FAQ

Where do you get this data?

BlockShopper’s real estate data comes from government sources, including county assessor and recorder offices. It is all public record, available via their respective web sites or at the county courthouse itself.

If you believe you’ve found an error on our web site, let us know immediately so we can investigate/fix the situation. You wouldn’t believe it, but sometimes your government makes errors in its record-keeping.
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What about the news stories?

BlockShopper news stories only include information that’s already been made publicly available on the Web. That’s either by the buyer/seller, public records or a trusted media outlet.

To be clear: we don’t talk to nosy neighbors and we don’t want to hear from them.

This is not gossip, rumor or innuendo; it’s community news intended to bring neighbors together. We’re of the opinion that there isn’t enough of it these days.
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What do you mean?

Those of you from small towns grew up with local newspapers that didn’t limit their scope to the big politicians and the pseudo-local celebrities. To everyone’s benefit, they also covered the everyday folks who made up the fabric of their communities.

And we’re not just talking about the bad things, like the banker’s DUI or the local insurance salesman’s divorce. Reporters weren’t just out digging up local dirt; they were writing about celebrations and milestones, helping their readers make connections to their neighbors.

BlockShopper aims to do something similar, using home sales as a vehicle to help all of us get to know our neighbors. That’s why we include not just the “what” and “how much,” but the “who” as well.
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But I crave anonymity! Can you take my information off your site?

Public records are public for a reason. That is, your name isn’t on the title of the property you own—for all to see—to facilitate neighbor nosiness but because it is in the collective public interest.

The most important charge of a local government is to guarantee land title; to keep accurate, timely records of who owns what. If we couldn’t learn the “who,” uncertainty would reign and land transactions would slow to a crawl. This would be bad for everyone’s house value.

Furthermore, the prices we pay for our homes are public as they serve as the basis for local property taxes. Keeping this information like a secret would result in a lucky few paying too little, while the rest of us pay too much.

In the spirit of fairness, we report public records as they are reported to us. We do not eliminate records on BlockShopper.com, as doing so compromises the integrity of our data.

We do make exceptions to this rule, for certain government officials, law enforcement and public safety workers( see more here ), individuals under court protection orders, or individuals with officially documented stalkers or other threats, for instance.

If you do fall into one of these categories, you can contact us in the following ways:

  1. Email Scarlett Simpson ( scarlett@blockshopper.com ) detailing the nature of your situation for consideration.
  2. Fax us your information/request to 314-786-0519. No cover sheet required.
  3. Via U.S. Mail to our Chicago office at:
      27 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 428
      Chicago, IL 60606

If you're an employee or in law enforcement, some proof of employment is required (emailing from your work email will suffice).

If you are under an order of protection or consider yourself under some other threat, please include some documentation (like a police report) in your email. If this isn't possible, please explain why. We're good listeners.

Expect to hear from us within 24-48 hours or sooner. We answer ALL emails on this subject promptly.
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I’m a prospective home buyer—what can I do on BlockShopper?

First, home buyers might peruse our one-of-a-kind For Sale section, which notes every home for sale in a given town or neighborhood, not just the ones whose sellers have paid someone a listing fee.

Second, if you already have your eye on a few properties or a real estate agent has suggested some, there’s nowhere easier to conduct your own, independent research than with BlockShopper.

Compare tax bills with those of your would-be future neighbors, verify that the house and lot are as big as they’re purported to be, and check out recent sales in the subdivision, building, or block. What’s the seller stand to make? Have there been many foreclosures nearby?

For home buyers, we built BlockShopper to be the ultimate objective resource, meant to give you the intelligence edge. Before you make the biggest purchase of your life, you cannot afford not do due diligence here.
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I’m a real estate agent—how can I promote myself on BlockShopper?

We built BlockShopper, in part, to give the most successful and experienced real estate agents a real platform to showcase their track records to potential customers.

That is, your best sales pitch is your record itself. “Claim” it on BlockShopper and guarantee our (tens of thousands) of monthly readers see your name and brand when they’re browsing the neighborhoods and blocks you know best.

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