€œZillow€, €œRedfin€, €œTrulia€, €œEAppraisal€, €œHouse Values€, €œCyberHomes€, these are just a few of the websites out there promising to help you find your home€™s value. It€™s so confusing, isn€™t it? €˜Zillow€™ seems to be one of the top offenders if you ask us. They would be great at finding a home€™s value if all the homes here were exactly alike with exactly the same upgrades, the same views, the same everything. In the Hollywood Riviera, we all know this is far from the truth. Each and every one of these houses is different…even the €œtracks€ are all different now. So many have been added on to, or completely gutted and started over, and some have been torn down and rebuilt brand new. Zillow, and these other websites rely solely on the public tax records to place value on your home. Then they go through the tax records and find the most recent transfers within a certain proximity to your home. We€™ve seen the €œzestimates€ be off by a few hundred thousand dollars. A lot of the public tax records are inaccurate for one thing. Often tax records have the wrong number of bedrooms, square footage, etc and again take in no regard for whether the property has a view or not…which we all know can change the value of a property upwards of $100,000 or more sometimes. The bottom-line is that you need to hire a “human being” who knows the area well. Someone who has been inside these houses and knows the condition of the homes. Someone who can come inside your home and see all the upgrades and assess its true value. As Realtors we spend a lot of our time viewing homes – that’s our inventory, so we pride ourselves on knowing it. This is how value gets established – knowing what the comparables really are.
Recently, the number of sales is so low in our area, that it makes determining the value of a home very difficult. There are very few homes to compare to “yours.” Unfortunately, in today’s buyer’s market it works out that value is typically drawn by looking at the last comparable sale and taking about 10% off of that if you plan on “selling” the property and not just sitting on it.