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What ACTUALLY is in a Zestimate?

Wednesday, December 18, 2019   /   by Sara Koenig

What ACTUALLY is in a Zestimate?

I hear it all the time, and I totally get it.  Zillow has created a fabulous platform for consumers to search homes, their own home, and view lots of information for free.  I have client's on there all the time, and as realtor's we are also on there a lot.

In a strong seller's market like we are seeing the choice to list your home FSBO or For sale by owner can seem or look very easy.  Homes are selling in a matter of days, right???  Well, there is a lot of pre-work behind the scenes that goes into getting a home ready to sell, and I want to share some insight with you before you make a big mistake that could cost you....so let's talk more about this...

More specifically, I want to share with you a little bit about why pricing your home RIGHT matters, and why Zillow is wrong.  This is the single most important step in ensuring you have a successful sale of your home!  So, basing this important aspect in selling your home off of a Zestimate could set you up for failure and possibly net you less money. 

1.    Zestimates aren’t always accurate          

When referencing Zillow for your home value, or your home's “Zestimate” the price range can be up to 20% off the actual current market value sometimes.  Zillow is going to use as many variables as possible to reflect their pricing, but Zillow isn’t going to come into your home and see what it actually looks like inside.

Perhaps you have updated your 70's home to reflect all of the current building trends before selling, or on the flip side perhaps it's still intact from the 70's.  Either way, this is going to impact what the market shows is the value of your home.  Zillow isn't going into your home to be able to see these important aspects.  But, a Realtor is, and they are seeing many other homes as well.  So, they should be able to accurately let you know what buyer's are looking for and paying top dollar for, and what they are rejecting based on homes that either have not sold, or have taken longer to sell.

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2.       Realtors have more factual advice

When you are ready to sell your home, your best plan of action is going to be to first invite a Real Estate professional into your home to evaluate the aspects of your home against other homes within your area.  The agent will be able to see what updates you have done, what the layout of your home is, and give you advice around price increasing items to complete prior to listing.  A Real Estate professional should come prepared with Comparable home sales that are both slightly inferior to yours and superior in order to recommend the best listing price for your home.

3.       Appraisal Issues

If your home is listed over market value, even in the great Seller’s market we are having currently, your home will sit without much activity or showings.  This will create a question in potential buyer’s head wondering “What is wrong with this home?” You DON’T want that! 

Involving a Real Estate Professional will help you to ensure that your home is presented the best and marketed at the best possible price so that you don’t have this issue.  This will also ensure that you don’t get down the road with an offer only to find out that the appraiser has turned in a valuation that is way less than the agreed upon price on your home.  This creates a whole other aspect of negotiating between buyer and seller which can be avoided.  Appraisers are working hard to justify prices as always, but we are seeing more and more appraisals come in low.

If you would like more information, or you are getting ready to list your home for sale, I would love to help you!

Give me a call!



Sara Koenig | Washington Realtor



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Haven Real Estate Group
Cambria Henry
304 W Pacific Ave; Suite 360
Spokane, WA 99201

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