If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in Central Ohio, you’re probably curious as to what the market’s doing in your neighborhood or preferred location—and more specifically, what homes are listed for. However, you may want to consider using sold data vs. active listings in your research. Here’s why.
Sold Data vs. Active Listings —What’s the Difference?
When we talk about “active listings”, we mean homes currently listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that are available for sale. These homes may have different statuses—like “Active Contingent”—or even be marked as “Pending”. The important thing to know about active listings is that nothing is finalized—not the price, the contingencies, or even any of the details.
Sold data, on the other hand, refers to sales that are already completed and closed. Everything is finalized, so there’s nothing that can be changed. Sold data is merely a list of recently completed home sales in a particular area.
Active listings showcase what’s happening now
The biggest advantage to active data, of course, is that it’s live. If you’re buying a home, these are the homes you’re currently able to search, see, tour, and possibly buy. The listing shows a full description of the home, usually an array of photos, and some basic construction, architectural, and even local stats. For sellers, active listings show you your direct competition.
Active data can be misleading!
Do you know how to spot an overpriced home? Because odds are, there’s at least one in your area. And if you base your own home’s price on a mispriced home, you definitely won’t be starting off on the right foot… especially when you notice, a few weeks down the road, that the incorrectly priced home has been reduced.
Sold data provides reliable information.
Sold data, however, portrays only closed, finalized sales. So even if a home was priced too high initially, its final sales price reflects its actual value, no matter how much it was initially listed for.
Sold data offers valuable insights
Looking at sold data can tell you more than just what homes are selling for. Because the data shows when the home was listed, and at what price, you can see how quickly it sold, and how much the price was altered to close the sale. For sellers, this is a great way to see how accurate the pricing was—and how it affected the sale.
Sold data showcases an agent’s ability
One of the most overlooked ways to use sold data is to judge the competency of an agent—that is, how closely their listing prices match their sales prices, and how quickly their homes sell. It’s a great way to find an agent (for sellers especially, but also for buyers). It can also be a useful negotiation tool; agents with very high list-to-sale ratios may not bend much on price, but might be more willing to negotiate in other areas.
Sold Data vs. Active Listings: Use Both!
Both sold data and active listings provide invaluable insight into the current state of the market—so both should be used for every home buying or selling transaction! Better yet; use them to find yourself a fantastic local agent and let them do all the hard number-crunching for you!