Finding Comps in Non-Disclosure States

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

6 Comments on “Finding Comps in Non-Disclosure States”

  1. Pingback: Finding Comps in Non-Disclosure States - Appraisal Buzz

  2. I am a New Mexico appraiser who has just started working in Colorado – a disclosure state – and a whole new world of comps and verification sources have opened up to me. It’s shocking what is right there on the assessor rolls for – as my mom would say – God and everybody to see! Who knew?!

  3. I’m in Oregon and we are a disclosure state. We have also tried in the past to get sales concessions disclosed on the deed. That effort failed, but would have been great for appraisers.

  4. I’m in WA State….full disclosure. The largest MLS, with service to a majority of counties, has a ‘voluntary’ entry field for the selling agent to enter the concession amount with a comment as to its purpose. The agent can also just check a box ‘yes’ if a concession was used. When that happens, I send an email to the agent asking for the amount and purpose, plus explaining that ‘we’ appraisers are “required” to disclose concessions on comparables. I tell them when they do enter the details, it will cut down on extra emails and phone calls from appraisers. I’m finding that more and more agents are starting to enter concession info after a property sells.

    Some years ago, the attorney for the Association of Realtors used to tell agents that concession info was confidential, and should not be disclosed. Not sure if that stance is still being promoted now. But since more agents are fully reporting concessions, I think the word is getting around about doing it.

  5. Pingback: September Newsletter- It's Fall Ya'll - DW Slater Company Blog

  6. Considering the author covers three states and still churns out 4 to 9 appraisals a day by using virtual assistants, a digital tape measure, an electric toothbrush, and a Tic Tac is simply amazing. Some say its to good to be true.

    Seek the truth.

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