Buying Real Estate in Greenville, SC

IV. Comparable Sales in Greenville's Real Estate Market

Comparable Sales Pending Transactions in Greenville County
The most valuable information on home sales would be the most current, of course. A sale last week in Greenville County has more validity in helping you determine a purchase price than a sale from six months ago in another town. The problem is that there is no actual record of the sales price until the transaction is completed. The information is not available in the Greenville public records because no deed has yet been recorded and the actual contract price could change up until the actual "closing" is completed.

Neither is the information available in Greenville's Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Once a property is sold, it becomes a "pending sale" and all pricing information is removed from the listing. Prices are not posted until it becomes a "closed sale." This protects the seller in case the transaction falls apart and the property is placed back on the Greenville market. It would give an unfair advantage to future potential buyers if they already knew what price the seller had been willing to accept in the past.

Comparable Sales in Greenville's Public Records
The most accessible source of information on comparable sales in Greenville is Greenville County's public records. When someone buys a home in Greenville the property is deeded from the seller to the buyer. In most circumstances, this deed is recorded at the Greenville County recorders office. Greenville County combines sales data with information already known about the property so they can assess property taxes correctly.

Provided there have been no additions to the property, the information available from the Greenville County public records is sometimes correct regarding sales price, square footage, and numbers of rooms. The Greenville public records on property information is consistently inaccurate making it hard to use the Greenville public records as a source of data for comparable sale information.

The Greenville County public real estate records are available online through the county web site. The Cunningham Team of REMAX Realtors can generally look up this information through the Greenville County web site or through a proprietary web site only accessible to Greenville Realtors.

Another problem with Greenville's public records is that it tends to run at least six to eight weeks behind. Add another four to six weeks for the typical escrow period and you can see the data is not current. The most current information is the most valuable.

Comparable Sales in Greenville's Multiple Listing Service
Most of the public is aware that the Greenville Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a private resource where Greenville Realtors list properties available for sale. Recently, the public has been able to access some of that information on such sites as Remax.com. Realtor.com,  GreenvilleSCListings.com, GreenvilleSCHomeSearch.com and others.

Once a property is sold in Greenville and the transaction has closed, the selling price is posted to the listing in the Greenville MLS. Over time, it has become a huge database on past sales, containing much more information on individual Greenville homes than can be gleaned from Greenville's public records. This information is only available to Greenville real estate agents who are members of the local Multiple Listing Service because once a home is marked as sold the listing will no longer show up on sites that offer a connection to the Greenville Multiple Listing Service.

The Agents of The Cunningham Team of REMAX will provide you with the comparable sales data from Greenville's Multiple Listing Service to help determine your offer price which is accurate for Greenville's market.

Comparable Sales Pending Transactions in Greenville County
The most valuable information on home sales would be the most current, of course. A sale last week in Greenville County has more validity in helping you determine a purchase price than a sale from six months ago in another town. The problem is that there is no actual record of the sales price until the transaction is completed. The information is not available in the Greenville public records because no deed has yet been recorded and the actual contract price could change up until the actual "closing" is completed.

Neither is the information available in Greenville's Multiple Listing Service. Once a property is sold, it becomes a "pending sale" and all pricing information is removed from the listing. Prices are not posted until it becomes a "closed sale." This protects the seller in case the transaction falls apart and the property is placed back on the Greenville market. It would give an unfair advantage to future potential buyers if they already knew what price the seller had been willing to accept in the past.

Other Factors Influencing Your Offer Price in the Greenville Market
Gathering and analyzing information from Greenville's comparable sales helps to establish the range of prices you should consider when making an offer to buy a home. More weight should be given to the most recent sales, but even so, you need to do a bit more analysis before settling upon the price you will offer. That is because you also need to consider the area, condition of the property, improvements, the current market, and the circumstances behind the sellers decision to sell.

NEXT: V. Buying | Real Estate Pricing

VI. Buying | Making An Offer & Closing

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