Home Buyers And Sellers Beware

12 April 2014
  Lee Amble

What's My Home Worth ? Who Should You Believe?

I did not think I would be writing on this issue ever again, but this time I am really forced to do so. We, as Realtors, have a real dilemma on what a home is worth and I am talking about an honest opinion, not a phony baloney estimate that is being given by all internet valuations and some barely educated and non-informed Realtors. As Realtors, this is a major dilemma.

I will give you one true example taken off the internet today in my own neighborhood just 2 blocks from my home. One internet site gave the value of the home at $399,273. This site was eppraisal.com. I believe it was from an appraiser from our hometown, Prescott, Az. The other internet valuation from Zillow was $512,412. That is a huge difference; both probably phony baloney. The home is on the market with a local Realtor for a price in the $470,000's. Who would you believe is right or at least the closest? We will examine that and tell you who and why.

The Realtor dilemma using these internet factors, which are available to all would be this: The seller, of course, knows in their mind it worth is $512,412 and the buyers in their mind focus only on the $399,273. Why wouldn't they both have that idea? If I didn't know any better, I sure would have both of those opposite prices, depending on if I were the buyer or seller.

How an internet evaluation is done will vary scientifically, but very wrong as in the above case and all others. A computer is fed the square footage of the home, the year built, the taxes and some area comparables. When I said area, that's what I mean. They should be in the same neighborhood, not a home that is miles away like I've seen in many cases. Let's look at these above factors which the computer cannot see.

Square Footage

All square footage is not created equal or close to the same. Does the computer know the condition, the options, the neighbors on the back or either side, barking dogs, views or lack of, lot usability, available shopping, schools, hospitals and many, many other things? There are way too many to mention in a short article.

Real Estate Taxes

Means absolutely nothing. I have lived in the same home for 24 years and have yet to see anyone from the city check my home inside or outside. As a matter of a fact, the city had my square footage wrong by 500 square feet for years, so what do tax rolls mean? Nothing, of course.

Year Built 

Again it means nothing as a computer cannot see the condition, location, traffic, neighborhood, street noise, etc. You get the idea----too many things to mention.


I have had other Realtors bring me comparables from Trulia or like sites that have no comparison what-so-ever; yes, I mean 0 – Realtors also have to wake up. Do your job or get out!

Let's take one look at your local Realtor evaluation – I mean a good one that has been successful for years. The Realtor has been in the property and seen all the things a computer driven estimate cannot see. Do I need to say anymore?

One thing all good Realtors will agree on is that overpricing a listing is a failure to the seller, but some sellers will not listen and good Realtors will walk away rather than be a part of a failure to the seller.


If anyone thinks that internet pricing is even close to accurate, they must be from MARS. Okay, I now know many people will hate me for telling the truth, but, at least, I exposed the truth and I feel good about that.

If you have any real estate questions about buying and selling, feel free to call me. It may save you time and money! (928 533-4455)

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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