Finding the “magic price” for listing your home can be difficult and stressful. You don’t want to feel like you’re leaving money on the table, however overpricing your home can delay your plans when your home stays on the market longer than anticipated, or fails to sell at all.
A qualified real estate agent can help provide you with a solid basis for pricing information, as well as advising you on how to increase your home’s “curb appeal” and other factors that will potentially help it sell more quickly and for the best price.
However, if you wish to list your home as a For Sale By Owner, saving yourself the real estate agent’s fee, or just simply double check your agent’s work, public record data can be your friend.
One of the most important factors in pricing your home is how much comparable houses within your neighborhood or zip code have sold for within a recent time period, often called “comps” within the industry. Being able to identify the right comps will give you the confidence to price your home accordingly.
One way to do this on your own is to track publicly listed homes for sale within your target radius. You can accomplish this by looking at realtor’s listing, which often list recently sold homes as a form of advertising their services. Then enter those addresses into a public records database search to find the most recent sale price.
Entering a property search is also a great way to find truly comparable listings to your own home. Public record data can also provide detailed information on the property that one couldn’t gleam from simply looking at the outside, such as the square footage, number of rooms, year built and tax information.
Keep in mind that a home sold in your neighborhood does not automatically make it a “comp.” Condition, age and remodels all must be taken into consideration. However, public record data can provide a useful glimpse into the homes selling near by and help you price your home most effectively for sale.