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How to Source Sales Data in Countries where Agents are Very Secretive about Transactions?

To build a real estate portal, the standard strategy is collect lots of listing data. Or you could try the “AVM abroad” strategy (Zillow for country X).

I’ve written about data sources before (MLS listing datapublic property data, and other free datasets). Unfortunately, virtually no country in the world has the required sales data publicly accessible to base an AVM on. Why? Agents don’t want to share it, because buyers want it, and agents want buyers to ask them about it rather than look it up for free online. Pretty simple.

Which begets the question:

how to source data in countries where agents are secretive about sales data?

I honestly don’t have the faintest idea how each international real estate markets work, but the question really gets down to agent incentives. What possible incentives are there that may compel agents to share real estate sales data?

  • Advertise the fact that they sold property X long after the fact
  • For themselves as a scorecard/metric of success
  • As part of closing a transaction
  • To compete with other agents with the hope of being “the best agent in city/country X”
  • To share with their industry friends (brag)
  • Home buyer tells the agent to make it public (guessing this is very rare occurrence)

Particularly for those agents reading from abroad, what am I missing?

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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