Accurate Real Estate Comparables (or property comparables) for tax foreclosure properties are critical to smart buying as there is no “market list price” when you go to purchase at the auction! You may have gone through the process of locating your property tax foreclosures on the tax sale list, mapping your properties, and know what the properties are valued at in the Appraisal District’s Website, but how do you know the true value of the properties? I find consulting a variety of resources is the most effective method to define Real Estate Comparables.
Real Estate Based Websites
Iphone Apps and Ipad Apps are also available for many similar services including several based on GPS and/or MLS! Read reviews and rate these apps HERE
MLS Listing Service
I consult the MLS listing service and a local realtor. The MLS listing service will not have the Sheriff’s sale property listed (probably), but I use the search engine to research other properties in the same area with similar characteristics to see how they compare. You can access the MLS listing service through several of the real estate firm’s websites, but I use the following link:
Because the typical person cannot access all of the MLS listing service, it is advantageous to consult a local realtor personally. Ask them to run a “comparable” on any properties which you are interested. They can do this easily, and are anxious to help because they realize that you will need a realtor if you choose to sell your future purchased property, and they would like the opportunity to sell the property for you. However, you do not want to ask for too many comparables without using the realtor for a sale or they will become disinterested, so select your requests carefully!
Once you have completed the research described above, you will have a very good feel for the value of the property. Value is subjective. What the city’s appraisal district website reports as the value will not necessarily match the values listed in Zillow, Trulia, or Realtor.com, and those values may not match your observations with the MLS listing service or the opinion of your personal realtor. Real Estate comparables give you a good frame of reference, but at the end of the day, YOU are the person that must decide the value of your target properties. The next step in determining this is step number four, as listed on the homepage – “Visit the Properties”. For more information on this step, refer back to the homepage!