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Analyzing Deals (Part 3): Valuation Tools

Published on Wednesday - September 18, 2013

The prospect of analyzing deals is one in which many real estate investors may take for granted. The analysis is perhaps the most important step when deciding whether or not a subject property will meet your financial aspirations. Therefore, it is imperative that you take advantage of any valuation tools that are readily made available to you during the three-step deal evaluation process. Use every resource at your disposal to ensure that your analysis is accurate and subsequent transactions are worthwhile. Familiarize yourself with the following tools, as they will make the process of analyzing deals easier and more effective.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

The multiple listing service, otherwise known as the MLS, enables individuals to gain access to a database that contains properties for sale in a respective area. It is perhaps the most important tool for analyzing deals. Included in the listings are:

  • Price
  • Number of rooms/bathrooms
  • Square footage
  • Listing agent or broker
  • Historical sales information
  • Information on nearby properties for sale
  • Average days on the market
  • Photos of comparable homes

While not readily available to everyone, the MLS is an invaluable tool to anyone who can gain its access. Businesses without it should therefore consider enlisting the help of a licensed agent to facilitate its use.

Those who are permitted access will gain a wealth of information that can help them with analyzing deals. With relative ease, investors can generate a comparables package. In seeing information that pertains to nearby properties, you can better determine the value of your subject property.

Property Card

County records are an important tool for analyzing deals.  Obtaining the property tax card from local governments will reveal details that include: assessed value, heated square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and much more. This may be your only opportunity to see if their are any leans placed on the property as well.  Take the time to look up the property card, as they are often made available to the public.

Real Estate Valuation Websites for Analyzing Deals

Real estate valuation websites are developed with the intentions of investors in mind. Accordingly, they permit access to a remarkable amount of information pertaining to subject properties. With relative ease, inquisitive investors can determine the value of a property, obtain specs, view photos, study market trends and much more.

The following is a comprehensive list of the most popular real estate valuation websites:

  • Zillow.com
  • Listingbook.com
  • PropertyShark.com
  • Trulia.com
  • SiteXdata.com
  • RealQuest.com

Take advantage of the information presented on each of these sites to create a comprehensive comparables package. Not only will sellers take note of your in-depth approach, it will establish an accurate value of the subject property. That said, the majority of these sites have real estate apps for investors to utilize as well.

Property Repair Estimate Sheet

A property repair estimate sheet is a preemptive attempt to determine the cost of repairs a home will require. It is important to understand, however, that this sheet is an approximation. By no means is it finite. Done correctly, it can provide you with a solid estimate of how much money it will cost to fix the home. Property repair estimate sheets often take the form of a spreadsheet, as to clearly quantify the ensuing project. In it, you will find an outline of all the costs associated with a project. Use it as a guideline to assess the costs associated with the improvements you will make.

Upon completion of a property repair estimate sheet, investors will have a visual representation of the estimated costs a project will require.

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