Approaching agents about comps

When I approach an agent about comps, there are a few things I would like to know. I hope someone can help me out.

How are comps listed on the MLS? Can you search the mls for comps by address? wards?

Can you search for the comps by bedrooms baths sq footage?

Are there fee’s involved in asking an agent to perform comps? While I wouldn’t ask for free comps (tipping), are there any normal fee’s I should expect to pay per comp?

Thanks for any replies.

What I have done is bring a few fsbos to 2 realtors that I went out to see that were not willing to sell at what I needed to make it work but decided they would now opt for a realtor to list.

So I brought something to the table also promise if I list a home I will use them, I also bring them people pre approved for loans (from my wife as a loan officer) looking for a realtor.

So I can get good comps whenever I wish for free, plus they let me know of any great rehab deals as soon as they come in.

Just a thought, works for me, and takes no extra work either.

there are no set rules. The Realtor pays to use the service, as dues for yearly membership as well as monthly access and user fees. It is therefore up to each member (Realtor) to decide who to provide the service of running comps for. I only run them for clients, I define clients as someone I have a written agreement to represent either as a buyer or seller. What a comparison list is comprised of is dependent on the use by the requester, many fields can be accessed, form a business relationship with a member (Realtor) and be willing to let them work for you, with compensation appropriate for that work.

A lot of realtors ( especially new ones) will do anything for free for you, they are just happy they have a possible client. I’ve never heard of somebody tipping a realtor for performing comps. If you ask a realtor to do comps, he/she hopes you eventually are going to buy a house listed in MLS and they get their 3- 3,5% comission. So their services are free for you, they are paid by the seller. If you want to get comps for the area, but are not looking to buy a house in MLS, you are interested in FSBO only, and a realtor cannot hope for a comission, then you can arrange some kind of payment. Leagally it has to be done through a realtor’s broker. A broker gets percentage of whatever a realtor makes and it is considered against the rules “to tip” a realtor behind his/her broker’s back.
Hope it’s not too confusing,

Hey! Thanks for the posts, I appreciate everyones advice. It’s a good idea to offer the agent listings in exchange for comps. I would never not pay in one way or another for a service, although it is good to know that tipping isnt legal. Again, thanks for the posts. Even though I am new to these boards, I can already tell that you all will be very helpful with any questions I have.

One thing you can do is check out the recorded county
assessor records. In many cases this can be done over the internet as how I do my research. You might be able to get full specs on each address, sales history per address, neighborhood sales history, tax valuations, etc.
Also many RE websites offer public access to local MLS listings. Still prudent to drive the neighborhood, and pick up agent fliers, call FSBOs, etc.
Best of Luck