The Internet is s wonderful thing. It has literally put the world at our fingertips – and, with smartphones, we now can carry the world around in our pockets. In many ways, the convenience is hard to beat. We can have answers to questions in seconds, rather than having to wait hours – or more – for hard to find information.
When it comes to real estate issues, such as the current value of our homes, websites like Zillow can provide a tremendous amount of leverage to both buyers and sellers. Today, all you have to do is type in a property’s address and viola’, up pops a plethora of details that it used to take an afternoon at your local courthouse to find.
Just how much should you rely on your Zestimate from Zillow? Unfortunately, these estimates of property value – or as Zillow calls them, Zestimates – are not always accurate. And, in some cases, they may even put buyers and sellers in an even worse position than if they hadn’t viewed them at all. This is because in some cases, the values may be off by as much as 40%.
Conversely, the way that a real estate agent determines the market value of a property differs a great deal from how Zillow does it. Real estate agents use comparable properties for coming up with value – which can be much more accurate. Zillow does not have this capability, and is one reason why it can be so off on its estimates (Zestimates) at times.
Real estate agents can also help buyers and sellers because they know the local market. They know what areas of a city are up and coming and which are not. They can also tell if a home is more of a fixer upper as versus move-in ready – something that’s difficult for a computer model to know.
If you’re thinking about buying or selling soon, give us a call. We’d be happy to give you a personal estimate of what your current home is really worth today.