Be careful using the "Street View" option when viewing homes online.

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843

Yesterday Amanda called me into her office to look at something very interesting.  

She pulled up our new listing at 938 Powers Street in New Haven, Indiana on Zillow.com.  

Here is the listing.  

All of the pictures look good.  No complaints there.  

The description is obviously spot on since it comes directly from our local MLS (multiple listing service).  

The zestimate?  It's inaccurate.  Big surprise there, but that's another topic for another blog that I may or may not write.  

What grabbed her attention was the street view.  You can find that under the main picture on the lower right hand side.  

If you click on it, you see the front of our listing and you see the neighboring house to the left.  

The house you see looks like junk.  The siding badly needs replaced, and it's just an eye sore in general.  

 

Here's the thing...  that house doesn't look like that anymore.  

 

Last year the owners completely remodeled the entire house inside and out, including new vinyl siding, new landscaping, and (I believe) new windows.  

The street view here is probably a year old, if not older.  

 

Is this one minor detail doing to prevent a sale?  I doubt it, but it sure doesn't help it.  

 

95% of home buyers start their search online, and a lot of them use Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com to search.  All of these sites provide a Street View option that most home buyers will use.   

 

My advice?  If you're looking online and see a home you're very interested in, drive by it in person.  Some of the things online may not be up to date or accurate.  

As always, I would advise you to call a local expert.  I happen to know a couple...  

 

 

Posted by

 

 

   

Fort Wayne Realtors Jared and Amanda Christiansen with Century 21 Bradley

Amanda Christiansen is an award winning Realtor with Christiansen Group Realty.

 

Jared Christiansen is a business partner and in charge of marketing and taking care of things behind the scene.

 

Enough about us...

 

Tell us what you want your real estate experience to be, and we will do it YOUR way.

 

Buying a home in Fort Wayne? Tell us your wants and needs. Let us know how you envision your family living.  Tell us what's important to YOU, and we'll find the community and home that fits.  

 

Selling your home in Fort Wayne?  Our job is to make you the most money possible in the shortest amount of time. We offer our sellers professional staging, professional photography, and more internet marketing than most. 

 

We are committed to giving you everything we have to offer.  We are both full time agents and will work around your schedule.  Do nights and weekends work better for you?  NO PROBLEM. We are here to help YOU at YOUR convenience.

 

Amanda can be reached at 260-704-0843, and Jared can be reached at 260-704-0842, or you can email us at JaredChristiansen@gmail.com, or Amanda427@gmail.com.

 

 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Elyse Berman, PA 08/29/2014 03:34 AM
Topic:
Home Selling
Location:
Indiana Allen County Fort Wayne
Tags:
century 21 agents in fort wayne
using street view when home searching
are zestimates accurate

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Rainmaker
948,207
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Amanda & Jared, you would think that with almost 2,300 satellites up there that one could take a recent and decent picture.  Smile!

Aug 28, 2014 10:46 PM #34
Rainer
391,344
Raul Rodriguez
Covenant Partners Realty - San Antonio, TX
Looking out for the client's interest and not my p

Isn't it nice to know we are being watched? Some of these pictures show people walking in the street and doing all sorts of activities...just a thought.

Aug 28, 2014 10:58 PM #35
Rainmaker
592,740
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

I haven't used the street view for checking out the house, but it doesn't surprise me since google earth can be several years old.

Aug 28, 2014 11:19 PM #36
Rainmaker
711,622
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

Interesting post, and something to remind clients of when they are on line. Had not thought of this although I often wonder when the street view was last updated.

Aug 28, 2014 11:58 PM #37
Rainer
32,803
Shelly Hendry
Keller Williams Realty Cityside - Powder Springs, GA

Good reminder for clients and agents alike. I usually use street view to determine the location of things like railroad tracks and power lines only. 

Aug 29, 2014 12:28 AM #38
Rainmaker
303,534
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

Most of the country also has four seasons. The street view, and especially the overhead view, is often taken in winter months.

Aug 29, 2014 12:36 AM #39
Rainer
265,714
Richard Arnold
Keller Williams Realty East Valley - Tempe, AZ
Realtor - Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Phoenix

These views are not current, not real-time, not guaranteed to be accurate, and I don't think they ever claimed to be.  These are AIDS, and not substitutes for first-person on-site observation.  

I worry when people talk about remote-camera inspections of houses, because even IF you are getting a live picture, even an HD display is not going to show the same amount of detail you can see with your eye.  And there will be no smell, no feeling of temperature and drafts, no sense of ambient noises from inside and outside the house.

Any buyer who sets his/her heart on a house based solely on photos and fanciful descriptions on the Internet is asking for disappointment.  It's okay to pick 'candidates' to investigate further, just realize the photo on the box may not be what you get.

 

Aug 29, 2014 01:22 AM #40
Rainer
190,224
Rod Pierson
Results Real Estate Inc - Redding, CA
Northern California
I like the comment also taking into all four seasons, this just doesn't apply to street views but it also pertains to satellite views. A bird's eye might be taken two years ago showing empty lots and or trees that might not be there now. Your best bet is to take your own street view and look for the newest bird's view and include with your photos, adding a floor plan is always a nice touch too. Great Post, can't wait for your continuation blog.
Aug 29, 2014 01:25 AM #41
Rainmaker
836,138
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Amanda and Jared -- You are so right. Just showed a house that looks beaten down on the street view and it was just recently painted and landscaped so it looks really spiffy.  Drive bys during different times of the day are always suggested.

Aug 29, 2014 01:25 AM #42
Rainer
100,263
Jimmy Chickey
Keller Williams Realty Southwest - Las Vegas, NV
Realtor, Nationally Recognized Author, Teacher

I had not even thought of that.  Great blog!  Thanks.  :)

Aug 29, 2014 01:56 AM #43
Rainmaker
2,812,840
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Separate from the zesstimates almost always being inaccurate to some degree, I've come across this issue as well, where the street view photos don't truly represent the reality. Great reminder.

Aug 29, 2014 02:47 AM #44
Rainmaker
759,823
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

The street view can be very interesting in how it's outdated and has images from a year or so ago.  A friend of mine's parents passed away this year, but the street view still shows them sitting on their porch.  Kind of a nice memory of them.  

Aug 29, 2014 03:01 AM #45
Rainmaker
857,842
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR

Amanda and Jared, Good advice.  Who knows how old that photo is.  I've seen new developments that still show vacant land.  Definitely do a drive by.  Congrats on the feature!

Aug 29, 2014 03:30 AM #46
Rainmaker
611,091
Judith Parker
ProStead Realty - Charlotte, NC
CRS, GRI, CMRS, Charlotte, NC

Good afternoon Amanda and Jared ... great featured post and it just goes to show that we need to always do our part and not just take the information as noted from many of these sites.

Aug 29, 2014 03:41 AM #47
Ambassador
2,526,121
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Most times when I pull up the street view it is of a completely different season that could be years past. When a client is interested in a house a drive-by is always a good idea as it could provide additional info positive and negative

Aug 29, 2014 05:33 AM #48
Rainmaker
2,049,859
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

I agree as you always should drive by the home and drive the neighborhood. Online pictures along with lots of other stuff is many times totally outdated. Zillow estimates are garbage.  

Aug 29, 2014 07:25 AM #49
Rainmaker
2,394,364
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

Wow, who would have though of that angle?  I know when I look at our home online it shows our Motorhome in the driveway and we sold it more than five years ago.

Aug 29, 2014 12:41 PM #50
Ambassador
4,295,726
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Jared, Amanda, sometimes the listed home itself is different - could be better landscaping now compared to when street view was created.

Aug 29, 2014 01:10 PM #51
Rainmaker
20,667
Mary Stewart
Keller Williams Atlantic Partners/Southside - Jacksonville, FL

Amanda & Jared,

I agree, a picture  is everything in real estate, and it clearly makes a difference.  An opinion is formed in a matter of seconds.

Aug 29, 2014 10:51 PM #52
Rainmaker
1,299,111
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Amanda & Jared, two days ago I got a call from someone complaining about a similar situation, but worse in my opinion because it was the agent who entered a photo that didn't match the condition of the house.  I'll stop here because this is inspiration for another blog post for which I'll give you credit...thanks.

Aug 30, 2014 02:27 AM #53
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