Comparable Sales – Pending Transactions
The most valuable comparable sale information would be the most current, of course. A sale last week has more validity in helping determine a purchase price than a sale from more than six months ago. The problem is that there is no actual record of the sales price until the transaction is completed. The information is not available in the public record because no deed has yet been recorded, and it can take well over a week or more for the sale to post publicly.
Neither is the information available in the Multiple Listing Service. Once a property is sold, it becomes a "pending sale" and all pricing information is removed from the listing. Final sale prices are not posted until it becomes a "closed sale." This protects the seller in case the transaction falls apart prior to close of escrow and the property is placed back on the market. It would give an unfair advantage to future potential buyers if they already knew what price the seller had been willing to accept from a previous buyer.
However, if a Realtor has a reason to know the sales price, they can usually find out through professional courtesy. Also, some real estate brokerages post sales information on a transaction board in their office.