Saratoga Area Home Sales Beat Zillow Zestimates
July 2020 actual home sale data outperforms home values published by Zillow
Thinking of selling? The real estate market is seeing strong demand for inventory to accommodate buyers looking to take advantage of record low interest rates. While the current environment is favorable for potential Sellers, there’s a catch worth mentioning – don’t rely on Zillow to price your home.
Despite its popularity as a search-and-share real estate platform, Zillow has a longstanding reputation for outdated, erroneous data – especially when it comes to their Zestimates. Among their many flaws, the formula used to calculate a home’s Zestimate doesn’t factor in critical price-altering information like condition, interior & exterior features, and special location information (for example, if a property has views, water access, community amenities, etc.).
Here’s a look at Single Family home sales in Saratoga County during the month of July, comparing Zillow’s published July Zestimates to actual sale prices recorded in the Eastern New York Regional MLS. The published Zestimates in these zip codes had an average percent error of 23% last month:
So why is this a problem? Many homeowners rely on sites like Zillow to help price their home before talking to a REALTOR®. For anyone attempting to try “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) especially, they may be pricing their property too low – or even too high – which can cost Sellers thousands of dollars lost at closing. According to national data, FSBOs typically profit less than agent-assisted homes. In 2018, FSBO homes sold at a median of $200,000 – significantly less than the median sale price of $280,000 for homes sold by an agent.
The takeaway: Zestimates are there to give website visitors range of value; they do not replace an appraisal or a licensed real estate professional’s opinion of value. Relying on automated tools to price your property will cost you time and money.
Thinking of selling your home? Get the most money for your investment by working with a licensed real estate professional. Call Roohan Realty at (518) 587-4500.
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