What Real Estate Info Is Worth Paying For?


By Patrick   Follow   Fri, 1 Feb 2013, 8:56am   980 views   16 comments
In Menlo Park CA 94025   Watch (0)   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

Most "free" real estate data is actually just marketing, trying to get you to pay as much as possible.

What data would really be valuable to buyers? Valuable enough to pay for? Some possibilities:

* Addresses of property likely to come on the market soon.
* All liens on the property, especially mortgages.
* Scan of all property in a market by rent/buy ratio to quickly see how good the prices actually are.
* Local employment change info, because that drives housing up or down.

What else would the savvy buyer really want to know?

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  1. SkyPirate


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    1   9:10am Fri 1 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike  

    Don't forget easements and HOA fees/regulations.

  2. Raw


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    2   9:16am Fri 1 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    Patrick says

    * Addresses of property likely to come on the market soon.

    This would be a gold mine. Include the contact information of the potential seller.

  3. Patrick


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    3   12:13pm Fri 1 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Raw says

    Patrick says

    * Addresses of property likely to come on the market soon.

    This would be a gold mine. Include the contact information of the potential seller.

    How best to get addresses of houses likely to be for sale soon?

    One way is to look through public record filings for recent death, divorce, and bankruptcy proceedings.

    Another way is just to pay people for what they know. How to judge how much such a lead is worth?

  4. David Losh


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    4   2:25pm Fri 1 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    If you are asking for other income from your site here, there isn't anything any more that isn't public record.

    As much as websites try to get more eyeballs by adding more content, there is nothing really to add.

    What people should be paying for is insider information, which you come close to by asking about properties not yet on the market.

    We have four properties next week that we will be cleaning so they can go onto the Real Estate market. We used to do everything from soup to nuts, yard work, paint, decorate, even design, to get a property ready for market, but now we just refer that out to others.

    In terms of selling in today's market there are many things a seller can do to improve the price, and salability. It does depend on the property, and the budget. We also see a lot of polished poop out there.

    Another thing people should pay for is to know what to buy. That is a lot more difficult in this fast market place.

    What I think would be helpful is online bidding for projects a property might need. During the inspection process a buyer may be curious what it would cost to make this house a home.

    We also used to get called out to properties to give estimates after the buyer had moved in. They would tell us the listing, or buyer's agent told them they could do something with the property that was completely unrealistic.

    I would think a service that could give a rough estimate, and feasibility would have value.

    There are already programs out there that can do the estimates, they would need to be tweeked to a specific project.

    Some houses are worth owning, just like there are some classic cars that are worth owning.

    With a car you need to know the point of diminished returns. If the car has a bent frame it's worth less. Rust can be a deal killer for a car no matter how classic it is.

    We just looked at a house that is a classic, but by the time you added up all the little stuff it needed, it wasn't worth doing. The house literally, needed $200K worth of piddly little stuff to make it worth working on. It was just stupid stuff that could have easily been done over the past twenty years, but today it just added up to a mess.

    So those are the things that I think would be unique content, but you would still have to advertise for revenue.

  5. epitaph


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    5   3:14pm Fri 1 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    This day and age most of that information is free. There are already many companies that search public records to find potential sales. Trouble with the law? Expect a mailbox stuffed to max capacity for the next week with sleazy lawyer ads. House broken into? Expect Brinks, First Alarm, Pinnacle etc. to be at your doorstep 5 nights a week trying to sell you the latest laser guided criminal tracking home security system they have.

  6. Raw


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    6   3:38pm Fri 1 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Here is a criteria list for people most likely to sell that is already being used from public information.
    Those in foreclosure
    Behind on property taxes
    Owners residing out of state.
    You have to do a lot of expensive marketing and spend time to get the good deals. It would be awesome if other criteria could somehow be incorporated that would identify a higher liklihood of a property owner willing to sell at a good price. Employment issues, divorce, health or financial problems would all be factors.
    I think credit reporting bureaus could generate these lists from the mountain of data they already own.

  7. pkennedy


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    7   4:14pm Fri 1 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    There are several issues here. One is that investors don't buy up two dozen properties at once. They buy them up over time. Over long periods of time. Years and years. Thus each property is different and has different issues attached with it. No two properties are the same, no two metrics will be the same. There are just too many elements to consider when buying. What kind of niche market have you found? Are you great at being a slum lord? Are you great at selling a service and lifestyle?

    Almost every property is a one off, unless you're a huge company and can just wave your hand and say I'll take it all. Because each property is a one off, there isn't any one set of data that is likely to help them buy.

    If you're investing in a certain city, you don't have the luxury of specifying every aspect of the house. There simply aren't that many units out there. There might only be 1-5 units out there that meet your criteria each year. From there, each of those will have something different. Higher/Lower HOA's, newer/older, distance from a hwy entrance, distance to a good school, distance to a train crossing, etc. Each property is very different.

    Offering up services to landlords or investors after they own a property might be interesting though.

  8. thomaswong.1986


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    8   4:24pm Fri 1 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    Patrick says

    What data would really be valuable to buyers?

    LOL! a warning statement describing the history of past boom and busts in US real estate..

    it seems the last crop of buyers forgot how deep prices sank from 1989 to 1995.

    go figure..so instead of being more prudent, they repeated history 10x harder.

  9. zzyzzx


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    9   4:35pm Fri 1 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    What Real Estate Info Is Worth Paying For?

    Long answer:
    What's the minimum price any given seller would accept. The real number of bids on a house and the nature of them (financing or other contingencies).

    Short answer:
    Nothing that you are likely to be able to collect.

  10. Patrick


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    10   4:48pm Fri 1 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    SFace says

    Imagine if I have a 3/2 1500sqft 1M home in 94127 for sale and there is a database that have 1K people who fits the exact profile/criteria and bam an email goes to those 1K people directly, good bye real estate agents.

    How would you deal with the sleazeball realtors who would just spam that list of 1K people?

    They would pretend to be FSBO sellers just to get access.

  11. Patrick


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    11   6:10pm Fri 1 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    But they were still spamming, which was a pain, right?

  12. ChrisKolmar


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    12   11:07am Sun 3 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I just spent the pat 30 minutes trying to find the nominal median household income in Miami for 2000 and 2010. Holy jeez was that annoying as hell. For some reason, most people care about the real median household income ;) Or they break things down by zip code (stupid census data).

    Just to make sure I'm not crazy, to forecast (nominal) housing price changes you should look at:
    1. Population increases
    2. Nominal income increases
    3. Nominal rent increases
    4. Building stock increases? (Does this exist?)

  13. ChrisKolmar


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    13   2:20pm Sun 3 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Oh, and 5. mortgage rates.

  14. ChrisKolmar


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    14   2:44pm Sun 3 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Not actually trying to predict anything. Guess I should have said 'fundamentals'.

    Nah, economist.

  15. thomaswong.1986


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    15   6:40pm Sun 3 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    ChrisKolmar says

    I just spent the pat 30 minutes trying to find the nominal median household income in Miami for 2000 and 2010. Holy jeez was that annoying as hell. For some reason, most people care about the real median household income ;) Or they break things down by zip code (stupid census data).

    Just to make sure I'm not crazy, to forecast (nominal) housing price changes you should look at:

    1. Population increases

    2. Nominal income increases

    3. Nominal rent increases

    4. Building stock increases? (Does this exist?)

    and at the end you really find it all about inflation... even after some 35 yeas of population growth, income growth, rents, building supply, and lower rates.. places like Miami barely kept up with inflation. Read Robert Shiller Irrational Exhubeance 2nd Edition.

    so skip 1-5 and go straight to what prices were back in 1995 and slap some additional 40% to the price... and there you have it... plain simple and accurate.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20110722140059/http://www.housingbubblebust.com/OFHEO/Major/Florida.html

  16. JodyChunder


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    16   8:28pm Sun 3 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Patrick says

    Local employment change info, because that drives housing up or down.

    Zipskinny is a pretty useful tool for assessing local median salaries.

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