When you are looking for a new home the previous MLS history may tell you a lot about the house.  Things to look for?  From the previous MLS sometimes your agent is able to pull up:

 

  1.  What the house looked like when the current owner purchased it.  This sometimes can be worth a lot….maybe it was a foreclosure and was abused for years before this owner put some “lipstick” on it…like new carpet and paint.  Maybe they haven’t done a thing to it…and bought a few months ago.  Maybe they have obviously spent a LOT of money on it and it’s worth tons more than what they paid for it…but if you can view the previous photos…you might learn a lot.
  2. How much they paid for it.   Yes, it’s fun to know this…but how much they paid for it doesn’t equal how much it’s worth now.  Sometimes this is good information as it might give you an idea of whether or not the seller might be willing to accept less than they are asking….but what they owe and what it is worth are very different and their agent probably showed them comparable sold properties to determine what they should be selling it for.  Be sure to ask your agent to include an updated CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) of what has sold in the last year and what has more importantly sold in the last 90 days.
  3. A copy of the survey.  This can help you determine if you can add that pool you want…or where you can build a deck after your purchase.  Any maybe you can reuse this survey and save yourself approximately $500 or more if the house is on acreage.
  4. What the previous seller disclosed on their seller disclosure.  I love this part…sometimes the previous owner might have disclosed information that the current owner forgot about…like foundation repairs or fires or that they paid for flood insurance…….information that might not be on the current seller’s disclosure and it may be very informative.  Some seller’s truly don’t remember what was wrong with the house when they bought it…but they accepted a credit in lieu of the previous owner making those repairs prior to their purchase…and then when they put the house on the market a new inspector discovers those same items.  It’s not that they are lying….they truly forgot about the back door sticking or the hot and cold water being reversed as they just got used to those items being broken.  Whatever you do…have a home inspector inspect the property for you…..you don’t save money by skipping this step.
  5.  A square footage discrepancy…..this is SO strange but the tax office today may disclose a house shrunk or got larger….and years ago it said something else.  You may be basing your offer on the average price per square foot….and if the house is 100  feet different that could be a difference of $15,000 if the average sale is $150 a square foot.

Be sure to ask your agent to run the history for the property you are considering buying.

If you need help and a great agent, call us at 210-273-6161.