TX - Not required to report sales prices

guvnahJune 18, 2009

Hi -

There is an article today in the Dallas Morning News that's interesting. I'll link the article below but I think the bottom line is it's going to be hard - if not impossible - to get accurate comps!

Texas is one of only 5 states that do not require sales prices to be disclosed.

"...real estate agents, buyers and sellers are keeping sales prices under wraps on hundreds of houses � even on the Multiple Listing Service.

The trend is troubling some market watchers because Realtors and appraisers use the service to set prices and prepare offers. And everyone who depends on the data � including the economists who track the North Texas housing market � is getting only part of the housing picture."

" The MLS is a proprietary real estate database in which property agents share information about home listings and sales among themselves. Most home and condo sales are supposed to be recorded in the MLS, but the process is voluntary and unregulated.

Many MLS sales forms now have prices marked with a "Z" � Realtor lingo for a price that's not the actual sales price. Often the Z price is simply the original list price."

" Agents say the practice has grown over the last two years, partly because some buyers want to keep the data out of the hands of tax appraisers and sometimes because sellers don't want anyone to know how little they got for their houses.

Agents sometimes push secrecy as well.

Some of the lowest-priced homes are being kept out of the system, which makes overall prices seem higher, agents and appraisers say."

Here is a link that might be useful: Unreported Sales Price

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Sorry - but for some reason in the post above, every time there's a dash (-) a bizarre symbol is coming up....

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 11:14AM
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It's interesting that it is not part of public record or county tax records or anywhere that the deed is recorded.

And I thought appraisals were tough enough, this is crazy!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 12:04PM
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c9pilot - It's always been that way here. It has it's benefits as far as the tax appraisals go, but it's hard to know true value. With a realtor's help you've been able to get accurate comps thru mls, but if this trend continues, that won't be possible.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 12:28PM
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In Tx sales prices are not allowed to be reported publicly, the MLS is optional; however, if you are determined, you can march down to the county clerk's office and look it up. Most folks prefer not to do this as it is cumbersome to run downtown, pay parking, and wait in line to look up each house they may want to look up. There are folks that do it though. May not be so tough in a small town though.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 7:47PM
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Actually, Texas sales prices are rarely posted in the PUBLIC records of the county clerk's office. I am one of those people that will do an abstract and record's search on property that I am interested in.

Most of the time you will see the statement such as "for the sum of TEN DOLLARS ($10.00) and other good and valuable consideration" as the sales price.

Sometimes a bank will file the amount of the original loan amount, but not the sales price.

Home builders will file the original contract and lien for new construction but the amounts they file are typically less any down payments and deposits.

You can get close, and make an educated guess but you will rarely be able to find the actual sales price. When a bank files a loan amount do you know if the buyer put 0%, 5%, 10%, or 20%?

The only true way to find out what the sales price was on a property is if the realtors post the price in MLS.

If they are playing MLS price games as they are in the Dallas area, as noted in the appraisal post, you can forget ever being able to determine comps for sales or puchases.

What some people forget is that the comps can also be used, if applicable, to reduce your tax appraisal using the appeal process.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 10:32PM
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