Any IDX feed web site like the ones mentioned are good starting places.
Yahoo / Zillow
to start. This are based of current SOLD properties. So not a bad start.
Then I use Agent Metrics to narrow the perimeters
Then do my own research through my local MLS data, from a larger area or zone, then down to the neighborhood.
Next, I look a showing reports per price point of properties SOLD in that neighborhood.
Now I am ready to meet the client and discuss their needs.
You won't find many that will disagree with your position. Unfortunately, we are left to pick up the pieces when customers enjoy a less than accurate appreciation for a specific local market area.
Change in life is inevitable......we just need to figure out what we can do with it.
IMO that is an egregious violation of the duties and responsibilities we owe the public.
My advice to the general public... if your real estate agent is too cheap to pay for the basic tools of the trade, you're going to get the deal you deserve.
There is a really good reason we shell out that money.
I also found a real estate agent this week showing properties she had found... using a newspaper! Admittedly she did have the lockbox code... but still, she was using a newspaper.
My client was horrified, and I can't say that I blamed her.
In an Agent-to-Agent blog here on Trulia, there is a post regarding Keller Williams and Coldwell Banker evaluating the deterioration of the real estate profession and subversion of the integrity of the industry induced by these rogue elements and the publics lack of awareness. Hopefully, they and the other major brand will initiate a tertiary resource such as 'Market Leaders" RealEstate.com website as the best collaborative resource that enforces the standards of MLS data.
If such a site was available and you could select your listings to go there, would you end syndication to Zillow and Trulia and Realtor.com? (The latter is the source of the entertainment sites data.)
Why would any agent use Zillow for an evaluation? It is beyond comprehension!
I use Zillow data to confirm the need for 'real' data and the expertise of a professional.
You got it "How do we ban Zillow?". I think this will take a collective effort from us, Realtors, to teach and even keep pounding that notion to our customers to stay away from those sites.
In fact, whenever I begin working with customers, I STRONGLY emphasize to them "If you must surf the internet to look for properties, only go to Realtor.com, which is the most accurate real estate resource out there." But guess what, like children they don't listen and they email back some addresses of properties they found and would like to see - of course not from Realtor.com - and when you find those properties, most of them are either in back-up or in pending status.
Very frustrating and unnecessary work for us!
Two days ago, one Realtor from a neighboring county put a new listing on the MLS. The price was awesome but lack pictures and detail info on the MLS sheet. The agent answered my questions and I knew that the price for that neighborhood way way too low. I asked the agent how he/she arrived at that price. "Zillow" was the answer. Naturally, I shared my knowledge of the area based on the condition of the property I received from that agent. That agent went back, worked the comps properly and later yesterday afternoon, the old listing was cancelled and a new listing popped at $45K more.
That agent also mentioned that it would explain why he/she has received so many calls to show in two days. Had this not been corrected, that would have shorten the seller and also lower the comps in the neighborhood.
Isn't our industry fun?
Unfortunately, this is where consumers begin their searches, and they are not receiving accurate information. Makes it much for difficult for us, when they are thinking they can get a property for considerably less than the current market.