What is a Zestimate .....why does it not work in NM?

According to a recent publication on Inman.com (written by Teke Wiggin), Zillow’s CEO, Spencer Rascoff, sold his house for 40 percent less than his Zestimate!!! The price? $1.05 million. The Zestimate? $1.75 million!!! Seven hundred-thousand-dollar difference!

The State of New Mexico is a non-disclosure state which means what you buy or sell your home for, is not public information. Zillow takes numbers from the surrounding states that do disclose and guestimates or Zestimates your home’s value. Every potential buyer or seller should know this!

What does this mean for buyers?

As a home buyer, whether this is your first home or 45th, the market is always changing and you need to know that the information you are using to guide your home search and enable you to purchase the property you have chosen by placing a realistic offer is reliable and up to date.

For example, I received an offer on my personal home by a buyer who had family that bought in my neighborhood 10 years ago. The offer was $70,000 less than the listing price of my home, when asked the Buyer replied- “ but that is what my Son bought his house for”.  Within the time I have been a Licensed Realtor, the Zestimate on my house has swung by $100,000.00! A few years ago, Zillow said my house was worth $220,000, now it says it is worth $129,000.00.

Most Realtors are paid by the Seller when the home you have chosen to purchase closes and is recorded in your name at the county assessor’s office. Why would you choose not to use a Licensed Professional when making one of the largest purchases of your lifetime when their services are free to you?

What does this mean for Sellers?

The local Real Estate board has chosen not to syndicate with sites like Zillow and Trulia for several reasons. One of the many being once the information goes out to these sites, it cannot be corrected or changed. You might see an address on the same website four different ways with several different sets of information. Realtor Extraordinaire Amber Hale of Keller Williams Realty asks her sellers when discussing whether they should try to FSBO (for sale by owner), why they would want to try and compete with inaccurate listings showing their homes value to be lower than market value?

The take away? Online sites, like Zillow, may be an effective supplementary tool, but it appears that they cannot usurp the worth a real person’s assessment provides.

Most Realtors will come to the property you are considering putting on the market and do a cost-free consultation that can give you a good idea of how similar homes are selling in your neighborhood and our local market. No guestimates here!