Thinking of buying or selling a home? There is a wealth of information online showing you every detail of the house. Doing your research will help you get the better deal, no matter which side of the bargaining table you are on.
Zillow is one of the most popular sites for listing homes. The company’s “Zestimate” is based on a variety of factors including square footage, bedroom/bathroom count, tax assessment, market days and other homes in the area. Obviously, if you are selling you want this number to be as high as possible. Tap or click here for five ways to spice up your home.
If you’re in an area with a hot housing market, you probably wondered “Are you interested in selling your home for cash?” Have received calls with messages along the lines of? Whether it is so or not, you can ignore such calls. But spammers and crooks are now using the resources to find out more about you and your home.
Anyone can check the county appraiser site to get information about properties. These are government-run sites that use appraisers’ information to estimate the value of real property within a county, city, town or village.
Appraisers are knowledgeable about the local area and their methods of setting values change over time. The property may be revalued as needed to keep the information up to date. If you have any concerns or questions, you can contact your local appraiser. To see an example evaluation site for Maricopa County, go to mcassssor.maricopa.gov.
Not all appraisal sites provide the same information, but they make a great starting point for anyone wanting to learn more about your property. This information would usually not be used for nefarious gains, but it certainly could be. If a scammer calls, they will use their collected information to convince you that they are legitimate.
Here is some information that is readily available to anyone.
1. When did you buy your home and how much did you pay
A county appraiser’s site search can reveal who owns the property and how much they paid for it. Payment history can be easily found for all owners, with no taxes paid or owed. Full cash value (FCV) and limited asset value (LPV) indicate what the asset is currently worth.
Is there a lien on the house, or is it paid in full? You’ll find that and more here. Tap or click here for one way to get a valid offer for your home.
2. With whom did you buy your house
An appraiser’s site can provide the real estate company and/or realtor you worked with when you purchased your home. The name and address of the mortgage issuing bank or other creditor is also available. Tap or click here for information on how hackers are tricking banks into duping you.
3. Property Size and Layout
Square footage is important when assessing a property and planning rooms, but this information can also help potential burglars. The type of house also gives the layout, and some sites even include sketches or diagrams showing entry and exit points.
4. Your Signature
Property records, deeds and other documents containing your personal signature can be found on appraisal sites. Their screenshots can be taken or downloaded, for anyone to use with their signature in their hands as they see fit.
The actual legal signatures of our very own Kim Komando are available online due to a deed. This is in contrast to what she uses to sign letters to readers and such. Tap or click here to learn how to digitally sign any document.
5. Your other assets
As if all of the above information isn’t enough for bad actors to use against you, there is more. Once your personal information is found, this is another step in determining what other assets you own. All the information is now available again: when you got it, how much you paid for, size and layout and your signature.