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Best data sources

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Shelby

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Hello all,

Is there a consensus out there as to the best data sources? (I guess we'll find out...) I know some are more expensive than others. I'd love to get some recommendations as to which offer the best value, i.e., accurate bang for the buck.

Thanks!

Shelby in CA 8)
 

Larry Lyke

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2002
Shelby --

In my territory, The Twin Cities, you can't beat the MLS system.

There are other so-called private systems which I've used over the years in conjuction with MLS, but they are slow and mostly a waste of money. I dropped all but the MLS and use the others only occasionally through another subscriber.

Our MLS system just went Web site and has the counties (that's plural) aligned with it so you can get instant tax information and some sales history while reading the MLS sheet online. Even e-mail the Listing Realtor and/or the Selling Realtor for missing or curious questions right while your're reading the MLS sheet.

Couldn't be neater. They keep adding bells and whistles and the cost is phenomenal. Approx. $700/year, unlimited use. That's for a solo appraisal shop. For a 2-person shop, the cost would be $350, depending on the configuration of your shop and how you amortize the service.
 

Shelby

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Hi Larry,

Thanks for your response!

The MLS is the best, from what I've seen... but one needs two data sources, at least. MLS, then? :roll:

Shelby in CA 8)
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
Hopefully, you have county records online where you can verify the sale price, get the tax records on year built, GLA, etc.

DO NOT, repeat DO NOT trust and only use MLS data!!!!! This includes MLS system tax records!!!!

Read your Appraisal book regarding verification of comparable sale data.
 

Shelby

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Hi Pamela,

Wow. Good morning to you, too. 8O I don't plan on using only MLS data (see my post), but in the office I'm working in, it is one of the main sources of data we use, and OF COURSE :eek: we do use others, including Win2Data. There are atleast ten other sources available by subscription and my question is which of those do appraiser forumites find to be the best.

"Take two!" as we say in Hollywood.

Shelby in CA 8)
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Professional Status
Retired Appraiser
State
Florida
Shelby,

Sorry if I came across a bit too strong there. Once you find out that certain programs are not necessarily 'reliable', you need to keep pushing to find other sources of more reliable information.

Just watched the Florida Appraisal Board nail some appraisers yesterday for not checking with enough sources to find and verify the CORRECT information. I do know that Win2data is not reliable here and that knowing that means relying on their information is not considered reliable verification of the data. Using MLS and Win2data is not considered proper due diligence, at least not in Florida.

I'm very aware of how many appraisers use just MLS and Win2data and call it good enough. I've gone further for the past few years because of the discrepancies I've found in both of these sources and found out yesterday that it's a good thing that I do. Any appraiser that finds discrepancies in a verification source is now aware that that source is not necessarily reliable. Knowing this, and how can any of us not know it, you must find additional sources or, again, at least here if Florida, you have not done enough.

Yeah, I know I go overboard sometimes....... maybe even often. :)
 

jtrotta

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Shelby, welcomes to Pam's World :twisted: - I love it, wake up & smell the coffee, good mornin USA :) know exactly where she's commin from on this, check all sources so you know for sure :!: Best source are recorded town records, you may have to leave the office, but it's worth it 8)

Good Luck!!
 

George Hatch

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
There is no one source of data that is unimpeachable. Even the data sources that include and use appraiser data are sometimes incorrect. That's why there is verification. I would note that the MLS data is input by the brokers, who are a party to the transaction. Obviously, some boards are better than others about accuracy. That's why a lot of appraisers double check their comparables against two or more databases. I currently use 4 subscription services and also use a few internet freebies for data. It's real common for a comparable sale or rental to pop up in one of them that shows up nowhere else.


The way I see it, the lack of complete reliability for these data sources is another source of job security for appraisers. If the published data were always accurate and sufficient in volume, the computers would have run over us a long time ago.


George Hatch
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
General Public
State
North Carolina
My cut is that the degree of verification of any data is dependent on the purpose and the use of the appraisal.

If you are doing a limited appraisal using the sales approach to give an private party an idea of whether a particular home builders work product is appropriately priced, a second check of the MLS sales in a new subdivision may not be warranted, particularly if there is a fair amount of good consistent data in only MLS.

By the same token, doing the same type of analysis for a owner who wants to know if he should sue the builder for being gouged in a sale by the same builder warrants a more rigorous verification of all data considered. (A cost approach would not hurt either!)

Best Regards

Tom Hildebrandt GAA
 
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