Familiar Web Sites Are the Worst Place to Get Values

Posted on October 7, 2014 by

A high percentage of real estate investors and sellers begin their research on some of the popular websites like Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia and Homes.com. Also, thousands of websites with aggregated data that provide bits and pieces of information might seem helpful.

For those of you already connected to REIAComps, the control and feeling of confidence you have over your deals is priceless. Using REIAComps to investigate the value of houses as they come to market, against other less reliable sources continues to be a no brainer.

Today almost 90 percent of investors go to the web for information at some point during research, and, quite a few will possibly connect with a real estate agent during the buying or selling process. Only investing agents can actually offer and help to interpret the abundance of data and guide an investor or seller. Unfortunately, there are very few actual investing agents.

Anyone looking to buy or sell a home these days has more than likely surfed and discovered one of the many online home valuation tools. Every investor must ask themselves, are these tools really useful? Well, are they?

In fact, the data that these tools draw on at times is marginally accurate. The amount of time, effort and money contributed to these collections of data is staggering. They can be beneficial when evaluating or perhaps trying to understand geographic locations in which to target a house search.

However, the tools are built around an automated valuation model that cannot account for the uniqueness of a given home. For instance, when compiling the data; quality of materials, updated interiors, school zoning, air quality, and any attributes which require true valuation assessment are not factored into the house’s estimated value.

The most widely known of these resources is Zillow’s proprietary program, Zestimate. It’s important to understand the inaccuracy of a Zestimate valuation. In fact according to disclosures on Zillow’s own website, the “Zestimate” tool miscalculates homes values in most areas over 30 percent of the time. Certainly not the best resource for determining the value of a house an investor may consider buying or selling.

By comparison, at REIAComps our team invests hours analyzing house value for our clients weekly. In addition to looking at statistical data, we know it is quite important to factor in the latest market trends for the area; and specifics about comparable homes that are currently on the market or have recently sold.

Whether you are an investor buying, selling or just looking, don’t put too much stock in the automated valuation tools to determine a home’s value. If you want to get closer to a true value, you need to consult the tool truly serious investors use.

Use REIAComps to determine the best acquisition and ARV for every deal you look at. Don’t for one moment let some popular marketing web site designed to do “lead generation” tell you the value of a deal. Let REIAComps show you for yourself.

Mark JacksonMark Jackson is an appraiser, real estate investor and property valuation specialist who teaches others to get more out of their real estate investing business. In 1999, Mark founded an appraisal company and soon found his true gift was analyzing property values for real estate investors. Since 2000, has closed millions of dollars’ worth of his own domestic and international real estate transactions. Mark’s passions are: faith, family, golf and real estate.

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