Appraising - Posted by Lou

Posted by Paul Ness, MAI on July 17, 2001 at 08:11:20:

The easiest way is to ask any Realtor friends if they’d do an MLS search of sales and give them the parameters you want (location, oldest sale date, physical characteristics of the property).

Another way would be to go to the courthouse and search public records yourself. If you don’t know your way around your courthouse, this can be time consuming. Hopefully someone there can take the time to show you what to do. The recorder of deeds office has the sales data and the assessment/appraisers office has the physical property data.

Some counties now have public data access via the internet, but you may not get complete data. You may be able to find sales info in this manner, but then you might still have to go to the courthouse to get the physical description of the property in order to make valid comparisons.

Once you get the data, you need to know how to analyze it properly, which is why you really need an appraiser. They know what kinds of adjustments to make, i.e. what the market pays or doesn’t pay for differences between the sales and your property (examples - 3 vs 4 BR’s or 1 vs 2 car garages). You also need to watch out for “non arm’s length” sales that were between family members perhaps, or “distressed” sales of foreclosures or situations where the seller was pressed to sell the property quickly for whatever reason. In order to obtain this information, you need to contact either the broker, buyer or seller to ask these questions.

Appraising - Posted by Lou

Posted by Lou on July 17, 2001 at 07:20:06:

I read an article about appraising and it stated you should find homes in the neighborhood or close vicinity of the house you are looking at that have sold recently. My question is how do I get a list of homes that have sold and what they sold for recently? I understand that the current asking prices are are not reliable to determine the value of a home. Any suggestions or tips?