how much should i read into trulia estimate of a home? Example: seller wants nearly $50K more than trulia estimates the house to be worth??

Asked by Amastrich, Sat Sep 29, 2012

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Tina Lam’s answer
Tina Lam, Agent, San Jose, CA
Sat Sep 29, 2012
For estimates by Trulia, you should use it as a benchmark to get you within 10-12% of the market price, on a national housing market level. While others have already mentioned the limitations of having a rudimentary program to estimate prices by sold comps and sizes, the most critical issue is the same one faced by appraisers: the sold comps are a snap shot of prices in the past and are not perfect predictors of today's prices.

If you had data from 3-6 months ago, then in theory you would be able to estimate a price today within 10-12% in a low-beta market that has historically moved no more than 25% in a year. Now, if your specific market had moved 30-40% in a year in the past, then you should discount the value of a Trulia estimate to be good within 15-20% of the actual market price. So, if your price sensitivity is less than those ranges, as most buyers are, then estimates from Trulia and appraisers are not very useful.

Only a Realtor with a command of this concept and excellent field knowledge of pending transactions will be able to give you a useful guidance on the current market price. Working with a Realtor like that, you'll know whether the listing price is way too high, too low or just right.
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3 votes
Eric Steindl…, Agent, Portland, OR
Sat Sep 29, 2012
Trulia and other sites like Zillow don't take into account the condition of the home, just square footage and properties nearby that sold. If property is very similar to it' neighbors that recently sold, it is more likely to be accurate. If it's in poor condition, a different size, style, remodeled extensively, etc, it will be less accurate.

See how we market homes
1 vote
Tom Inglesby, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Oct 3, 2012
Read the fine print that the values could be off 20% up or down, now that is really not to close. They take what sells in last month and you can get a new total every few weeks if there are a number of sales close to you so I would not worry about the price get an agent to give you a true value in todays changing market. Thanks, Tom Inglesby, RE/MAX Equity Group
0 votes
Ruth and Per…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Sat Sep 29, 2012
Hi Amastrich

You do not go by estimates from web sites, they are averages from 2-3 years, they are free
and that is what they are worth

What you need is a live update from an agent, i.e. your agent on recent homes closed
as well as homes pending, that have recd. offers and not closed yet.

That is the best way to get an accurate value on the property, after understanding what the
Market is doing in your area of choice.

0 votes
Marvin Von R…, Agent, Tigard, OR
Sat Sep 29, 2012
ZILCH. Listen to what the others said. It can give you a general idea in an area with a lot of activity but thats about it. My primary real estate income comes from valuing houses for banks. The MLS is the most accurate tool we have but sometimes we will look at Trulia, Redfin, Zillow and other sites if we need to find one extra property possibly sold by owner, etc. My favorite is this site. Not just because Im in here now---Im also in Zillow and say that I like them the least.The market is changing rapidly. Its been a crazy, wild ride for the last 3 years. Valuing property now can be frustrating and in some cases almost impossible. Values are all over the board with some areas going up and others still going down. Then we have certain TYPES of property that may go up or down when their general market area is opposite.

Are you dealing directly with the seller or is this just a general question with example? I do have to say that many sellers now are over priced. We say 'Price not supported by sold data'. Some are not properly counseled by their real estate brokers. Others are trying to find an ignorant buyer, forgetting that the house has to appraise for a loan. Some have little or no equity and hope they can squeeze every last penny out. I travel 7 days a weeki around the Portland area, doing hundreds and hundreds of properties. My LEAST favorite zip codes are 97223 and 97035. Severe lack of listings and solds make it very hard to value homes. Have three brokers give you a market analysis on the same property. See how much they vary and if any of the brokers ADJUSTED for things like 2 vs 2.5 baths, square foot difference and by dollar amount per foot, age, bedrrom count, how many car garage, etc. If it comes up less than the sellers asking price, include your CMA with the offer unless you plan to lowball less than the CMA. Or, have your agent call the listing agent and ask how they came up with the price and compare their data.
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Sat Sep 29, 2012
Aggregate real estate websites are for entertainment purposes.

"Trulia receives this listing from ListHub, a third party listing provider. As part of Trulia's syndication agreement with ListHub, Trulia has agreed to limit data edits on core fields (e.g. price and status) specified by ListHub."

When there is no one responsible for the data, the data produced will be irresponsible.
0 votes
Violetta Pol…, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Sat Sep 29, 2012
Trulia uses algorithms that utilize combinations of data including recent sales, automated valuation models, tax data and more to ESTIMATE home value. Your broker will be able to do a CMA or a BPO and provide real market value of a property for you.
0 votes
Linda Heinri…, Agent, Lake Oswego, OR
Sat Sep 29, 2012
This is where your Realtor is worth their weight in gold to help you identify what the real market value of a property is. Zillow & Trulia work off of sophisticated algorithms that utilize combinations of data. This does not take into account market demand for some locations, street appeal, condition, etc. For the best representation as a buyer or seller you need the help of a local expert.
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Sat Sep 29, 2012
Absolutely 0. They are estimates and are not based on anything but size, they do not consider land, condition or upgrades. You need to assess what the hous eis worth in todays market and base your offer on that, not internet values
0 votes
Wayne Olson, Agent, Portland, OR
Sat Sep 29, 2012
Take it with a grain of salt as the estimates determined by a software algorithm based upon publicly available data. For a professional opinion about where the seller's asking price stands in relation to the market, ask a real estate broker to perform a market analysis for you.

Are you working with a real estate agent? If not, feel free to give me a call. I'd be happy to speak with you.


Wayne Olson
Windermere Cronin & Caplan Realty Group, Inc. - Lake Oswego, OR
Mobile: (503) 389-3025
0 votes
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