Profile picture for rajeevkak

How do you conduct valuations? Do you benchmark against similar valuation sites?

Noticed one property in Cupertino Spanish Oak Ct area listed for 730K in Zillow, 800K in Realtor.com and $878K in Trulia.com.

Lack of a consensus drives me back into the arms of a local realtor, which is a very painful source of research (constant pursuit after the inquiry).  What is your suggestion to fix this ?

Regards
Raj
650.799.7872   
  • March 02 2013 - Cupertino
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Answers (7)

Profile picture for Blue Nile
By the way, unlike many other sources for "estimates", regardless if generated by automated machine process, or manually filling out a spreadsheet form..., or even manually doing CMA's with pencil and paper and no calculator, slide rule or abacus of any kind... (for those agents that continually post that they "hate" computers using their computers or smart-phones, claiming that no "machine" can ever generate estimates better than a Realtor® that has 2 days experience that got a C- in algebra who never touched a computer...)  Zillow does statistical analysis of their estimates for each County and MSA area in the nation that they have data to provide such analysis each fiscal quarter, comparing actual sold prices to the machine generated estimates just prior to the sale.

The 4th quarter 2012 data/analysis has recently been made available.  You can download it in Excel format at:
http://www.zillow.com/static/xls/Zestimate_Accuracy_December_31_2012.xls

Prior quarters may be still be available on the site, but no links are provide to prior quarters.

You can always find the link to the most current analysis summary by using the "about Zestimates" link at the bottom of any Zillow web page.
  • March 02 2013
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
Here is a partial list of free AVM sites for you to do your own benchmarking and comparisons and adjustments:

finestexpert.com

Realestate.com/homepricecheck

homes.com

Homesand.net

Eppraisal

realquest.com express

cyberhomes.com

trulia

chase

homegain

Here is a partial list of pay for services AVM companies:

1) Fiserv, Inc. ("Fiserv")
2) IntelliReal, LLC ("IntelliReal")
3) Interthinx, Inc. ("Interthinx")
4) Lender Processing Services, Inc. ("LPS")
5) Precision Appraisal Services, Inc. ("Precision Appraisal")
6) Real Data, Inc. ("RDI")
7) RealEC Technologies, Inc. ("RealEC")
8) First American Core Logic.
9) American Flood Research, Inc. ("AFR")
10) Electronic Appraiser, Inc.  ("Electronic Appraiser")
11) Espiel, Inc. ("Espiel")

(Many of them have multiple AVM products that you can select from depending on how much you want to pay, and depending on how much detail you want).
  • March 02 2013
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
Do they benchmark against other AVM's?  Absolutely NOT!  There are over 1000 AVM products, many privately owned by financial institutions not available to the public.  Many that charge for their services.  At least a dozen free ones.  They are in "competition" with each other, not "collaboration".   Last I checked Realtor.com did not offer an AVM, but farmed requests for estimates out to local Realtors that were specifically collecting contact info to harass those making the requests.

Realtors® and other Licensed Real Estate agents don't benchmark their CMA's and BPO's against others either, and if they did, it would not be "collaboration", but "collusion", making the numbers worse than useless.

You don't need a solution to "fix it".  There is nothing "broken" about it.  You can get 10 estimates from various independent sources, throw out the top and bottom, and average the rest.  Or you can do your own CMA's from the recently sold.

Or on Zillow, you can find numerous "similar" properties by matching the features yourself, and then average the estimates, throwing out the top and bottom.

Or, on Zillow, you can look up past sold value during a time when the market was more stable, check which of the 3 price tiers it falls into, and the normalize the Zindex curve (downloadable in Excel format on the local info pages, tab at the top of the page) for that range and housing type and location.

But regardless of method chosen, you still need to do manual adjustments for actual condition and impacts of the neighbors.

It is no different than those "designer jeans" that cost $85 that many buy for only $10, and some pay $160 for.  Or gasoline that costs $4 a gallon one week, $4.30 the next week and $2 a couple years ago, and that stations across town charge 20% different for.

We don't live in a "fixed price" economy.  "Price fixing" in this nation is "illegal".

You either "get used to the system" or you move to a country that has a different economic system.
  • March 02 2013
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Profile picture for Dunes ..
suggestion to fix this ?

Stop having any expectation that a Site/Company run by Real Estate ignorant people will provide info of any value concerning the Market Value of Property

Guesstimates? Really? Who's being silly?
This is a HUGE Financial Decision...STOP using toys & guesstimates generated by RE Sites
  • March 02 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Zillow has a brief overview of their methodology in "What is a Zestimate?"   IMHO, the value range on Zillow is more important than the one number called a Zestimate.

If you want to get into more details, pull up the patents from the US patent office.
  • March 02 2013
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These places get sold  in a few hours. Average all these and make offer 15-20% higher you might have a slim chance.  The area sellers do not want finance contingency these days for a quick closing.
  • March 02 2013
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Profile picture for CallTheSisters
Pay for an appraisal and avoid the constant pursuit. 
  • March 02 2013
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