Property Values and Recent Sales Help

For information on the Property Value and Recent Sales tool and how to use it, click a link below to go to an entry. Click "Back to Top" from each entry to return to this list.

What is this?
Who provides this information?
Where does this data come from?
How often is the data updated?
How current is the Recent Sales data?
Is this data accurate?
How do I report problems or submit questions?
How do I request removal of my data?
How do I know the source of the information in a specific record?
Has this data been manipulated in any way?
Why is the property information different from one sale to another?
Is washingtonpost.com an official source of data?
Where can I get official data?
How far back does the data go?
Why is the data sometimes incomplete?
What is the minimum information needed for a search?
How do I find my home?
Is there more information about a property than is shown in the list of results?
When I type my name into the owner name box, why doesn't my home appear in the result list?
When I type the name of my street into the street name box, why aren't homes on my street returned?
How do I refine my search?
Can I sort search results?
Why does it always show 500 records found?
Why is a sale price marked "May not reflect market value"?


What is this?

The Property Values and Recent Sales search tool consists of two databases based on public records received in electronic format from city and county governments or their authorized data vendors. The Property Values database includes descriptions of residential and commercial properties in the Washington area. It includes assessment information, lot sizes and other information. The Recent Sales database contains descriptions of residential and commercial real estate sales in the Washington, D.C., area. These descriptions generally include sale price and date, as well as information about the property at the time of sale.


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Who provides this information?

These databases are provided by Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive. It is not an official source of assessment or property sale information. Official sale and property information can only be obtained from local government agencies and courts.


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Where does this data come from?

All sales and property data is based on public assessment and real property transfer records from Washington, D.C., and the following other jurisdictions:

In Maryland

  • Anne Arundel County
  • Calvert County
  • Charles County
  • Frederick County
  • Howard County
  • Montgomery County
  • Prince George's County
  • St. Mary's County

In Virginia

  • Alexandria City
  • Arlington County
  • Fairfax City
  • Fairfax County
  • Loudoun County
  • Prince William County
  • Stafford County


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How often is the data updated?

Recent Sales data is updated monthly or bimonthly, depending on the city or county. Property Values data is updated annually or semi-annually, and reflects each jurisdiction's tax digests.


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How current is the Recent Sales data?

The Recent Sales database is updated monthly. However, it generally takes two to four months from the date of a sale for a description of that sale to reach our database. Title lawyers typically file deeds with an official recorder of deeds several weeks after the sale. It then generally takes from one to two months for that information to be entered into the assessor's computer system and distributed in electronic format. Finally, it can take several weeks for washingtonpost.com to process the data.


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Is this data accurate?

It is as accurate as the information provided to us by the county or city. If you see incorrect information, please contact the appropriate county or city. The source for each record is listed at the bottom the detail page.


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How do I report problems or submit questions?

Please send a description of all problems to homepricereports@washingtonpost.com.


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How do I request removal of my data?

It is washingtonpost.com's policy to report matters of interest to the community that are included in public records, including the information contained in Property Values and Recent Sales.

washingtonpost.com will withhold data from publication for compelling reasons, such as personal safety. If you feel you have a compelling reason for the removal of your data, e-mail homepricereports@washingtonpost.com.


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How do I know the source of the information in a specific record?

The source or sources for each record can be found at the bottom of the page for a specific record under the label "Source."


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Has this data been manipulated in any way?

washingtonpost.com does not materially change any of the data.

Coded fields are translated into plain English using keys provided by the appropriate county or city. (Fairfax County zoning code "5T," for example, is displayed as "Commercial.") Street type abbreviations are standardized where practical, as are street name abbreviations used by Fairfax County.

We have also created several broad property descriptors from the detailed land and building use codes furnished to us in order to make it easier to search for certain types of properties. These descriptors are labeled Structure Type and Occupancy Category.


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Why is the property information different from one sale to another?

The property information attached to each sales record was obtained at the time of the sale described. The information reflects the most current property description available at the time of the sale. (A sale record from December 2001, for example, will reflect the building size as of December 2001, though that may subsequently change.)


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Is washingtonpost.com an official source of data?

While Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive has attempted to ensure that the data contained here is accurate, Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive makes no warranties, expressed or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability of this data. Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive assumes no liability associated with the use or misuse of this data.


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Where can I get official data?

Official data is available from the following sources:

  • Alexandria, Va.: City of Alexandria Department of Real Estate Assessments.
  • Arlington County, Va.: Arlington County Department of Real Estate Assessments.
  • Fairfax City, Va.: Fairfax City Commissioner of the Revenue.
  • Fairfax County, Va.: Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration, Real Estate Division.
  • Loudoun County, Va.: Loudoun County Department of Financial Services, Assessor's Office.
  • Maryland, all counties and cities: Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation, Maryland Office of Planning; PropertyView, Spatial Associates, Baltimore, Md.
  • Prince William County, Va.: Prince William County Department of Finance, Real Property Assessments Office.
  • Stafford County, Va.: Stafford County Commissioner of the Revenue.
  • Washington, D.C.: District of Columbia Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Office of Tax and Revenue; Spatial Associates, Baltimore, Md.


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How far back does the data go?

We have nearly complete sales records for all counties since 1998. For some counties we have sales records as far back as 1930. We also display tax records beginning in 2005.


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Why is the data sometimes incomplete?

Some jurisdictions provide more information about sales and parcels than others. We can only publish what we receive.


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What is the minimum information needed for a search?

We require a name or location. The name can be the buyer's, seller's or owner's. The location can be street and county, or Zip code.


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How do I find my home?

There are several ways to find a specific home. It is best to enter as little detail as possible to reduce the chance that you enter terms that are not in our databases.

We recommend entering your last name and street name while excluding the street type and street number.


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Is there more information about a property than is shown in the list of results?

Yes. Click on the street address to view more information.


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When I type my name into the owner name box, why doesn't my home appear in the result list?

Owner, buyer and seller names are stored in the database as they come to us from government agencies. Those agencies frequently store the names exactly as they appear on deeds of sale and sometimes store only a certain number of characters of each name in their databases.

The name you type in must match what we get from the governments or your search won't return any records. If typing in your full name doesn't work, try typing only your last name or leaving out your middle initial.


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When I type the name of my street into the street name box, why aren't homes on my street returned?

We store street names as they are sent to us by the local governments. If the street name includes a direction (North, South, East, West), it may be abbreviated or placed before or after the main street name. Street suffixes (NW, SW, NE, SE) are sometimes abbreviated, sometimes written out, sometimes left off altogether. If typing in your full street name doesn't work, try leaving off the street direction and suffix.


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How do I refine my search?

At the bottom of every page that lists search results found with parameters you have selected sits a search form. You can refine the results by entering additional information into the form.


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Can I sort search results?

You can sort results by clicking the underlined column heading of the column you would like to put in alphabetical, numerical or chronological order. The columns will be sorted in ascending order.


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Why does it always show 500 records found?

We only display 500 properties, even if your search finds more. A maximum of 25 records can be displayed on each page; up to 20 pages of records can be displayed.


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Why is a sale price marked "May not reflect market value"?

If a sale price supplied to us does not appear to reflect roughly the amount that the property would be expected to sell for in an "arms length" transaction between unrelated parties, we mark it "May not reflect market value."

Most jurisdictions identify non-arms-length sales when they send us their data and we reflect those determinations. In addition, we flag sales that are more than three years old or less than 50 percent of the property's current assessment.


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