Meeting with ClientsNews March 2, 2018

Questions about Zestimates? Pick up the phone.

header image, zestimates By Tiana Baur

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Zestimates are the bane of being in the real estate business. They’re the unfortunate misfire in a consumer lead industry and that bell can’t be un-wrung. When reports came out that a Zestimate for a home was 700 percent off, it wasn’t surprising; we have learned to expect it.

The thing is, data integrity will be an issue for the foreseeable future. You can get upset about that fact or you can see the data for what it is really is: a starting point. That’s what Zestimates are. No more, no less. The world of real estate might not be able to pretend they have ceased to exist, but as consumers, we can all be smarter about the information they provide to us.

Pick up the phone and call your agent.

Some fun facts for you: The median error rate of Zestimates is five percent. That may sound menial as a percentage, but when computed with the median home sales prices, it can be tens of thousands of dollars lost to the bottom line, and that’s if you’re lucky. According to the Washington Post, “Zestimates are within 5 percent of the sale price 53.9 percent of the time, within 10 percent 75.6 percent of the time and within 20 percent 89.7 percent of the time, Zillow claims.” And people wonder why agents bristle when this topic is brought up.

Agents, of course, have access to information that no algorithm can. Zestimates can’t know what makes a home and neighborhood awesome. So, wouldn’t it be nice to find out what your home is really worth? A thoughtful, agent expertise-driven valuation is the only way to truly understand what your home is worth.

Pick up the phone and call your agent.

It’s not a revolutionary idea, just one that is way undervalued and underutilized. As you can imagine, MoxiWorks CEO, York Baur, had some words on the topic this morning, saying, “We have more than 100,000 agents that can provide you with a thoughtful hand-built evaluation for your home. If you don’t have access to one of those 100,000 agents, find someone that does.” He went on to say that, “As a man of tech, I don’t say this lightly: there is no replacement for hyper-local knowledge that your agent, your trusted advisor can give you. No algorithm will ever replace that vital, human piece of the puzzle.”

That home evaluation tool is called Moxi Present and you’ve likely seen a presentation built on it before. There were over 300,000 Moxi Present interactive presentations that went out in 2017. They showcase what the Zestimate was on all selected comparable properties to your current listing versus what they actually sold for. Want more info?

Pick up the phone and call your agent.