Real Estate Research: How to Find Real Estate Comps in San Antonio

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, it’s important to know what other houses are selling for in your area.

If you’re in search of real estate comps in San Antonio, there’s a lot of real estate research you’ll need to do.

This helpful guide will explain how you can find the comps you need in the San Antonio area so you can list or buy your home at the right price.

What Are Comps?

If you want to sell your home, it’s important to list it at an appropriate value in tandem with the current market. In order to determine the value of your home, an appraiser or your real estate agent looks at around three recent, comparable sales.

These recent home sales are called comps, and they’re accessed by professionals using the MLS or Multiple Listing Service. The MLS is a comprehensive database that shows all of the properties in your area listed for sale, those that are pending, and already sold homes.

Most consumers cannot access the MLS since it’s privy to real estate professionals only. However, most real estate agents are happy to access the MLS database for you and pull a list of comps based on recent sales.

You should never pay anyone to give you a list of comps. This should be available to you at your request and given to you by most realtors without any problems.

The most important factor in getting accurate comps is basing them on recent sales. This is because the goal is to determine what buyers will pay for your home, and it’s gauged by what other similar homes have sold for within the last 60-90 days or so.

Once you see what other homes have sold for, you’ll have your finger on the pulse of the current market. Some things to look for to find similar comps include the age of the home, the total square footage, and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

Appraisers will also consider additional components to homes like decks, pools, and garages. The goal is to find homes as close to yours as possible that have recently sold to get accurate comps.

Real Estate Research: Understanding Market Value

In order to get an accurate listing price, you’ll need to understand the term market value. This term is a bit tricky since it refers to the most probable price that your home should bring to the market.

It does not refer to the sales price or what you think the home is worth. Instead, this number uses the market to determine what an acceptable asking price should be.

Market value can vary depending on the health of the market and how many homes in the San Antonio area are selling at the time you list yours. The value must indicate that you have listed your home at a fair price in correlation with the market.

This value is simply an estimate, and it’s not a concrete number. The market value is an educated guess, usually determined by the bank or the appraiser based on comps and other factors.

In a nutshell, the market value of your home should be an estimate of what it would sell for in a competitive market. There can be no outside factors influencing your listing prices such as force, coercion, or “inside deals” made between you and a buyer.

An appraiser determines your home’s market value using comps and a close examination of the home. This number decides what the bank will be willing to loan to a buyer in relation to how much money a buyer puts down, which is called Loan to Value.

How to Get Your Own Comps

Since consumers don’t have access to the MLS system, there are other ways to obtain recent comps for your neighborhood. Use online real estate listing websites that can show you a few recent sales.

Sites like Zillow allow you to search by recently sold homes, which can give you great insight as to what other houses are selling for. Just be sure you use filters that limit the timeframe to homes sold between 60-90 days ago.

Any homes sold over 90 days ago might not be used for your home’s comps. That’s because the market changes significantly in a span of 90 days, and comps might not be accurate that far back.

Run a few comps using different websites to help you come up with a good list. The comps should show homes that are as similar to yours as possible.

If you’re in a densely populated area, the appraiser will use homes within about a one-mile radius or less. For those in rural locations, the distance can span outward as far as five miles or even more.

Enter filters according to your zip code and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Other homes don’t need to have the exact same square footage as yours to be considered a comp, however, they should be close.

You don’t want to compare your 2,000 square foot home to a 1,100 square foot townhouse. Try to pull sales from homes that have the same style, too. For example, a ranch home may have a different market value than a two-story home.

Public records are another good way to get accurate comps. Look at your local government tax website to try and find recent sales in your area.

Take a Closer Look

To really do your own real estate research, you should visit a few recently sold homes in person. Drive past a few homes that have sold within the last month or two and get an idea of their size and condition.

If you can, take pictures of the homes and log what their final sales price was. Remember, the original listing price doesn’t count toward comps. You’ll need to know what the exact sales price was in order to get an accurate number.

Ask your real estate agent to take you through a few neighborhoods in San Antonio that are close to yours. Use a home buying app to help map out your route so you can keep track of which homes recently sold.

This method is an excellent way to get a better, clearer picture of truly comparable sales. Make a note of the home’s location in relation to schools, shopping, and even the fire department.

Does the home have great curb appeal or does it need work? Is the roof in good shape and how about the exterior siding or brick? These small details can play a role in your own home’s asking price so take note of condition, too.

Once you’ve compiled all of your information, you will have a better idea of the true comps in your area. Most appraisers only use around three homes, so pick recent sales carefully.

Take the middle price of your three comps and use that as a gauge for your own home. Appraisers like homes to be “bracketed,” meaning they use a high price, middle price, and lower price to get a good average.

Consider an Appraisal

Sellers are not required to get an appraisal before they list their home, but it can’t hurt. With a professional appraiser, you’ll get the most accurate price available to list your home in confidence.

Most appraisers charge anywhere from $300 to $600 for their services. This cost is worth it if you’re worried about haggling with buyers in the future.

An accurate appraisal can prevent headaches in the future. For example, if you list your home at a high price but the buyer’s appraisal comes in lower, you may have to reduce your asking price to match.

Not every house needs to have an appraisal done by the seller but if you’re worried about comps, it’s the best way to sell at fair market value. If you don’t use an appraiser, just make sure your research is thorough before you list.

A professional real estate agent can help you decide what a fair asking price will be. They combine their expertise with access to the MLS system to help you determine a good price for your home.

Comps Offer Listing Confidence

If you’ve done your real estate research and you have a solid list of comparables, you can be prepared to list your home in confidence. Do your homework and ask questions to find the most accurate San Antonio home sales near you.

A professional appraisal can give you a more accurate number, but it’s not always necessary. Go online and pull several recent sales to help you get a gauge of the real estate market.

Visit our website to get your home on the MLS and to list your home without an agent today!

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