Learn more about a region’s local housing market with these 12 helpful tips


Whether you are buying or selling a home, knowing as much as you can about the area’s local housing market is a crucial part of the process. Whenever you are looking for a home, it is a good idea to collect information to ensure you are making the right decision about where to live. As a homeowner or real estate agent selling a home, you need to be able to answer many different questions from potential buyers.

There are many resources you can use to gather information if you are unfamiliar with the area in which you want to buy or sell. Below are 12 Forbes Real Estate Council members sharing their most helpful tips for learning about an area’s local housing market.

1. Experience geography and demography up close

Nothing beats your feet on the ground. We start each project with the developer’s target market in mind, but then go into the area to learn both the geography and demographics. We want to find out the latest buzz. Is it the price? Unique design? Where are friends and family? What is the location and access to jobs, recreation, shopping or entertainment? We take everything hot and design to beat that bar. – Mary Cook, Mary Cook

2. Use community-specific government websites

If asked to pick just one resource to learn more about a local housing market or area, I suggest state websites that are specific to the community you want. This includes city, police, tax office, animal welfare, etc. It’s endless. Find household information, information on local politicians, zoning, plans, and more. – Mike Shapiro, Mike S. Shapiro


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3. Obtain rental estimates for interesting properties

Get rental estimates for properties you are interested in. Rental rates help you better understand supply and demand in your desired market. Many websites like Rentometer or Zillow offer free rental estimates. – Chuck Hattemer, Poplar Houses (formerly Onerent)

4. Talk to real estate attorneys for expert knowledge

Talk to real estate attorneys. They can share incredible insights into the sales trends they’ve observed, including wealth tax trends, disputes between transaction companies and their reasons, title release deadlines, etc. A real estate attorney can help you with challenges they’ve seen in other clients’ experience and how to navigate the same to gain more value. – Saurabh Shah, InstaLend

5. Gather information from various online resources

Online resources like real estate listings, auction sites, virtual tours, and blog posts are helpful tools for learning more about local markets. In a recent ServiceLink report, 42% of shoppers said they read articles and other posts online to make their purchasing decisions – and that number rose to 56% among Gen Z and Millennials. Mortgage and real estate professionals are also good sources of market trends. – Miriam Moore, ServiceLink

6. Use crime statistics to understand area changes

Many areas are supposed to change, generally in a positive direction. A good way to see these changes is to look at the crimes reported in an area. The FBI has a great website that you can use to look at the types and trends of crime in an area. You can search by state and then the local government agency, e.g. B. a local police department, break down. – Robert Jafek, Boomerang Capital Partners

7. Use social media

Follow the city or town on social media. While there are plenty of resources, including official bulletin boards and publications, cities are also likely to connect through social media groups and announce new deed-restricted developments for the locals. In addition, private institutions can post announcements about local housing offers in the same groups and forums. – Marco Del Zotto, LIV | Sotheby’s International Realty – Breckenridge CO

8. Start advertising with the Chamber of Commerce

Real estate is a contact sport. When looking for a new area, I always start with the local chamber of commerce. We also go to the market and film the amenities, parks, local attractions, shopping, etc. Our out of state buyers love to get these videos for when we tell them about them. – Lisa Copeland, The Agentcy of Tarek El Moussa of Exp Realty, LLC

9. Check the local property price listing services

Your local listing services are an essential resource. In New York, for example, we show all of the prices of each property on a map so you can easily read the map and know which neighborhoods are the most expensive or cheapest. By keeping track of pricing over time, you can tell if you are in a buyer’s or seller’s market. – Rodolfo Delgado, replay lists

10. Follow local news

Following local news and commercial developments in a particular area can provide a good indication of how the housing market is evolving. The type of upcoming developments (e.g. office / trade versus industry) reflects the demographic development expected in the neighborhood. – Ron Costa, The Eighty-Eight Group

11. Search the local tax auditor database

Tax advisor data can be an untapped treasure trove of data. This information can be hyperlocated by parish, neighborhood, or even street. Searching for local tax information online has been improved, making searching easier than ever. It often features a home sales history, improvements, tax changes over the years, home appraisal values, and more. For trending data, this can be an exceptional resource. – Kevin Hawkins, WAV Group, Inc.

12. Get tips from the local internet chat group

Almost every city has a local internet chat group, be it through Nextdoor or the local government. On these pages, locals exchange goods and services and give tips. This can be a great resource of unfiltered information on the local housing market. For example, my town has a Berkeley parenting website that is an amazing resource for everything local. – Megan Micco, compass



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