All three states that I’m licensed in, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming, are non-disclosure states. I’ve never worked in a disclosure state and so I’m always a bit surprised when I’m asked how I find comps.
In a non-disclosure state the tax assessor does not necessarily get the information regarding the sales price. For appraisers, that can make it more difficult to find comps. Having never worked in a disclosure state, I’m amazed at the resources appraisers in those states have access to. Primarily, I rely on the MLS as my source.
If it’s not on the MLS I can’t easily use it. On the rare occasion that a sales price is reported to the county assessor, it still isn’t a reliable source. Reporting is voluntary in non-disclosure states and people often misrepresent the actual sales price for various reasons.
The other day a homeowner asked if I ever use private sales for comps. If I was in a disclosure state and I could go down to the assessor’s office to the purchase detail then maybe I would, but I rarely use private sales in a non-disclosure state. Before I would consider using a private sale, I would want to be able to verify the sales price with several trustworthy sources, a HUD 1 for example.
Most of the sales that I use come from the MLS. In non-disclosure states, that’s how we have to work. Actually, that can be a challenge too. Even on the MLS, people may try to protect their privacy by listing the sales price as $1. While that property might have made a great comp, I can’t use it without the sales price.
For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: 460