“The Zestimate on this house is only _____, let’s offer that.”
“Zillow says my home is worth _______!”
“My friend thinks I could get ______.”
Those are three examples of statements I’ve been hearing a lot lately. Statements that couldn’t be more inaccurate. “FAKE NEWS” as they like to say.
Technology is great, as I write this post I am sitting at an open house watching college basketball and monitoring all my social media accounts. The world is at my fingertips and any information I could think of is available in some way . But is it all accurate information?
Within the last year we’ve heard a lot about “fake news”. Once trusted sources of information have become infected with bogus information. Unfortunately the real estate world is not immune. Over the last few years Zillow and other IDX (internet data exchange) companies have been using the information available to them (MLS listing data) to estimate a home’s value. This has become so commonplace and prevalent that us real estate agents find ourselves fighting the preconceived notion of value our clients get from Zillow on a daily basis. This can have a negative impact on agent to client relationships. As real estate agents our knowledge and expertise is sometimes challenged.
Real estate valuation is not an exact science. Real estate is a market made up of human beings buying and selling their most expensive possession. It’s something that they do only once or twice a decade. There are emotions and complications that will affect a buyer or seller’s rationale. Some homes are immaculately maintained while others are completely neglected. Many homeowners will spend tens of thousands of dollars on improvements. Even the style and furniture a homeowner chooses can impact the homes value. These are just a few of the factors to consider when evaluating price. These are factors that Zillow or other “instant valuation” websites almost never account for. That doesn’t mean they don’t get lucky every now and then, they do, but I’ve found that more often than naught the Zestimate or availability is just plain wrong.
Of course real estate agents aren’t perfect. There are somewhere around 50,000 real estate licensees in the state of Arizona and there’s only one of them that’s any good. See what I did there. Anyway there are a lot of bad agents out there so I understand some level of distrust, it comes with the territory. There’s a reason there were 9,000+ homes that were listed and expired without selling, even in a sellers market, in 2017. Bad agents. They did their clients a disservice by not being upfront or knowledgeable regarding price, they bought the listing by telling the seller what they wanted to hear. Maybe they didn’t communicate or market well. Maybe they used Zillow to price a home. Either way that’s potentially 9,000 more homeowners who are now more distrusting of real estate agents.
Now that you’re probably getting bored of this story, if you’ve even made it this far, here’s the moral; educate yourself enough to sort out the “fake news”(Zillow) or find a trustworthy real estate agent who can provide you with the right tools and information to make an informed decision whether you’re buying or selling residential real estate in Arizona. Two great places to start:
Or contact me directly by calling 602-330-7706 or filling out the form below:
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