Breaking Down Comps

Breaking Down Comps

Ive found properties that i want to make offers on but I'm a little confused on how to effectively get comps for said properties. I know that i get my RE Agent to pull comps on similar properties in that area but how should i go about looking up comps on my own. Do i use websites like zillow, truila, and compare the SOLD list with the comps my agent provides or what? This is my last hurdle to overcome before putting the 25:1 system to work. Also, should i run comps on all properties im interested no matter if its listed on the MLS or FSBO? any help would be appreciated.


Running Comps

Running comparables will be an important aspect of your investing career.
The most accurate comps will come from your REALTOR. They have access
to the MLS, a private database, that will provide the most accurate up to dates sales prices available. You obviously don’t want to run comps on every property you find … you’ll want to run comps on the properties that match YOUR investment criteria or your CASH BUYERS investment criteria.

Once you narrow down the properties that you want to run comps, it will take your REALTOR about 5 minutes or less to run the comps. With the MLS being an online database that is being updated non-stop, you’ll get the most accurate comps this way.


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What about proptrend? Are the comps you get there accurate also if you define the search area properly? Just asking, thanks

Use Total View RE

to get an idea of comps I usually start by using DG's Real Estate Analysis System (Total View Real Estate Research located on bottom left side of home page on this site)I'm attaching link below.



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Title Companies

Sometimes title companies will give you access to their comps if you have developed a relationship with a rep there.

I suggest going in to personally meet with one and ask if they have any farming tools that they provide. Mine in CA gave me my own password to get on their system and pull all kinds of reports.



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Real Values and Estimates

It may be helpful to establishing value estimates on properties to introduce a sort of hierarchy on the trustworthiness of various estimates.
There is only one TRUE value of any property, and that is what a buyer and seller agree to. Everything else is just an estimate. Some estimates are more likely to be accurate than others. All estimates should be viewed as estimates rather than actual value, and we should approach our job as being like detectives gathering clues and drawing conclusions from the information we obtain.
Here is the general order of trustworthiness:
1) Appraisal--Appraisers use three methods of valuation, a property inspection, and the best data sources in arriving at a value estimate. The drawback is the cost, which is typically a few hundred dollars.
2) "Drive By Appraisal" or Broker's Price Opinion (BPO) In some areas, you can hire an appraiser (Drive By) or a Real Estate Agent (BPO) to drive by the property, and then do an abbreviated estimate of value for around $100. In some instances, it makes sense to pay this amount in evaluating a property. Drawback is that there is still a cost involved.
3) Realtor Comparables/Title Company Comparables--Realtors and title companies use the same data sources as appraisers, so these comparables are drawn from the best available source of data. Drawback is that you have to get someone else to pull the data, and RE agents are usually averse to providing comps on FSBO properties where they are not going to earn a commission. Title companies will sometimes provide this service for established clients.
4) Paid Data Sources--Prop Trend qualifies as one of these sources, and they pay more to gather and assemble their data than free sources. Drawback is that you pay for these sources, and that they are dependent on data reporting from individual counties, which is sometimes not accurate, or complete, or timely.
5) Free Data Sources--Includes,,,,, Sometimes these sources are accurate, sometimes not. Drawback is that you may have to compare multiple free sources in order to draw conclusions on accuracy.

Before concluding, remember that the primary responsibility we hold in making offers is to estimate prices low and costs high in order to support the interests of the buyer, whether that be us, or our cash buyer associates.


Dallin Wall
Real Estate Training Team
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