Imagine, just for a moment, that the Explorer only employed reporters from other states and countries to write local stories. Journalists might have to rely on what they could garner from the internet to tell a story, with no actual local experience. Another scenario – envision a crime scene in New York, but detectives investigating the case are all based in Los Angeles. They never examine the evidence with their own eyes, and are unable to interview witnesses face to face. Seems insane, right? There are a plethora of real estate sites on the web that are using this sort of mentality to put a price on your home.
By Zillow’s own accuracy chart, for Pima County they are more than 20 percent off on their “Zestimates” 17.4 percent of the time. On a $200,000 home that can translate to more than $40,000. Pima is touted as one of their better estimate areas. In Apache County, the “Zestimates” are more than 20 percent of 55.6 percent of the time.
Zillow, Trulia and similar sites are great for entertainment purposes- but not to accurately place a value on your property. A local Realtor or appraiser, walking through your property and noting specifics, examining the comparables thoroughly, and analyzing the local market demands. If you are in the preliminary stages of considering a move, do yourself a service and consult a local professional. An appraiser will run $350 and up, but most Realtors will provide a complimentary market analysis in the hopes of obtaining your future business – just be certain to ensure that they do so with no obligation on your end.