is on the market.  If you’re a good negotiator and willing to do a lot of leg work, you’ll be fine, but you could end up losing money in the long run.

Using Online Databases to Find House Prices in Your Neighborhood

If you’re not using a real estate agent and you don’t feel like making a trip down to the courthouse, you can read the property transfers in your local newspaper or research online databases where you can find the information you’re looking for. Many states have a public MLS that will show you comparable properties. One word of caution, though: the accuracy of online pricing databases can sometimes be a little questionable. Public records and search engines could give you an incomplete picture of the market, because they gather sold property data from public records, which can be outdated and incomplete.

Most Important Factors When Finding Out How Much a House Sold For

When you find out how much a house in your neighborhood sold for, don’t forget to truly compare your house to the houses for which you have data. Does your house really have similarities, and is it comparable in size? How many bedrooms and bathrooms does it have? Does your home have the same curb appeal? Have you done any bathroom or kitchen upgrades? Just make sure you only compare properties that are really comparable.

Finally, the easiest and fastest way to find out how much a house in your neighborhood sold for is to find a reputable real estate agent and have him or her provide a Comparative Market Analysis.

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