Living in the past- Why sold MLS listings matter for current buyers

When embarking on the journey to purchase a new home, it’s common to be fixated on the current active MLS listings that are readily available in the market. However, it’s to overlook the valuable insights gleaned from previously sold MLS listings. These historical records hold a wealth of information and intelligence analysing past sales, potential buyers of property values, market trends, and the negotiation landscape. Looking back on the recent sales history of properties in your desired or building complexes provides a meaningful context for current home shopping. Here are some key ways sold MLS listings can help buyers make smart decisions:

Price guidance

Studying the sold prices of similar homes that were recently listed and sold in your target locations provides a benchmark for pricing expectations and clarity on what houses realistically trade for based on size, age, amenities, and other attributes that help you set your budget.

  • Negotiation power

Armed with comparable sales data, you can negotiate more astutely offers on currently listed homes. For instance, a pending offer substantially under recent sales of similar calibre might indicate room for price improvement. The sales comp numbers back your position.

Demand indicators 

Monitoring the number of days a comparable listing was on the market and any price drops before ultimately selling gives helpful indicators of demand. Faster sales suggest a hot market while lingering inventory indicates weaker buyer interest. These demand clues can aid negotiations.

  • Market trends

Studying the sales trajectories of comparable homes over a longer period helps identify market appreciation or depreciation trends. Have local values been rising steadily? Plateauing? Declining? Understanding recent trajectories provides context for pricing decisions on purchases or investments.

Listing to sales price ratio

Comparing all listings real estate prices to eventual sales prices for recently sold comparable properties shows the percentage difference. If comparable homes consistently sold for 5% under the list price, useful intel for making competitive offers. Indication of conventional buyer purchases vs cash offers provides a helpful perspective on competitive dynamics. Are cash investors snapping up certain properties? It can impact your strategy. It adjusts your pricing, timing, or negotiation tactics to the prevailing market conditions. Staying attuned to the prevalence of cash offers versus traditional buyer purchases empowers you to optimize your success in the ever-evolving real estate arena.

  • Hoa resale docs

For homes in community associations, old MLS listings often link to resale docs like estoppel certificates. These verify HOA dues amounts, amenity access, reserve funds, and more to inform purchase evaluation. While active MLS listings may capture more attention, take time to look back at recently sold comps in your areas of interest. The market insights you smarter buying decisions and negotiate from a more informed vantage point in the present.