Using comps on Zillow is not accurate. Using comps on the Lehigh Valley MLS are very accurate. As the Lehigh Valley MLS is what the appraisers are using. Zilliow only has information on the price, beds and baths etc. It does not have information on what updates have been done or the area that home is located. Pretty much Zilliow is just a computer generated report based on the Lehigh County Data that has been typed in by Lehigh County and the County can be anywhere from 30 to 90 days behind on homes sold. The Lehigh Valley MLS is up to the min accurate. Soon as a home is sold and the sold date is entered into the system...the information is live. Also, the appraisers us homes that are under agreement and available with Contingency..they can tell if a home was sold and settled that was a foreclosure or short sale vs someone who just sold it has a reg seller.
So, If your Real Estate Agents are finding no comps on the MLS for the home you want to purchase to prove the value..THEN this is fishy...but, I have a really good feeling this will not be the case.
I hope this helps you and good luck
First of all, Zillow is not a reliable source for comparables. I have seen homes on Zillow that are either under or over market value. The market value of homes are constantly changing. Therefore, a professional real estate agent will be better able to assist you in that sense. The current sold comparables will be used including the location and condition of the homes, which do make a difference. Also, when an agent does a comp, it does not inlcude foreclosures, which can bring down the value considerably.
Banks, in general, can no longer choose the appraisers. They are now computer generated and can be assigned to any appraiser that may be available. Sometimes, the appraiser may not be from the immediate area. They will use comps from the Multiple Listing Service and make adjustments to come up with the appraised value of the home. For example, if a home has a swimming pool and the subject property does not, an adjustment on the comparable home will be made. A value will be subtracted from the comparable property because the subject property does not have a pool.
Hope this helps clear up things for you.
Brigita McKelvie, REALTOR, e-PRO, GRI
Keller Williams Real Estate, Bethlehem, PA
Office: 610-867-8888 Direct: 610-393-9424
I agree with Moriah. A little more detail.....KNBT can not pick the appraiser like in years past. It is now generated through an FHA computer system. Zillow in most cases is way off. I have seen it under value a home as well as over value. The best source is tax records for recent sales. A "BAD NEIGHBORHOOD" is not an adjustment one can take, but rather search for homes in a close proximity and not going back more than 6 months. Also they are going to look for similar homes. Most likely they did not use the one with a garage. And if the subject has 5 bedrooms and a lot more square feet, then they are different and those that you speak of would not be used.
KNBT did my home equity loan in 2006 - they appraised my house for $40,000 less than I bought it in 2004. I had equity, but was surprised on how low their appraisal came in. They are ultra conservative !!!