Trouble finding comps - Posted by Matt B

Posted by tarun on December 17, 1998 at 23:39:34:

yes, the experian reports contain all the info that you need such as number of beds/baths, yr built, sq ft etc. Experian will also tell you the book and page number of the mtg on the property. It will even give you the seller’s and the buyer’s names. You can subscribe to this service. You can also get access to Experian reports through your local library for FREE.
Good luck!

Trouble finding comps - Posted by Matt B

Posted by Matt B on December 17, 1998 at 05:48:54:

I have found several houses as prospects for flipping. My problem is that although I can estimate the repairs fairly well, I cannot find a decent resource for finding the “after repaired value” of these houses. I have tried to look at some similar listings in the area. I am not able to get a good read on price from them since there are only a couple of listings, and nothing is a decent match. I also paid $9.95 for a comparable sales report from Dataquick, which is useless. I accessed this through their internet site. It found 16 comps for the house that I was looking up. However, the information that they provided on the houses was extremely patchy and didn’t have any of the information that I needed. 9 of the comps list a “first loan”, which I assumed I could use to determine value. (Roughly, of course.) However, when looking at similar houses on, the house that had a “first loan” of $75,000 seemed to be most similar to the houses listing for $29,900. (I should mention that I drove over to all of these houses in person to compare them visually as well as dimensions.) The Dataquick report also listed “assessed value”, which I know I cannot base value on (the tax assessment), and a “transfer value”, which I don’t quite understand. Another problem is that on these comps, one has a couple of facts, another has only the square footage, the other one only has assessed value, etc.

This is getting a little frustrating. I have gathered the owner’s names, addresses, and phone numbers through lot of research, and now only need to be able to assign a dollar figure to the properties to figure out my offer and call. I am very anxious to get the ball rolling here and have been working my butt off, educating myself and gathering information. I have my fiance calling TransAmerica about their Metroscan product, and ICS about whatever product they have for comps today. Does anyone have experience with these sources? I would like any suggestions that anyone has regarding getting comps. I have avoided using a realtor since none of these initial deals will be done through them and I don’t really think that they will pull up comps on properties that have nothing to do with them for someone that they don’t know. If anyone has any ideas for getting comps from an internet source, I would appreciate hearing it. I am still chained to this desk for another 3 and 1/2 weeks, although my fiance is free during the day to run to the courthouse, or anywhere else. I really need to move quickly to get these deals done. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Trouble finding comps - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on December 17, 1998 at 20:19:25:

I do two things to arrive at comps.

  1. Check the MLS (I am a realtor so its easy for me)
  2. Check the courthouse records for sales in the subdivision. (Again very easy for me because in Orlando all the courthouse records and tax records are on the internet)

Re: Trouble finding comps - Posted by Irwin

Posted by Irwin on December 17, 1998 at 18:46:49:

I may be an anachronism, but I still don’t trust these confounded electronic contraptions to research for me. You’ll get more out of one trip to the neighborhood and a few conversations with the people who live in the surrounding homes, than you’ll get with all the internet services put together. They will not only know what every home has sold for in the past 2 years, but they’ll be able to tell you all about the house (and what’s wrong with it) that you’re thinking about buying. Try it sometime. You’ll be amazed.

Re: Trouble finding comps - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on December 17, 1998 at 12:33:09:


Here?s what I would do if I were in your shoes and needed some quick comps.

First, I would call my title company. In some areas title companies provide comps as a part of their property profile. Check this out. It may not be true in your area, but if it is it?s a nice time saver.

Next, depending on your area, the courthouse may show sale prices, or perhaps some type of transfer fee system from which you can calculate the sales price. This same info may be available from the title company.

A method I always used to use in areas that I might not be familiar with, or might not have MLS access to, is that I drive the area. I write down all the listings, both FSBO?s and Realtor listings. I call them all. Now this doesn?t give comps, but it tells you what offerings are out there. Ask details about the properties. When you speak with one of the Realtors, ask him if he can provide you with comps in the area. They are typically happy to do this for a subdivision. You don?t need the comps from that particular realtor. Any company will have a realtor who is on duty. You can call them and ask for the comps. Tell them you?re evaluating a property that you may purchase in the subdivision, and that when you resell you will consider them for a listing. This should get you all the action you need.

For a more permanent solution you could call experian. They provide a service for a monthly fee in many counties (not all) around the country. This might cost you around $100 per month.


Re comps/another comp - Posted by MilNC

Posted by MilNC on December 17, 1998 at 12:19:38:

This is a comment and question: I think what was on one
of the tapes, that I think you have is, once you have
located a possible property, call the owner (you’ve already got that info) ask what they want for it as is, ask how they
arrived at the price, offer them somthing lower,
get option to purchase, record memorandum of option. Now you are protected-you can have the rehabbers drive by and let them figure out it’s worth it to them. You can have it appraised/inspected with owner’s permission or whatever contingency clause seems appropriate, (but this is as is) Give yourself enough time (have the buyers ready), and the buyer doesn’t kneed to know when your option expires, then flip it with a simultaneous close.
You are out your option money if your buyers aren’t
interested in time.

I think your next step is to call I Buy Houses ads
and findout out what they are looking for, develop your buyers list and have them waiting in the wings, then call your prospective sellers and start with the most motivated ones.
Meanwhile be calling around to find a title company or
whatever entity does this in your area, and find one
that will do a simultaneous close.
I think I’m missing a step, like whether you make your option contingent on your approval of the appraisal in this case.

I’m getting the impression that in a situation where
you are going to flip quick you are not looking for
a long term option and you are not worried what it is
going to rent for. This is not a case where you are
going to maintain the property or make payments,
although you could, esp for out of town landlord for short time (I think the options could be 15 days or so.
Yo do all the normal title things, too, as described
in the course.
Well, that’s my scenario for what you have.
I’m still learning --I’m sure someone else can fill
in the blanks. I might have misinterpretted something, so that is my disclaimer!

Re: Trouble finding comps - Posted by Stacy (AZ)

Posted by Stacy (AZ) on December 17, 1998 at 11:51:45:


The best info is from the MLS. I have family friends that are brokers that will do CMAs for me, but I can’t monopolize their time with continual requests for free comps, so I only use them after I think I’ve got a real deal.

I use for $9.95, and I’ve found it to be one of the better on-line products. It only lists sold properties, but is still helpful. I don’t like homeshark, the info is too spotty.

One of these days I’m going to check-out the Board of Realtors, and ask about the associate membership.


Re: Trouble finding comps - Posted by MilNC

Posted by MilNC on December 17, 1998 at 11:06:04:

I think calling a realtor would be not the best way. If you already had a relationship, that might
be OK, but if not, they might as well pay you a birddog fee-what is stopping them from listing the house? you’ve done all this work, and you are ready to hand it
over to someone else? Protect yourself first.
Even an appraiser could be birddogging for a realtor.
You are going to try to flip, you will be offering a wholesale price; while I think a realtor would be offering to list at -closer to retail.
just sounds like you could be giving away too much information.

Re: Trouble finding comps - Posted by Kevin(OK)

Posted by Kevin(OK) on December 17, 1998 at 09:32:59:

Go to the tax assessors office at your local CH. They will have on record the actual sales price of properties in any given area. Tarun recommended you call “for sale” signs to get comps, these will not give you what you need. You need what houses sold for, not asking price. Also, I might ad that it sounds like you are doing things a little backward. I am referring to your comment about needing comps before you call the homeowners. If you have their name, address of the property and their phone #, call them up. If they want to sell find out their needs, then get the comps that you need to make an offer. I think you will find this eliminates alot of wasted time and research.

Good Luck!


Re: Trouble finding comps - Posted by DJ

Posted by DJ on December 17, 1998 at 07:58:27:

Check with your local Board of Realtors Association.
You should be able to get an affiliate/associate membership by paying their annual dues and an application fee. Then for another fee, you can have access to the MLS. Unfortunately, not being a licensed
agent, you will only have access to the “SOLD” comps
and tax listings. You will not have access to active listings. This will cost you a little cash layout at first, but if you are actively investing on a regular basis, it’s worth it! If you would like to get a copy of the active MLS listings, here’s something to try:
The MLS listing is updated once a week in my area. So,
what do you think happens to the old ones every week?
You got it! The old dumpster! Although some of the bigger agencies shred theirs, the smaller RE companies just toss them. If you know an agent personally, and ask real nice, you should have a new MLS every week!
It will be a week old, but hey, the older the better!
Keep track of listings your interested in, and the longer they are listed, the more motivated the seller!
I have even heard tell of people digging through dumpsters at night to get their hands on these MLS listings! I don’t know that I would go that far, but if asking real nice doesn’t work, make 'em an offer they can’t refuse,$CA$H! Hope this helps!
Merry Christmas!

Re: Trouble finding comps - Posted by tarun

Posted by tarun on December 17, 1998 at 06:45:54:

There are a couple of ways that I use to get comps. After I look at the house, I drive around the neighborhood and call all the other “for sale” signs on similar properties to find out what other houses are selling for. Then I take the average of all the values I normally go for the lower end of the values. That way I know what to offer.

Another way to get comps is by calling a realtor(whose signs are posted in the neighboorhood) and telling him/her that you might be interested in purchasing and reselling a house. If you were to list the house under him/her, what price can you get for the house. Ask them if they can fax you the comps on the property you are looking at. They should fax it to you cause you are a prospective client for them. After they fax you the info, you don’t necessarily have to list the house under them. You got the info that you wanted.

Another way is to go to your local library. Ask one of the clerks, if they have any kind of reports that tell you of sale prices of properties in your county that sold in the last 3 to six months. Chances are, they do. In my local library, they carry something called “Experian property sales report”. Experian is a national service and covers every county in the USA.

I hope the info helps you!
Good luck!

Actually, I’m way ahead of you… - Posted by Matt B

Posted by Matt B on December 17, 1998 at 12:29:35:

I have already called the “we buy houses” ads, found what specific buyers are looking for, and talked to title companies. I have been using the information that I got in Ron LeGrand’s “Quick Turn” course. I need to know exactly what I can pay for the property and still flip it quickly with my profit added in. This means not asking what they would take first, THEN finding out what I could pay, and especially not getting a contract signed and putting down money if I don’t even know if it is a workable deal! I am not going to have this property appraised, I know how to value the propety once I have the comps… that’s all I need. I know how much the repairs will cost, and have an exact formula for calculating my offer… all I need is COMPS!

Re: Trouble finding comps - Posted by Matt B

Posted by Matt B on December 17, 1998 at 12:21:07:

I was also checking out The information that they say they provide looks very similar to what I got from dataquick. I almost hate to waste another $9.95, but I think I will probably take a chance since I am chomping at the bit to get some flips fast. I have gathered a LOT of prospects, but need my facts in place before I can make offers. I, of course, need to put together as many offers as I possibly can to try to get at least one accepted, too. Thanks for your input.

Re: Trouble finding comps - Posted by Matt B

Posted by Matt B on December 17, 1998 at 12:09:32:

Thanks for pointing that out! I was going to try that suggestion out until I read your post. My purpose is a quick flip and I didn’t really want to get a realtor involved. It sounded like a good idea at first, though. I am giving serious thought to becoming an agent myself, too. I was just going to have my fiance go for the free training that a local agency is offering, after which they give you a job. However now I think I will be taking this training also. I had been tossing this idea around and then Doug gave me the final push. The only problem is that I still need to get this flip done before the end of the month and I need the comps info now. I’m squeezing every resource that I can think of for more information. Thanks for your help.

Re: Trouble finding comps - Posted by Ray Richardson

Posted by Ray Richardson on December 17, 1998 at 08:01:37:

Does the Experian report contain any info about the properties sold other than price and address? I can get this info from my local paper, but it doesn’t tell me things like # of beds and baths, square footage, garage, lot size, … any of that good stuff. Thanks.


Re: Actually, I’m way ahead of you… - Posted by Valerie

Posted by Valerie on December 18, 1998 at 08:48:05:

I agree with Cesar. Perhaps you could hook up with a New agent who needs the practice on pulling comps. They are so poor to begin with, offer them some small fee ($25) to pull comps for you. They may be green, but they need the practice and you need the comps. Also, suggest that there may be some future business in it for them. The old information exchange, maybe throw them a lead on one of the properties you rejected but know needs to be sold.

Re: Actually, I’m way ahead of you… - Posted by Cesar

Posted by Cesar on December 17, 1998 at 15:47:43:

The best thing you can have in your corner right now is a Realtor that likes you and trusts you. I agree with LHoffman that you should make it worth their while.

You can either be selfish and poor or think win/win and triple your income IMMEDIATELY. (not meant to be rude, just realistic…)

Don’t be afraid of spending a little to make a lot.

Good luck.

Re: Actually, I’m way ahead of you… - Posted by LHoffman

Posted by LHoffman on December 17, 1998 at 13:14:49:

I think Jim’s ideal above is an excellent one. Why not offer to pay the Realtor something. Make it worth his/her while to pull these comps up for you. If you get a better deal from these comps. You would pay off that fee and then some.


How about this? - Posted by MilNC

Posted by MilNC on December 17, 1998 at 12:43:50:

OK, Stacy AZ is right, MLS is the best; and as someone else posted, possibly
also join the board as non-realtor member. Access to solds -only is ok for you in your present scenario–that’s what you want.

Do a sample search on the $9.95 internet service, using
properties you already know, so you can test out the
accuracy on information that you already know, or compare the service with sold MLS listings-
that might give you an idea.

How about if the rehabbers run the comps? You are already protected, because you have your option and memorandum of option. They don’t know your option price. Chances are
they have been around longer than you. They probably
already know someone in the business-realtors,
inspectors, title co–some of them are going to do
simultaneous closings on the other end.
Find out which ones you can work with and maybe they can refer you to a realtor you can work with.

Don’t forget the advice to find a title co that will
veryfy title day of closing, and not delay or refuse a simultaneous closing on grounds that they won’t have time to check the title.

Start working on your closing: 14 days left!