Experience You Can Trust

Are Online Home Values Misleading?

Didn’t your mother tell you not to believe everything you read? Well this applies to some of the most popular algorithm home valuation websites. How so you say?

Many of the popular sites like “Zillow” can be very misleading. Even according to their own publications they can be off by 20% a third of the time. Log on to Zillow and read their blog and you will see it is full of examples of valuations that are way off for many reasons. These sites often pull in “comps” from different but adjacent tracts of homes which grossly misrepresent a value either to the high or low side.

Let me put in a plug for the “Local Realtor”. We know in many cases what the real story is behind many closed listings. In many cases the neighbors know the real story as well. For example, why does a 2100 sq. ft. home sell for more money than a home 400 sq. ft. larger on the same street. The valuation algorithm will not know that the larger home had multiple slab leaks and was a property that was uninhabitable. In other words it had to sell to a cash buyer at a substantial discount because no lender would loan on the property.

Some short sales for instance sell at market value even though they are sold “as is” with no warranty. However some short sales sell at substantial discounts because the bank wants to unload it from inventory.

While it is great to have so much free information on line, it can be confusing and lead to a buyer rejecting a well-priced property for a faulty reason. Team up with a local, knowledgeable Realtor and you will get the home that is right for you a great deal. Besides as a home buyer it costs you nothing to use the professional.

Ron Buck, Realtor-Broker

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