When you prepare an offer to purchase a home, you already know the seller’s asking price. But what price are you going to offer and how do you come up with that figure? Determining your offer price is a three-step process. First, you look at recent sales of similar properties to come up with a price range. Look up recent sales at Brandi's Zillow page. Then, you analyze additional data, such as the condition of the home, improvements made to the property, current market conditions, and the circumstances of the seller. This will help you settle on a price you think would be fair to pay for the home. Finally, depending on your negotiating style, you adjust your "fair" price and come up with what you want to put in your offer.
The first step in determining the price you are willing to offer is to look at the recent sales of similar homes at Zillow.com. These are called "comparable sales." Comparable sales are recent sales of homes that compare closely to the one you are looking to purchase. Specifically, you want to compare prices of homes that are similar in square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, garage space, lot size, and type of construction
Comparable Sales in the Public Record
The most accessible source of information on comparable sales is the public record. When someone buys a home the property is deeded from the seller to the buyer. In most circumstances, this deed is recorded at the local county recorder’s office. They combine sales data with information already known about the property so they can assess property taxes correctly.
Accessing the data is another matter, at least for the general public. Realtors can generally look up this information through title insurance companies. The title companies either compile the data directly from the county recorder’s office or purchase it from other companies.
Comparable Sales in the Multiple Listing Service
Most of the public is aware that the Multiple Listing Service is a private resource where Realtors list properties available for sale. Recently, the public has been able to access some of that information on such sites as Trulia.com and Zillow.com.
Once a property is sold and the transaction has closed, the selling price is posted to the listing in the Multiple Listing Service. Over time, it has become a huge database on past sales, containing much more information on individual homes than can be gleaned from the public record. You can access the Chico, Ca area MLS at laffins.com.
Comparable Sales – Pending Transactions
The most valuable information would be the most current, of course. A sale last week has more validity in helping you determine a purchase price than a sale from six months ago. The best way to determine market value is to contact a Realtor. Request a free market analysis of your home or a home you would like to make and offer on.