I recently closed on a property where I told an out of state buyer that the area they were buying in was going up in value. They said buy Zillow said it was going down in value. The week after they closed, they called and said, Zillow has just reported that the property was projected to be going up in value.
Just like a local Realtor knows that there are short sales on the street that are affecting value, Zillow cannot make that distinction.
I know this was a pretty lengthy explanation Chris, but it was actually a very good question. Thanks for asking, and giving me the opportunity to explain as I'm asked that question very often.
I agree with the other agents that local agents have a better understanding of our local market than sites such as Zillow and Trulia; however, another thing to consider is this....If you are talking about the "value of the house" being the asking price, that may or may not be the actual value of the house. Many sellers want to "test the waters", or "have some room to negotiate", or they may not agree with their agents suggested market value. Often times Realtors will allow them to price the house at a price that does not reflect it's actual value and is significantly higher, in hopes that when they don't get showings or offers, they will reconsider and lower their price. Sometimes they don't have enough equity in the home to sell for its actual value, so they hope a cash buyer will come along and purchase it without an appraisal. Most of us don't like to do that, and I think we all have limits on how high we will allow them to go before we refuse the listing, but I would image it's happened to all of us at one time or another. Ask for a market analysis if you think the home is over-priced.
Same reasoning behind why you wouldn't let a auto mechanic perform open heart surgery... RealtorsÂ® are experts in their field.
I recommend contacting several in your area and see what you hear from them. Good luck!
Grace Ruud-Papadopoulos, Broker
CDPE, CRS, GRI, E-PRO, LCM, SFR
To really understand these values you really, really, really, really would be well advised to meet up with your real estate professional as a few home values are determined on a 'not seen' basis.
Those who are serious will follow those instructions and VALUE what they have discovered. Those who are not serious willl solicate opinions from strangers on the internet.
For those who are serious about making a real estate decision should understand, Trulia and Zillow are suitable for entertainment purposes only. One can get more reliable information by looking up their fate on their favorite horoscope resource.
One of the main reasons why Zillow's values are almost always off is that it uses historical numbers from 3-6 months ago.