Have you been visiting real estate web sites?
Whether you're looking for a new home or wondering what your own home is worth on today's market, you've probably stopped by some of the major real estate sites. Trulia and Zillow are the first that come to mind, and there are many others.
It can be fun to look, but do take what you find there with a grain of salt.
Those sites aren't kept up to date, and sometimes their information is simply wrong, even when it's taken directly from a Multiple Listing Feed.
I spoke with an agent recently whose new listing had been placed in the wrong town on Trulia. Another agent told me that his new listing was showing up under a different agent's name and at the price from 6 years ago. He checked 3 different sites and each reported a different number of days on the market – one at more than 100.
Meanwhile, buyer agents are frustrated by trying to help clients who have found "the perfect house" on line. They want to go see it immediately – but in truth it was sold a year or more ago.
And then there are computerized home valuations. Go ahead and play with them – but don't believe them!
Computer-generated values are often as much as 30% off. Why? Because the computer compares only basic information – not details such as the view, the quality of fixtures and finishes, the condition, the school district, etc. It doesn't know if your house (or any of the houses used in comparison) is a fixer or a palace.
The best way to find a home that suits both your tastes and your budget is to work with a Realtor who will listen carefully to your wants and needs, then search the current listings in the Multiple Listing Service, taking time to read those "agent only" details.
The best way to learn what your home is worth is to have a real live Realtor prepare a true market analysis.
Even Zillow and Trulia admit they only get their values right 38% of the time. Is that what you want to trust with the biggest investment of your life?
Whether you're planning on buying or selling – get in touch. I'll provide you with the information you want and the assistance you need for a successful outcome.