Monday, April 14, 2008

Tools of the Trade

One of the topics of discussion on Sunday was what tools we use to monitor our local market. I'm not talking statistics on overall market performance, but how to track local listings and sales, in order to identify specific properties and determine a reasonable offer price.

Below is a quick review of the the tools I know of and use. However additional input would really be appreciated. I will compile then post this on the sidebar for easy reference, like the glossary.

I don’t pay for any services, so all the sites are being reviewed in terms of their free content. If anyone pays for a service, please let us know what it is, and what value you think it provides (why its worth the $$).

Of course Lander, maintains links to many many good resources, so this is just a subset. They are grouped into categories.

Inventory Tracking
· Not as easy to navigate for just monitoring inventory, but gives the status of homes (like whether its pending or not) which I haven’t been able to find anywhere else.
· My personal favorite. I love being able to save homes into a “favorites” section and get e-mail updates on them. I especially like the mapping feature. Its easy to use and presents great information for browsing quickly. It also hooks into Zillow and Cyberhomes to give you previous sales. Some have complained that their ZipAgent resets their criteria.

Foreclosure and Distressed Property Tracking
· Hotpads This is a new tool that has a really cool mapping feature for the foreclosure information. From the review I read, it gets foreclosure data from RealtyTrac. I haven’t tried the other features yet.
· The free info is good for monitoring foreclosures and pre-foreclosures. As suggested earlier by someone on this the feature where for monitoring the name of the owner on the pre-foreclosure list is very helpful to see if your landlord is getting a NOD.
· RealtyTrac I haven’t used this site much, but it is often cited as a source of data, so I am assuming there are some redeeming qualities about it.

Individual Home Sale History:
· Sac Bee This is the only place I am able to find recent individual sales information in bulk, for free. Unfortunately, the information it doesn’t go back very far, and there tends to be a couple month lag in updating the data.
· Zillow This site is nice if you are looking at a specific home and want to see its sales history.
· Cyberhomes: Similar to Zillow. Others have said they think the values seem more accurate.


Deflationary Jane said...

I hope everyone had fun on Sunday. I was at work both Sat and Sun. I always hear about these state jobs were you get to sit around and eat bonbons all day. Please send me the opening notice for the next one that comes open >: (

Sippn said...

Erin Attardi's blog has a current graph of Lyon's Trend Graphics. Good data IF you can get it current, but I could never get it off their site newer than 60 days old.(I found her in your comment section a few days ago)

If, in fact, the trend lines are converging like shown, the # months inventory is dropping rapidly (2 months per month)

Deflationary Jane said...

I know you're shilling because I can see your mouth moving but I just can't hear you. said...

One tool I recommend is It is more accurate than RealtyTrac in that it does not lump all cumulative old data with the new data, and is more current. I like it because I can drill down on a particular area and see what foreclosure/NOD activity exists - great when I am helping buyers or trying to determine a listing price for a property. There is a free version that is very helpful as well.

On another note, I do post current data via Trendgraphix on my blog. Since there are literally a few hundred searches and several ways to drill down on different data types, I just don't have space to publish everything. I am happy to provide specifics upon request via email (areas, price ranges, REO, etc).

J said...

Hotpads gave me the following error with their calculator.

"Annual Home Value Appreciation
Percent Cannot be negative."

nice! :)

Sam said... offers some great education and its on demand as well