If a home sold in the last 12 months then that should be the value...why does Trulia under value the current market doing us all a disservice?

Asked by michco, Charleston, SC Fri Jan 25, 2013

This question was asked from http://www.trulia.com/homes/South_Carolina/Charleston/sold/2…

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11
kevin mears, Agent, Charleston, SC
Sun Jan 27, 2013
trulia seems to aim low, but a purchase price should not equate directly to market value. Trulia does seem to pick the oddest houses for comps though, I will give you that
0 votes
Jim Bobo, Jr., Agent, Johns Island, SC
Sat Jan 26, 2013
Michele - You hit "the" sore spot. I agree that these estimates do not provide the public a meaningful service. If I were you, I'd start by claiming your home on Trulia. It doesn't appear you have. Trulia and Zillow provide you, me and other real estate agents both services and disservices simultaneously. As agents, we certainly understand that values change daily, which is one reason why only a licensed appraiser can provide a "market value" to a home-owner along with the written disclaimer "valid for today only". Trulia and Zillow, fierce competitors, use sophisticated algorithms to discern what the computer thinks are "comps" pulled from the most recent tax records and to provide an estimate of value for the purpose of engaging their visitors, increasing traffic and charging real estate agents fees to be promoted in certain zip codes, among other services. In this effort to attract more monthly visitors and claim the #1 spot as "the largest website for buyers searching for homes", they tend to trample on one of our most valued services - providing buyers and sellers with really great CMAs. Trulia and Zillow should consider having a big, bold disclaimer in plain view immediately beside their estimate stating that any homeowner wanting to sell this home or any buyer wanting to buy this home should contact a Realtor and get a CMA, but they don't - even though they promote Realtors on the website. Both Zillow and Trulia do provide explanations on how they determine their estimates of value, disclaim their estimates as not being appraisals, and one or both of their fine prints may also 1) encourage the buyer to obtain a CMA from a Realtor; 2) get an appraisal; and 3) visit the property. I doubt if many visitors actually read this fine print, though. They also give homeowners and their agents an opportunity to contest and/or provide more details to increase the estimates. Still, there is a growing number of disgruntled real estate agents and agencies terminating their accounts on Zillow (#90 in US traffic ranking) and Trulia (#157 in US traffic ranking ) because of many issues, including the fact that some homeowners and buyers are taking these website estimates of value to heart. We know these estimates generally are too high or too low - rarely spot on. As a Broker, I have control over where my listings are fed, and could terminate the feeds to Zillow and Trulia through ListHub and also terminate my accounts on these websites in retaliation, but don't want to cut off my nose to spite my face because of the social power and prominence of these websites in the industry - they are more influential than Realtor.com. Except for the prominent display of their estimate of value, I actually like Zillow and Trulia more than Realtor.com because you get a great FREE listing with control over your contents (including the right to dispute their estimates of value), better social interaction (like this Q&A forum), and - oh yeah - those superior website rankings. Plus, Realtor.com charges you for a "Showcased" listing and they're #187 in US traffic rankings, which as a Realtor I think both are shameful. As long as Trulia and Zillow are allowed IDX feeds to the local MLS boards and comply with the terms imposed by our Boards, they will continue to grow in power and dominance. The best way for Realtors to pursue our concern of Trulia and Zillow's prominent presentation of their estimates of value is through our local MLS boards and the NAR. These websites get OUR listing information - all those great photos and descriptions that we pay for and that WE own - subject to OUR IDX feed contract. DISCLAIMER: website rankings from Alexia as of 8AM 1/26/2013.
0 votes
Donald Mituz…, Agent, Chappaqua, NY
Sat Jan 26, 2013
It seems Trulia and other places use a geographical model. If your home is on a quiet cul-de-sac and 5 years old it seems Trulia will compare it to a 30 year old home on a busy main road nearby. I have a house listed priced at $540k. The owners bought it a year and a half ago for $552k. Yes the value has come down a little, but Trulia uses comps in older or less expensive neighborhoods. One of the comps they have is a home that's more then 100 years old on a busy road with an odd layout.

I like Trulia and think they have a nice web site, but they will never be able to match a Realtor or appraiser when it comes to value. They just can't. What they do provide is an interactive map so you can see where the comps are they are using. You have to do a little more work, but they do provide a great deal of info.

Don Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
Douglas Elliman Real Estate

http://www.nyhomeseller.com
http://www.elliman.com/real-estate-agent/don-mituzas/6752
0 votes
Donald Mituz…, Agent, Chappaqua, NY
Sat Jan 26, 2013
I seems Trulia and other places use a geographical model. If you home is on a quiet cul-de-sac and 5 years old it seem Trulia will compare it to a 30 year old home on a busy main road nearby. I have a house listed priced at $540k. The owners bought it a year and a half ago for $552k. Yes the value has come down a little, but Trulia uses comps in older or less expensive neighborhoods. One of the comps they have is a home that's more then 100 years old on a busy road with an odd layout.

I like Trulia and think they have a nice web site, but they will never be able to match a Realtor or appraiser when it comes to value. They just can't. What they do provide is an interactive map so you can see where the comps are they are using. You have to do a little more work, but they do provide a great deal of info.

Don Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
Douglas Elliman Real Estate

http://www.nyhomeseller.com
http://www.elliman.com/real-estate-agent/don-mituzas/6752
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Sat Jan 26, 2013
Micho,
An "N" of 1 does not make a trend.
One sale is close to meaningless.
3 sales in one month has meaning.
9 sales in 3 months will establish a trend and is statistically and economicly meaningful.
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Aggregate real estate websites are for entertainment purposes. You should be less inclined to make decisions based on data fond here than you would getting relationship advise from the 'Big Bang Theory." If you are in a serious real estate frame of mind, you need to graduate to serious tools.
Contact a real estate professional from the area of your interest and have them provide you a portal to the local MLS. The MLS is the resource of the real data where there is clear accountability for what is displayed and from which decisions can be made.
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Don't use that 'contact' link.
Don't use Trulia email.
Go old school and call ar Charleston, SC real estate pro.
If you are serious.

Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group, Palm Harbor, FL
727.420.4041
http://RealEstateMadeEZ.us
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Sat Jan 26, 2013
Sites like Trulia and Zillow offer estimates through a secret formula, the problem is thier values are often way off becuase they use comparable prcies that are not similar, they include short sales, bank owned, estate sales and trustee sales that are lower than market value. They may alsono t be comparing apples to apples by add ing for finsihed basements, garages, upgrades, amenities etc.
0 votes
Cheryll Wood…, Agent, Mount Pleasant, SC
Sat Jan 26, 2013
Dear Michco,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you with Charleston area real estate information.

As many who have responded have mentioned, many national sites use historical date without having any information about the homes condition, a knowledge of upgrades in the home, the sellers' motivation for selling, the neighborhood conditions, quality of local schools, etc.

The fact is that all real estate is local and only a local professional such as a Realtor or Appraiser can give a fair assessment of a property's value and they can only do that by visiting the home and having a complete knowledge of the area. The national sites may only give a starting benchmark.

I hope that this has been helpful! Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or would like additional information.

Best regards,

Cheryll

Cheryll Woods-Flowers, Coldwell Banker Realty
843-442-2219
cflowers@woodsflowers.com
0 votes
Ron Chamberl…, Agent, Johns Island, SC
Sat Jan 26, 2013
Everything is local, and Trulia is national. Values are shown when comps come from sales that were recent, and in the neighborhood or like neighborhoods close by.

Home values are in the news all the time these days, but the data is coming from across the country. Just because a story comes out that prices are rising it doesn't mean it will be in my back yard. I think it's great that the news is positive, but I look for evidence in my area before sharing the optimisim with my clients.
0 votes
Shanna Rogers, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Fri Jan 25, 2013
Hi michco,

To find the current market value of a property, you should look at SOLD comps within a 1 mile radius of the property that have SOLD in the last 3-6 months - not 12 months.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
http://www.RealtyBySR.com
0 votes
michco, Home Owner, Charleston, SC
Fri Jan 25, 2013
Trulia is rarely accurate.
0 votes
Mikki Ramey, Agent, Daniel Island, SC
Fri Jan 25, 2013
The value of a home is determined by the current market. The current market can change in 12 months. Appraisers typically use sales in the last 6 months. Trulia is not always accurate in their values. I suggest getting a realtor to send you recent sold homes in your neighborhood to get an idea of the current value.
0 votes
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