Extreme Alert: Home Pricing Battle - Does Anyone Really Know What to Believe?

31 May 2014
  Lee Amble
How to choose your home's price?

The Dilemma:

I have written about home pricing before, but the renewed urgency of it makes me continue on until we may have a better solution than now. We must work to better protect the public. A lot of work needs to be done until we do find a better way.

Example: 

As a Realtor, I have no choice but to look at the internet valuation sites; none of them, which I believe, are accurate. If I do not know what the automated sites are saying, I cannot properly answer the questions I get from buyers and sellers. I have to know how to defend the large differences between them.

Dilemma Example: Prescott, AZ

It will be the same in your town no matter where you live and read the article. This example is so you may look it up yourself. A Bank Owned Property located at 306 Park Avenue, 86303, is shown by a company eppraisal.com at a value of $136,166. The same site shows a value of $226,511 by Zillow. 

There were four other sites who were all between those amounts. I would have to say I could not believe any, but a seller sure would believe the $226,891 and the buyer would, of course, believe the $136,166 - you now see the dilemma! All of these sites get the same information off the internet and none has ever seen the property. Why the difference? We will look at how these affect buyers, sellers, realtors, and appraisers. I will also attempt to give some ideas on how to handle the totally inaccurate pricing shams. It feels to me like it's nearly fraudulent to put the artificial and inaccurate numbers out.

Buyers: 

You need protection when buying a home. It's necessary to have boots on the ground when it comes to pricing. This would mean using a seasoned realtor or a licensed appraiser who is very familiar with the area and their work. That would mean using a person like myself not only as a realtor, but also as a consultant. Consulting to me looks like the new wave of the future. I will write an article later on this. Any one of the above will actually see the property, see some comparable properties and will know what the market price really is not something out of a computer. Buyers, from now on, do not pay any attention to the internet valuations as they will only cost you money, time, frustration and aggravation.

Sellers: 

Sellers do exactly the same as the above buyer's example, plus I will give you a few extra tips you may do on your own. The following thing you as a seller may do extra is spend a couple of weekends looking at open houses; some even during the week. You will know in a short time some ideas of worth. You will really in this short time become much more of an expert than any internet valuation. When that's done, call your favorite seasoned realtor or consultant and work with them or even do a 

For Sale by Owner. Try if you wish, we may also call this a do it yourself try. In the end, in my opinion, the realtor would be your first and best choice because of the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and its many agents.

Appraisers: 

Now is your time to stand out and do your job like the past, look at the home, look at comps and when possible, call other realtors and appraisers for more information. Please stop using the comps that internet valuations do. Get your own that you know is a true comp. If you use the same comps as internet, you again, will face job elimination; it can and may happen. It is your time to stand out and is a great opportunity for all of us to prove boots on the ground is the best! Will we fail or will we prevail is the question. I always feel if it's going to be, it's up to me! Go for it!!

Realtors: 

What should we do? Well, for starters, let people know the difference between internet valuation and boots on the ground. Second, if you are the type of realtor that is using internet valuations for anything including comps, please consider another profession before you ruin it for the rest of us. We should also work with our local MLS, Board, State Associations, and the National Association of Realtors to inform the public about this type of valuations. It does look like they may have sold their souls to the internet companies as I saw many booths at our National Convention in San Francisco. Let's do what is right to protect our buyers and sellers. After all, that is our main job! Is that too much to ask? My idea is: "It's up to all of us to make a difference so let's make sure it's the right one!"

Thought for the Day: 

"One of the biggest differences in the world between people who succeed and those who do not, is having resilience, persistence, and confidence that refuse to give up!" Failure cannot cope with persistence!

Thanks for reading this "Food for Thought" article. I could write a small book on this! I do hope it will give you some things to think about. If you have any further questions or ideas for articles you would like to read about in the future, please call or email me: 533-4455 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please pass this article on to friends, etc. or post it. Thank you.

Remember my favorite sayings: "Experience Isn't Expensive, It's Priceless!" and "Selling A Home Is Easy; Doing It Right Is The Key!"

Lee Amble, Realtor/Consultant

National Realty Of Prescott

Lee's Cell: 928 533=4455

Jan's Cell: 928 533-4488

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