Are Sites Like Zillow, Trulia Or Redfin Really Credible?
Living in today’s fast pace world of technology can be looked at as both a gift and a curse. We have access to information in the palms of our hands instantly! It’s so amazing when you really think about it but there is certainly a negative side when it comes to relying on apps and websites so heavily. When the human element is removed there tends to be some pretty major inaccuracies at times. Although technology can be great for general information and tasks it’s a much different story when it’s used to value your home!
Be Aware Of All The Variables!
The popularity of sites such as Zillow, Redfin and Trulia have grown tremendously over the past few years and more and more people are using these websites as a way to value property. The truth is that none of those websites are an accurate measuring stick by any means. The Zillow Zestimate feature cannot replace a legitimate appraisal or a comparative market analysis performed by a local real estate professional. It’s important that we emphasize the word local because all real estate is local! It takes someone who has local market knowledge to come up with a truly accurate estimation of value. It’s not just about sold comps and asking prices! There are many other details to consider. Things like construction type (brick or frame), square footage, year built, beds, baths and distance of the comps from the subject property. Same subdivision vs another as many times the values across the street might be worth more or less for one reason or another. This would be something that Zillow cannot detect and it won’t be factored into their computerized estimate. Also some properties might have been fully updated or recently remodeled and this can create a significant difference in value. A home that is outdated simply cannot be compared to a home that has been fully updated! In Detroit Michigan this can be even more complicated because of all of the vacant houses and also because of all the undervalued property sales from the Detroit Land Bank auction. It’s not uncommon for property values in Detroit to vary from block to block.
Are There Any Exceptions?
There are a few exceptions when considering the accuracy of these online property value estimates. The valuations can be within an accurate range if it’s pulling and comparing data for a condominium from the same complex or building. Another exception for example might be if you’re looking at comps from a newer subdivision in some parts of Oakland County or in Macomb County. If the subdivision is less than ten years old then the online estimate might be fairly accurate but it still shouldn’t be used in substitute of a real estate professional or MLS comps!