Comparable Sales in the Public Record
As you may know one should always look at comparable sales in the immediate area when trying to determine an offering price. Comparable sales is a term people use when they look at similar homes and selling prices in the area. It makes it easier to make a reasonable offer on a certain type of house when one knows what similar houses in the area are selling for at the current time.
The two best resources for gaining this data on comparable sales is The Multiple Listing Service and of course public records. Public records are more accessible than listings in The Multiple Listing service because they are records open to the general public and not in some private listing for realtors only. You can gain access to public records directly from the local county recorder's office, through title insurance companies or you can purchase them from companies who specialize in gathering this type of data for you.
The one main drawback to trying to figure comparable sales from public records alone is that public records tend to be posted slowly and may take up to 14 weeks or later after the final closing and escrow transactions clear.
Using the most up to date information for comparable sales is very important so it is best to public records, The Multiple Listing Service and any other type insider data you can get a hold of when deciding on that ever so important offer price.