Got a deal, how should I handle it?

Death in someone’s family has brought them to me. House needs updating not a rahab from what I am told. I told them they would get 70% ARV and they are o.k with it. Zillow gives a estimate of 195k.

Should I get it under contract immediatley?

Where can I get the the contract to set up my wholesale fee?

Sure,get a purchase contract and tie it up for about 90 days,then you should have plenty of time to find a buyer.Tell them that you will need a key so you can show contractors,inspectors,etc,.

Also have in the contract a back out clause in case all does not go as planned.

How should I get my price? I was going to check comps on zillow, then drive and see the comps (from outside to see how they compare). Then check the inside of the property and see what it needs. Then offer 60% of the comps.

Is that what I should do?

I dont know how accurate Zillow is(ive never used them),but you can call a realtor and ask them or tell them you’ll give them like $20 dollars to pull comps,these will be more accurate.

Anyone using “zillow” for anything but ‘fnusies’ is setting themselves up for a BIG fall…! It’s wildly inaccurate.

I would get at least a CMA…!

My two cents.


What is a CMA? Zillow gives the sale price and date of other houses in the neighbor hood. It was correct on the sale price and date on houses in my area. Has anyone found these to be inaccurate also?

CMA = Competetive Market Analysis…ask a Realtor for one. Zillow is horrendously inaccurate in most places…have you in any way made an independant validation of Zillow’s prices or are you just taking their word for it? If so you are naive and most likely kidding yourself!!! Even if you pay a couple hundred bucks for an appraisal, it’s worth it if you save yourself several thousand in an inaccurate “guestimate” from Zillow…

You can argue it 'til the cows come home – just don’t set yourself up for a huge surprise at the end when you find out that the numbers were off by 20% or so. When that happens, what does your “70% of ARV” look like? (Hint it looks like sub-10%!). If you are using a percentage of the ARV, you need to know what the ARV really is…and Zillow doesn’t care if you get “hosed” or not…!

It’s probably OK to use zillow as a SWAG if you know how much it’s off by in your area…it list’s my house for $190K…it’s appraised at almost $500K…sorry, I can’t live with ± 62%!


I’m not arguing. I’m asking. Does Zillow have the correct sales information on your house? I am not talking about the “zestimate”. I am talking about when you click on it and it says" sold in 2001 for 190k" or whatever. I checked
that on a few houses in my neighborhood that I knew the sale history on and it was correct. I have been using that. I just want to make sure we are talking about the same thing.

Sale History:
09/26/2006: $95,000
07/08/2004: $86,000
05/16/2003: $47,000
This is what I am talking about.
I just want to make sure we are on the same page.

Sounds like a great deal , if everything checks out. I’m glad to hear this discussion about zillow for I’ve been sent there by a mentor for comps, hence I will do my due dillegence before accepting there info. Thanks folks, this site truly is awesome, Mike

Ger around their soon with an option agreement for 6 to 12 months. Make sure your talking to the right people, remember to includes a successor and all future rights clause, ask them to accept a nominal deposit, tell them its earnest money, again make sure your talking to the person who can sell, quite frankly your such an amateur my advice is to get involved, make your mistakes, let this deal educate you. You can get copy agreements of the internet. The main thing is to deal, you gotta deal-if you want to profit, you’ll start hitting spades, kings and queens eventually, but judging from what you have written your not going to climb any mountains. Look at it this way its a learning experience.

I personally would not trust anything I see off of Zillow, but if you want to take that chance use those numbers. It sold for $95,000 in 2006 and you’re expecting an increase of $100,000? Where is this deal located because I’m moving…?

“Normal” geographical locations will hardly ever allow for an increase of that much; the selling prices at $47,000 and $95,000 tell me this is a normal location.

I don’t know where the property is located, what the specifics are or what the neighborhood is like; that being the most important. “Comps” are comparable sales, meaning your comparing recent closings of other properties to yours. If the three houses on the same street, the same layouts sold in the range of 195, then you’re set. However I highly doubt that’s true, and you cannot use Zillow to find that out.

I would venture that the property was under some sort of circumstances when it sold for $47,000, but the selling point of this house at top condition would be no more than $120,000 maximum. Again I don’t know the specifics, you can find them out pretty easily by contacted a realtor and getting comps, or getting a copy of the deeds to comparable houses.

I don’t believe you said how much your offering, but if your able to get it for $47,000 or below it’s a great deal because you already know its going to sell for $85,000 plus.

No. That my current house not the the property I was talking about. I knew the two previous owners and those were the prices they paid. I lived on 5 houses down from there for 14 years before I bought the house for 95k on sep 22 06’ which is exactly what zillow said. The only thing zillow did not show is when the person I bought it from refied. All the other numbers and dates are 100% accurate including the 47k. That is what SFH homes went for in my area then. I moved in years after that and my parents got a house for 65k. The prices you see are the apprecation in my area. The house is worth 120k. You were right about that.

You can also try and

this is right from zillows web site showing their accuracy. Their best estimates seem to trying for being within 10% of the actual price. Sorry but on a 100k house, thats10k! My state is at 68% accuracy. When I looked it up several months ago, my area was listed as selling for 280 but reality is 245. Tried to do it again today but couldn’t get the site to cooperate. My .02 is why waste time with wildly unreliable, often inaccurate information. Free isn’t always good, sometimes you’re better off paying (a realtor, for real comps) Anyways, heres the link to zillows accuracy page

I stand by what I said…I cannot rely on numbers that are all over the map. Zillow’s accuracy cannot be trusted.

Best case, Zillow is off 10% and, in this case, that’s almost $20K – sorry, just not close enough for me…


I use it for comping houses. It shows actual sale history of houses also. As well as tax information.

It’s useless info and not to be trusted…period.

I use a Realtor/appraiser to insure realistic numbers and comps. But, it’s your livelihood/cash…do as you please. But when you get caught short by saving a hundred bucks using Zillow, please consider this a “No whining-zone”…

BTW - tax appraisals are even worse than Zillow appraisals!


As I have already pointed out it was 100% correct on the houses I checked. That is not to say that the rest are correct. I would still get an apprasier.

FutureGuru I would take Kdhastedts advice.Call a realtor,tell them you plan on buying a house later on and you will probably use them and ask if the will pull the comps.These are the most accurate and theres not too much room for errors in this business.