Where can I find old real estate listings online?
September 25, 2011 5:47 PM   Subscribe

Is there any way to find old real estate listings on the internet, searching by address--ones that have already sold, expired, or been withdrawn?

I am on the hunt for a new house with certain hard-to-find characteristics in my area. I have reached the point in my search where I am going to have to find the house that I want and approach the owners about selling. This process would be greatly aided by being able to see previous listings for likely properties. I have a great agent who has been sending me some listings that were pulled for various reasons, but I want to be able to do more of this type of searching than I feel comfortable asking her to do.

When I type the address of a current listing into the Google search bar, I get hits for that listing from all the real estate agencies in town. But when I type the address of a house that I know has been recently listed but no longer is on the market, I get nothing. Why aren't these listings cached? Or are they? Is there any way to see them?
posted by HotToddy to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Not sure if it would have all that you are looking for, but I've been to zillow.com before. You can type in a street name or some address. I've seen places in my neighborhood that are for sell, what are for rent, and what just recently sold and the price. (I was looking to put my place on the market and wanted to see what was going on in my 'hood). I'm not sure if it shows expired or withdrawn info, however.
posted by foxhat10 at 5:58 PM on September 25, 2011

Response by poster: No, Zillow only gives the most basic information about houses that are not on the market. If a house is listed, it gives the full listing information, but the second it's pulled from the MLS, the Zillow listing reverts to a basic listing (just address and Zestimate, basically).
posted by HotToddy at 6:13 PM on September 25, 2011

Redfin can show listings for the past three years, at least in my area. On the map screen, click More Options, then the Sale Records checkbox.
posted by djb at 6:16 PM on September 25, 2011

If I were you I'd look for empty houses that meet the criteria, look them up in the tax records, and then approach the owners.
posted by mareli at 6:17 PM on September 25, 2011

Your Realtor should have access to that on the mls if I recall correctly.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:45 PM on September 25, 2011

I've done this. I don't have a consistent approach. I usually Google it, find the crappiest real estate aggregator website I can, and look at the cache. Frequently the images survive. Occasionally some website just has the listing up. (Zillow holds them for a few months, but not much longer. Others differ.)
posted by zvs at 9:45 PM on September 25, 2011

Trulia does this. Click on the "Recently Sold" tab. There's a lag of a month or so between sold date and appearing on the site, but many of the sold properties have photos on the website (sometimes dozens of them). It's so useful.
posted by Maarika at 8:42 PM on October 1, 2011

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