What Was That Closed Price Again?

By Dave Fratello | January 12th, 2009
As we're trying to tie up loose ends for year-end 2008 sales data, we keep stumbling across new closed sales information.

Mainly, that's because of 2 fairly new features offered by Redfin, increasingly a favorite tool for RE info.

Redfin has now begun offering "Nearby Similar Sales" at the bottom of each active listing, and that automated search often picks up a sale or two that did not post on the MLS. (And/or which MBC just didn't catch in our manual tracking; we don't have privileged access to the MLS.) Redfin is using all kinds of inputs for its database, it would appear.

Another source: on the MB "Neighborhood Page" prepared by Redfin, you can click a tab for "Recently Sold" and scan the past 8-10 weeks' worth of sales. Again, the data does not appear to come only from the MLS, so it's more complete.

Some examples of recent finds:

305 Gull, a 2br/2ba, 1000 sq. ft. duplex on Highland near the northernmost end of town, sold for $885k in Oct. 2008. This was down $214k/-19% from its $1.099m start, after 300+ DOM. The listing we were tracking from the SFR set on the MLS simply canceled; we never saw a sale price.

2907 Pacific, a sweetly remodeled one-story (3br/2ba, 1900 sq. ft.) that hung around almost 6 months on market, was mistakenly coded as "expired" when a deal was struck late in 2007. Turns out it sold for $1.010m, a modest $532/PSF, in mid-December, down $189k/-16% from start.

3020 Alma, a cute little corner-lot Spanish home (3br/2ba, 1300 sq. ft.) that began at $1.545m in Summer, closed at $1.280m in December, down $265k/-17% from start.

Finally, we just saw that 225 39th, a failed foreclosure flip gone short (see "Failed Flip is Back, Short" from last April) actually sold pretty quickly after going short. The progression: Property went into default in early 2007, got a "rescue sale" at $1.595m in June 2007; it returned in Aug. 2007 at $1.745m after a little rehabbing; 8 months later (Apr. 2008) it was suddenly at $1.1m, short; and the final sale was $1.185m in June 2008, -$560k/-32% off the dreamy flip price.

It's hard to miss a pattern here. All of these sales closed well off their start prices.

Until now, we didn't have them in our data. As the new Redfin tools show, however, the internet is starting to give us all just a little more information than we would have had otherwise.

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