I’m not sure about Yahoo, but I’ve found www.homeradar.com gives the most recent comps of any site I’ve found. www.domania.com is also pretty good. I don’t like HomeGain because the comps are always very old.
Ultimately, it’s better to get with someone who has MLS access, like an agent or appraiser to get the best comps. The websites are better than nothing, but IMO aren’t quite sufficient for making intelligent offers. You also want to learn the neighborhoods you’re investing in and ultimately become an expert on your area’s property values. Working on that myself…
I am just starting to flip properties in Iowa and I was wondering if the comps that you get from Yahoo are good comps or not. If not, does anyone know where else I can get free comps online? I have read Bronchick’s Flipping Properties book and the Yahoo site is the only one that covers where I live in Iowa. Please Help.
No. I have tried both radar.com and Yahoo. It is a computer program that finds sales of homes in your area. The less information you give any program, the worse your results are going to be.
I put in my address to radar.com. My home value is right near the middle of the results. One “comp” came in at over $300,000 while another was only about $150,000. If you consider that accurate, yeah they narrowed it down to within $150,000.
I think those comps include refi’s and second mortgages that owners have taken out on their homes. In other words, you don’t know if the numbers given are from actual sales or if they are new loans that were taken out and recorded in the county records which is where that info they post comes from. So I would not base any final decisions on what the web sites tell you. Especially Yahoo!
Someone refinances and that shows up looking as if it were a sale when it wasn’t. Someone takes out a second mortgage and it shows up to look as if the property sold way below value. You ever notice a bunch of sales on one block where some may look as if they sold for 25% - 50% of what the others sold for? Those may be second mortgages that were recorded and when they pull the info from the records they pick up refi’s and second mortgages from that and they get listed on the web site as if it were a sale. And since refi’s could be over inflated based on higher appraisals those records would be flawed to make the property appear that it sold for more than what it is really worth. You can’t trust those sources! Only use those to get a general idea for the area. If you want accurate comps then get them from a local realtor, title company, appraiser, or public records at the county courthouse.