How much a home sold for is public information and is available through tax records and is printed in the local paper each Wednesday. Now anyone with Internet access can search through all homes that have been sold in the past two years in Minnesota through broker reciprocity web sites. Let me explain that more clearly, click on the house icon on the right corner of this page to get started. Choose sold properties instead of active properties on the home search. No registration required.*
The search works the same way for sold properties as it does for properties currently for sale, the data is gathered through a feed from our local RMLS system. Searches can be made using a map, or by area, or zip code or what ever search criteria the searcher wants to use.
The data is fairly accurate but the sale price does not reflect seller paid closing costs, for instance a home may show up as having sold for 200K, but the seller paid $5000.00 of the buyers closing costs. Under most loan programs the seller can not contribute more than 3% to the buyers closing costs so when looking at the sold prices allow for a 3% margin of error.
The sold homes show which real estate company listed the home. Real estate companies do not sell homes at all. Often an agent from one real estate company will list a home and an agent from another company will represent the buyer who buys the home. Either way it is the agents who actually sell the homes. I think it would be more fun if they listed the name of the agent who listed the property and the agent that represented the buyer.
The bigger the real estate company the more homes they sell, because the bigger the company the more real estate agents they have under contract who go out and list homes and find buyers for them.
The sold data can be used to help determine the value of your home. A home owner can find homes in their immediate area that have been sold in the last year that have that are the same size, and have the same amenities and see how much it sold for giving them an idea of what their own home might be worth. Going back two years is not necessary and will make the value estimate less accurate. Realtors help sellers set the asking price in much the same way, and it is not an exact science.
Home buyers should use the same criteria that they are using to find homes for sale for searching through the solds, so that they can become familiar with the prices.
It can also be used to find out how much your neighbor really got for his or her house because inquiring minds really want to know. 🙂
Why is this data being released? The general public is demanding it. Read my October post for details.