2022 Boise Idaho Real Estate Blog

Zillow is Killing me!

Main Idaho Real Estate Insights

Many use Zillow estimate as the measurement of what their home should sell for, but in many cases this may not be the most accurate tool. Unless of course, you enjoy being disappointed!

First, I will use an extreme example of how Zillow is not accurate. We sold a home that closed in September: It was a brand new home and clients purchased it prior to being completed. It sold for around $250k, remember this was just a month ago. So the client, a personal friend, calls me up two weeks ago, at this point, they have been in the home for about a month. He tells me how he saw that his home according to Zillow is now worth $350,000!!! His home appreciated $100k in one month? Not likely. Fortunatley, he knew it was not accurate but enjoyed the thought. Who wouldn't?

Not only is that unrealistic, it can create some conflicting thoughts in potential buyers when there is a home listed on Zillow that is right down the street with my client's exact floorplan priced closer to $250k. While this example is extreme, too many people think it is relevant for searching Idaho Real Estate Values.

Yesterday, we met with a client for a listing appointment and she wanted to know if the home value estimate she got from Zillow was accurate. The website noted $250,000 and we estimated the value to be closer to the $160,000- $190,000 price range. We advised her of the multiple variables take into account when considering TRUE Market Value. You need to thoroughly analyze current, factual data to accurately price your home. An algorithm is just too simple!

Here is the first level of consideration for determining your home's value:

  1. Compare other homes in your neighborhood, if possible. )Sometimes you may not live in a neighborhood and can look at homes within a specified radius)_
  2. Compare your home to the other similar homes
    1. Bedrooms
    2. Baths
    3. Square Footage
    4. Lot Size
    5. Age of Homes
    6. Condition
  3. Use relevant data
    1. All Homes Recently Sold
    2. All Homes Pending
    3. All Homes Currently for Sale

* Dates are important for Homes sold. The further in the past they are the less relevant they may be. Normally, we want to narrow the comparables down to 3 for each category (Sold, Pending, Currently Available) so that we can compare, as closely as possible, to other similar homes.

After analyzing this data, we will also want to make adjustments in order to come up with an accurate number. For example, this one is smaller, this one has a larger yard, that one is older and other things that may add to or decrease from the value of the home in question. It is good to actually see the homes being used in the comparison, especially if they are for sale. Seeing if other homes are "as good' which could mean are they well maintained, do they need to update the inside with new lighting or faucets?

After comparing data, we can not only define what the the home will sell for, but also how long it will likely take. But, this is just the start.

How will we actually price it to get the best price? Believe it or not, in the righty market, under-pricing a home to drive traffic may also drive multiple offers, resulting in a higher sold price! Also, what are we going to do if the house is not getting offers or serious showings within the first 30 days? Is it price? Does it need different staging techniques? Do we need new pictures? Essentially, what needs to change?

Here is what you need to know: Compare your home to relevant homes to determine your homes value. Determine a marketing plan that will enable you to get the best price. Prepare a plan if things do not go as planned and you really want it to sell. This is one area many do not prepare for and the result may be that your home would then get a higher number of 'Days on Market.' This creates a social stigma, which is basically the idea that people start asking "What is wrong with the house?" This may result in getting a lower offer which is a statistical fact which is why great real estate agents always want to price it correctly from the start.


I hope that makes sense and if you would like to talk to us about our strategies from photos to video, from aerials to exclusive open houses for your neighbors, give us a call. Learn more

Trey Langford
Founder and Rainmaker.

Posted by tlangford at 10/21/2017 8:21:00 PM

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