real estate market

how does a person go about studying/understand the real estate market in his/her own city?

new here :banghead

drive around. get to know the area(s). don’t call agents (and waste their time) right away - just drive around - see what’s for sale and for how much.

see if any of your local agents use listingbook (if it’s in your area). good tool shows what’s on the market, what’s sold and what’s pending so you can get a good accurate look at what’s selling.

you could also sign up at a foreclosure website - has a bunch of foreclosure sites on it.

good luck.

Check craiglsit- it has pictures. Most real estate offices have their listings on line. Drive around and collect flyers. Pay attention to the local news, find neighborhood association websites to see what’s going on that might affect prices in specific areas.

The number of for sale signs in a neighborhood is telling you something.

Identify the geography or neighborhood. Find every for sale sign and get into every house. There should be a post around here about the 100 house rule. If you get into 100 houses and pay attention to the details, you’ll know values very quickly

I agree with WeSellHomes2Fix about going to see 100 houses. I did that in my market and I really learned a lot. Once you get to 100 houses you shouldn’t stop though, you could slow down a bit but since the market is always changing you’ll have to keep up.

Also try and get MLS access some how. That’ll be a gold mine of information about your market.

Start browsing through the free local RE publications/local newspaper ads/craigslist ads to view listings to get a general idea of what houses are being listed at in different towns and cities.
Knowing your market also involves knowing the PLAYERS in your market, so get involved with the local REI club and start meeting people!

Good stuff! Most people don’t actually do it because they are too lazy. It is some of the best time you can spend learning about your market. It will make you an expert in your farm area.

Find out what your local MLS website address is. MLS is what real estate agents use to list properties. Depending on the size of your area the site could be very useful or only moderately useful. You may be able to search for open houses. Focus on one area at a time so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Find one neighborhood and drive through it. Know what you’re looking for (one house may be great for flips but terrible for a rental property). Real estate is a market and you will get for a house what similar houses are getting (this includes what you sell the house for and what you rent the house for, so if you’re looking to rent it out pay attention to what other rentals are making). Just don’t pay for a house what others are paying. This is where you make your money!

If you’re looking to buy find a real estate agent in your area (preferably one that is also an investor them self). As a buyer you do not have to pay for an agent’s services. The seller typically pays for their listing agent and your buyer’s agent in their listing agreement. Interview the agent and if they cannot locate you any great deals then go on to the next one. An agent is key though because they can run comparables to tell you what homes in any given area sell for and rent for, how long they sit on the market, etc.