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David Gowans's Advice

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  • 103 Contributions
  • 7 Best Answers
  • 13 Helpful

David Gowans wrote:

Do you have a website to check mortgage owed?

Answer
Yes. The only site I know that publishes anything close to that is Foreclosure Radar. However, that information is only available for those homes that are currently in a default position.Only other way to get that info is by contacting the lender with written third party approval from the borrower.
September 28 2011
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Why is Zillow not updated more often? Finding houses sold months ago that are still listed.

Answer
@rconnoll Redfin is a brokerage site. Their info comes from the MLS and other sources. Typically an agents site (if it has MLS access) will be able to provide you with real time info.... and it's usually accurate. My site has the same. Redfin is probably one of the best sites out there for real, usable info. The rest of these (zillow, trulia, homegain) are plagued with bad or untimely info.Wish you the best of luck!David
September 24 2011
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Why is Zillow not updated more often? Finding houses sold months ago that are still listed.

Answer
As long as your happy WetDawgs. Have a good one!
September 24 2011
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Why is Zillow not updated more often? Finding houses sold months ago that are still listed.

Answer
Well, we can certainly agree on something...There are much better tools available for conducting research and homes searches than Zillow, whatever the reason you'd like to attribute it to.
September 24 2011
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Why is Zillow not updated more often? Finding houses sold months ago that are still listed.

Answer
Guess I've just had a completely different experience.You're right, when agents operate extra, independent feeds, they have to maintain them. But very few agents do this because a) they are too lazy or b) they cost money. Oddly enough, ALL listings manage to make it into Zillow whether an agent posts to an extra listing or not. How do you suppose that happens? You certainly do have strong opinions for someone un-associated with zillow and no professional involvement in the real estate industry.
September 24 2011
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Why is Zillow not updated more often? Finding houses sold months ago that are still listed.

Answer
Sorry wetdawgs, but that's just not the case. Zillow is updated by public records feeds. Realtors have absolutely nothing to do with public records or the speed at which they are or aren't updated. The people who work in city and county records offices deal with this, and I imagine they have procedures to go through to validate record changes when they come in. Realtor ONLY handle whats on the local MLS (which can be piped into other websites). I'm pretty sure that zillow gets MLS feeds too, but this is not where the delay comes from. I know this because the "MLS" is a specific company in each location. This company has very strict information timeliness requirements. If a Realtor were to fail to report a property as closed for more than 2 days, they are fined heavily and sometimes every threatened with termination of MLS services. The MLS being the most critical tool used by a Realtor... you can imagine that we don't want to screw that up too often, right?Just as with mis-reported sqftage, sales details are often delayed, and the delay occurs after the recording process of a sale. At that point, it's no longer in our tiny Realtor hands. It's up to the public offices to make the correct changes to the public record off of which Zillow feeds. Use my website to get free, real time MLS info if you like at.  [website deleted by Zillow moderator.  Please refer to our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines]
September 24 2011
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zillow is currently claiming my abode is worth $100-150k more than comparable sales would indicate.

Response
First let me say that Zillow are just a "ballpark" figure, and they don't mean anything to banks, appraisers, Realtors or buyers that know their market. I always try to encourage people not to worry about zillow numbers, because when we do the inspections for lenders (appraisals and BPO's) zillow numbers are not a factor.As far as value goes, San Carlos is probably the strongest market on the Peninsula in terms of value retention over the last few years. I've done several CMA's in the last few days (1 up off Club Dr and another on Devonshire, to name the most recent) and I've found that these homes should be at about the same value as they were at the market high in 2007-2008. The proof is the recent sales, as you pointed out. The truth is, San Carlos has a very high demand from buyers and that has fueled it's retention of value. There are exceptions to everything, of course. There are still plenty of foreclosures out there that do affect value... but they appeal in San Carlos much less often than Redwood City and San Mateo. Anyway, best way to get a real value is hire an appraiser (about $500), or get a Realtor to give you a good, thorough CMA. David Gowans
August 16 2011
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Will Zillow reevaluate home values if provided with comps and any other info that could effect value

Answer
Roger, Please don't put so much stock in Zestimates. They don't mean anything and are not justification for a buyer to low-ball you in a sale. There are only 2 values that mean anything, and neither rely on zillow for their numbers. 1) The price calculated by an appraiser, and 2) the price someone is willing to pay for your home. That's it.If you are trying to sell your home right now, one technique I've used to stop buyers from low-balling my sellers is getting my own appraisal. Technically, an appraisal is only good for the day the report is done, and becomes less valid every week that goes by thereafter. But, an appraisal always holds a lot more weight than a Zillow estimate. Give that a try... hope it helps ease your worries.David[edited by Zillow moderator to remove website]
August 02 2011
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How come my next door neighbor's zestimate keeps going up, and mine keeps going down.

Answer
Yes, Zestimates are suspect. They are not intended to be the only or final word in value. Your best bet is the hire an appraiser to get as close to a real value as possible (cost between $450 - $650). Another option is to ask a Realtor to value your home. He/she can give you a rough value for both homes. This will be nearly as accurate as an appraisal AND it's usually free. If you don't want to talk to a Realtor, I don't blame you. They do tend to follow-up a lot and hassle you for business. But, those are your two options, other than disregarding the zestimate and not worrying about it:) Anyway, I work the area and can give you a value estimate if you like. I promise, I'm too busy to hassle you afterward:)
July 12 2011
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Does Zillow "restate" historical Zestimates?

Answer
The info they base the zestimate on usually take several weeks to reach their database, so sometimes it catches up in groups. On top of that, Zillow just changed their algorithm a day or two ago and it has effected historical numbers.
June 16 2011
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