Running Comps

Hey guys,
Whats the best way to run comps w/out having MLS acsess or having a relationship with a realtor?

If you’re in a non-disclosure state (NDS) like Texas, your only other true alternative is using a professional appraisar. Online sites - even paid access ones - will usually not have good enough information for comps in NDS’s.

If you’re not in a NDS, you can try any number of free web sites, like Yahoo! Real Estate, or pay a fee to access the information.

Another method would be to keep track of sales on your own from newspaper listing (if not in a NDS). If you live in a NDS, another method would be to keep track of listing prices to get a ballpark figure, but this can be really out of whack and only to be used as a final alternative.

Also, tax assessments are usually not inline with comps, so most investors avoid them altogether.

Another thing I use, even though I have a buyer’s agent relationship, are two websites.

Bank of America has a home value engine (you have to hunt around for it a bit). is also decent.

Note that both of these engines are ROUGH ESTIMATES. I wouldn’t dare use them as substitutes for actual comps, just guides to see how interested I might be in a property. is also decent.

Definately not a good place for comps in Texas. For example, in my particular farm area, they use tax assessment values from 2004. Ouch!

I have access to the FirstAM Smartweb site through my job. Anybody know how accurate this is? Or should I avoid it altogether?

If you go to the detail page, it’ll show a high and low estimate in addition to the “Zestimate.” To adjust, I’ll split the diff between the Zestimate and the High.

BOA I always use the lower value given.