By Bill Gassett
When you are looking to sell your house, you want to ensure you get the best price possible. Conversely, when buying a home, you don't want to overpay.
Whether buying or selling a home, finding out how much a house sold for is crucial in order to make intelligent business decisions. Maximum Real Estate Exposure offers some great tips for finding property sale prices.
Knowing how to find sold house prices can save you a lot of time and money. Here, we take a deep dive into discovering sales prices of homes that are similar to the property being analyzed.
What is a Sold Home?
It is essential to understand that a sold home has closed. Sometimes it can be confusing because real estate agents refer to ‘under contract’ or ‘pending homes’ as being sold.
While a contract between the buyer and seller has been executed, a home is not genuinely sold until closing occurs and a new deed is recorded. Then, and only then, is a property considered sold.
Speak to a Local Real Estate Agent
When you want to find out the sale price of a particular property, the easiest way is to pick up the phone and call a real estate agent.
A real estate agent can quickly jump on the multiple listing service (MLS) and find the sale price of just about any property that has been listed for sale. Even if it wasn't for sale in the MLS, an agent may still be able to get the sale price.
Many MLS databases have access to the ‘field card’ for a property that contains the previous sale price history.
If you're looking to find out the value of your own home, a real estate agent will also be your best bet. An agent can create a comparative market analysis to evaluate the fair market value.
Agents will use ‘comps’ of other similar properties in order to come up with a value of the subject property via a comparative market analysis.
The essential variables that will be considered include the square footage, bedroom and bath counts, condition, age and amenities.
Search For Sold Properties on Zillow
One of the beautiful things about the internet is it allows you to do your own research for just about anything. One of the most popular real estate websites is Zillow. You can jump on and use the site to find homes for sale.
You may not realize that you can also use Zillow to find sold houses. If you want to do some quick online research on recently sold properties in your area, you can use Zillow's online tool.
To view recent homes that have sold in your city on Zillow, type the name of your city in the search bar. This will provide a list of results and a map displaying where homes have been sold within that city.
Clicking on the dots Zillow provides on their map will provide you with the property details, including the sale price.
Search For Properties on Realtor.com®
Realtor.com® is another site that potential buyers or sellers can use to look up sale prices of properties. It is one of the most visited real estate sites due to its ease of use.
Similar to Zillow, the ‘just sold’ database on Realtor.com® is an exciting resource because it provides a map of recently sold homes in the city, as well as the ability to overlay different features of each area of the city on the map. It allows users to learn more about each location and its features.
For example, you will see info on noise levels and other amenities such as shopping.
Use Google to Research Sale Price History of a Home
Where do you turn to when you want to find the answers to your questions? Yes, you guessed it—Google! Google can be used for almost anything, including finding out how much a property is sold.
If you have the house address you want the sale price, enter it into Google's search bar. You will likely see many top real estate sites such as Zillow and Realtor.com. However, you will likely see others that may also contain the information you're looking for.
Go to The Local City Hall and Visit The Assessor's Office
If you are having difficulty finding the information on properties’ sold price online, it will be worth checking in your local town hall. The assessor's office will have the sale price information of all the homes that have been sold.
The sold price information is crucial for an assessor's office as it will be one of the pieces of data used to formulate a home's assessed value.
As you have learned, there are several ways to determine the sale prices of homes. Researching and getting accurate sale prices is essential to making the best decisions. When data is not correct, it can cause unsound choices.
Using these tips should give you a reasonably good chance to find the necessary information.
Bill Gassett is a nationally recognized real estate leader who has been helping people buy and sell MetroWest Massachusetts real estate for the past 33 years. He has been one of the top RE/MAX REALTORS® in New England for the past decade. Gassett works for RE/MAX Executive Realty in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. In 2018, he was the No. 1 RE/MAX real estate agent in Massachusetts.