It all started as a bit of fun on our Facebook page yesterday. A member of our team uploaded a humorous spoof post of someone talking on the telephone to a friend who has just received a home price from one of the generic home pricing websites, asking "And when exactly did they come look at it?"
But what started as a joke actually made us think that maybe it's time we again addressed the issue of home sellers who believe that the prices provided by these sites are accurate and get very upset when a more sophisticated, in-depth valuation suggests otherwise.
First things first, however, we're not saying that these sites have no value at all. Let's face it, they are great fun and give a fascinating, but very approximate, sense of where
your property sits in relation to other similar homes in the area - and who hasn't checked out what the neighbors' homes are worth at some point. Unfortunately that's where the usefulness of the pricing model ends pretty abruptly.
Like all busy agents, we've lost count of the number of times both buyers and sellers have told us of their frustration when they discover at first hand how inaccurate this
information can be. It's extremely common for prices to be around 10% adrift, but there is plenty of circumstantial evidence to suggest that the inaccuracies can often be much bigger!
Each website works to its own calculation method to arrive at a price for your home, which immediately tells you that there's little, if any, data consistency. Information is
partially gathered from the local county assessor's office, meaning that if they don't know about expensive additions you've made to your home, this isn't going to be priced in at all...
The price calculators are always based on historical data and also have no "sixth" sense of what is actually happening in the market at present, especially important when you consider the dynamics of a low inventory-led sellers' market that we're currently seeing in the Albuquerque area. Therefore, it's not only possible that your home will be overvalued, it may just as easily be undervalued...
And so we come back to where we started today: "And when exactly did they come look at it?". Generic sites have absolutely no knowledge of the condition of your home and all the features you've added to make it special. For that you need an experienced agent with up to the minute knowledge of where your property sits in the local marketplace and the correct pricing given current market conditions. There's simply no substitute for a full visual inspection.
So if you've been given an online price for your home recently, why not contact us today to get a far more accurate and reliable figure. We look forward to helping you.