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Can You Trust Home Value Estimates from ZTR?

By
Real Estate Agent with Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert DRE #SA554748000

Sometimes both Buyers and Sellers rely on the ZTRs (Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and others) to estimate [Zestimates for Zillow] the value of homes. These estimates may be entirely unreliable. Here are some of the reasons theZTR blanket estimates do not work well in Prescott, Arizona.

  • Many lots were sold to individual Builders
  • There are very few "look-alike" homes here
  • No "cookie-cutter" or "ticky-tack" homes here
  • Forest settings vary widely from one part of town to another
  • Prescott is hilly and some of the lots are steep
  • Some have big views, others do not
  • Ages of the homes vary widely, a few are as old as 100 years or more
  • Homes in the pines are mostly 30 to 50 years old
  • Many homes have been remodeled or updated

Questions you should ask when shopping for a home in Prescott

  • How steep is the lot? – there are very few nearly level lots
  • How many stair steps to get to the main living level?
  • How many levels in the home?
  • How steep is the driveway and how long is it?
  • Does the driveway face north or south?
  • Do you want to live in the pines?

If you come from Phoenix or other area where there is no snow, you probably would not think a north-facing driveway versus a south-facing driveway is significant. However, it does make a huge difference when there is snow on a steep driveway. The last home I had in the pines had a steep driveway and faced to the north. What little snow we get in Prescott usually melts in a day or two but not so on a driveway that is shaded in the winter.

Just a cursory analysis shows that there may be a $50,000 to $60,000 premium for a 2,000 sq-ft home in the Ponderosa Pines compared to a home that is not in a "piney" area. Doing meaningful CMAs in Prescott is very difficult. I do not routinely do CMAs as it is so difficult to account for or adjust for the factors mentioned above.

 

MichelleCherie Carr Crowe .Just Call. 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Yes, these formulas are "fun" and entertaining, but I wouldn't bet real money on them.

Jul 23, 2019 09:54 PM
John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

Michelle Carr Crowe,Altas Just Call...408-252-8900! 

I do not find anything the ZTRs do as fun and entertaining. They all make the life of a real estate professional more complex by spreading so much untruth.

The same goes for the real estate reality shows. They make the life of a real estate agent look way easier than it really is. When did you last show a Buyer party and get a decision in showing only three houses?

Jul 23, 2019 10:06 PM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe .Just Call. 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

John,

I meant that BUYERS find these apps and RE shows entertaining-I certainly don't.

Jul 23, 2019 11:25 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

The algorhytms provided by "Z" don't seem to measure of to feet on the ground by a competent real estate professional.  I recall one instance where "Z" apparently had considered mobile homes in a nearby park as comps for a nice custom home nearby.

Jul 24, 2019 05:26 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning John Mosier - these Zillow or other estimates rarely come close.

Jul 24, 2019 06:54 AM