Things You Should Never Trust

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"But, Miriam! The Zestimate says my house is worth $20,000 over your comparative market analysis! I can just list it myself with the zestimate and without a realtor!"

Those were the words my client said at her kitchen table. And she did list it herself. And it did sell--a year later, with a realtor and for $20,000 less than she had listed.

 Many consumers don't know this, but the "zestimate" is generally calculated by bots who mine the internet for public records, particularly from the county assessor's office. In the Indy metro area, the assessor generally undervalues a property for many reasons. An over-assessed property (or a slew of them) can cause issues later on when it comes to affecting hard working Hoosier families and home-ownership.

It's important to remember that an assessor's opinion is not an appraisal, and many homeowners are unaware of the difference. In fact, many brokerages will not allow Zillow to access their records--or even market their listings. The "zestimate" offered by Zillow is simply an algorithm fed by bots with varying degrees of accuracy. Also, please keep in mind that there are no penalties for inaccurate information to anyone at Zillow, since they are neither licensed realtors, nor bound by a code of ethics.

When determining market value for your home, it will cost you nothing to talk to a licensed realtor who specializes in your area. Real estate is hyper-local; each market has it's own customs, traditions and idiosyncrasies. When it comes to listing your home, do you want someone 1,000 miles away doing the research...or do you want a hyper-local, licensed, experienced agent by your side?

 Local realtors, lenders and appraisers, what are your "zestimate" stories?


 Want to weigh in? Drop me a line! 

Miriam Odegard, Broker/Sales Director, Herg Group Indianapolis

Keller Williams Realty 

8555 North River Road, Suite 200

Indianapolis, IN 46240

text/mobile:  (317) 220-5397