Today we’re going to chat about why You Can’t Trust Zillow or Trulia for accurate Los Feliz, CA home value. This blog post is going to come as a shock to plenty of Los Feliz homeowners, but what you’re about to read is reality. Put on your seatbelt, it may be a bumpy ride.
Last month, while at a listing appointment (I was invited to someone’s home in Los Feliz, CA that needed to sell their house) I had an encounter were the sellers refused to believe there was even a remote possibility that Zillow’s Zestimate on their home was not accurate. They were hellbent on me listing their home for the Zestimate price, which was around $100,000 higher than what I showed them their home would actually sell for. Despite all the evidence I presented, they had that Zestimate burned into their brains as the end all be all.
Honestly, I don’t blame these potential Sellers. They were just victims of the great Zillow marketing engine. Zillow’s marketing department should be very proud of themselves for yet another job well done…Sorta. They did their job very well on these particular sellers that’s for sure. These sellers, like many other people I know, had decided that Zestimates are 100% accurate. Needless to say, that meeting quickly came to an end. While I was packing up my presentation material I asked them a simple question about the Zestimates…
“Has Zillow or Trulia seen the inside of your home?”
The Seller’s dismissed the inquiry of course, and that was that. I went on my way, and they most likely just brought in the next Los Feliz Realtor who will say anything just to get the listing, whether honest or not (there are plenty of them folk). The toughest part of this situation for me is that these Sellers still have not sold their home, even in one of the hottest Seller’s markets I’ve ever seen in Los Feliz Real Estate. I’m sympathetic for this couple because their finical circumstance makes it necessary for them to sell that house before moving on, and the clock is ticking. By not being honest with these homeowners about the true value of their home, their Los Feliz Realtor is doing them a huge disservice. And it’s just about time the Los Feliz Realtor will start beating up the Sellers to drop the price. Ouch! And they’ll have to do it, because not moving isn’t an option for them.
These sellers had drawn a line in the sand with me, and are now dealing with the consequences of their decision. I wish them well, and hopefully they are able to sell their home soon. They will most likely not get top dollar at this point, but you never know.
You’re maybe asking yourself, “why the heck does Glenn Shelhamer the Los Feliz Realtor think he knows so much?” I’ll tell you why, because I work with home buyers and sellers every single day of the week. I’m a full-time Los Feliz Realtor, and I have a part-time job as a full-time Los Feliz Realtor too. Basically, I work 15 – 20 hours a day helping people buy and sell Homes For Sale In Los Feliz, and Los Feliz real estate. This is all I do and I love my job.
At the end of the day, You Can’t Trust Zillow or Trulia. Period.
#1. Home Value Estimates (aka Zestimates) can be WAY off:
A few weeks ago I met Zillow’s CEO Spencer Rascoff in DTLA at the Society of Professional Journalists awards dinner. He explained to me, like we already know, Zillow and Trulia simply calculate property value based on recent neighborhood sales. Now, the problem with that strategy is Zillow and Trulia do not receive sales updates for properties that are sold Off Market. Meaning if a piece of real estate is sold without being listed on the MLS they do not have that information to help determine an accurate value. In Los Feliz real estate and Los Angeles alone, almost 30% of all real estate sales in 2015 exchanged hands off market. Do you want to base your sales price on mostly accurate info?
Let’s ask ourselves one simple question… How is a computer formula or algorithm supposed to accurately value your home if it’s never been inside your home? You Can’t Trust Zillow or Trulia if they’re relying solely on an algorithm to value your home. Basically you’re saying that the interior of a home is not important… well, the interior is more than just important… it’s significantly determines a properties value.
The only place to find the TRUE MARKET VALUE of your home is from a top Los Feliz Realtor or an Appraiser. You’d have to pay for an appraisal, whereas any top rated Los Feliz Realtor in your area will be more than willing to do this for free. If you live in Los Feliz, CA, or in the surrounding Eastside Los Angeles neighborhoods i.e Silver Lake, Echo Park, Atwater Village, or Downtown Los Angeles, you can find out What’s my home worth on Silverlakeblog to request a free Home Value Analysis.
#2. Not All Homes For Sale are Shown:
Fact of the matter is that in select parts of the United States and growing, local MLS’s and Real Estate brokerages are pushing back against Zillow & Trulia, and are refusing to provide them with a data feed of homes for sale. If Zillow and Trulia aren’t getting the data feed, then they flat out can’t show you homes that are for sale in that area. Many consumers don’t know this and they go to Zillow to start their house hunt, thinking they are seeing everything on the market when in reality, they are only seeing a fraction of homes for sale.
The only way a home buyer or potential seller can know about all Los Feliz real estate for sale is to have a local Realtor set you up on a MLS listing alert campaign, and keep you up to date with new off market listings by using an off market property tool like Pocket Estates, which is an off market real estate sharing resource designed exclusively for Realtors.
#3. Inaccurate Information:
Still not convinced You Can’t Trust Zillow or Trulia? The CEO of Zillow admits that Zillow’s zestimate is not accurate. Sometimes homes that were sold weeks or months ago are still showing as For Sale by Zillow and Trulia. They somehow didn’t get the memo that the loan documents were signed, and title recorded.
Still, the most common inaccuracy that I see on Zillow is price changes. It may take days, weeks, or months for Zillow to reflect a price adjustment that was done immediately on the local MLS. This is not the norm, but why take the risk of looking at an incorrect asking price? For example, you may do a search for Los Feliz Homes For Sale, up to $2,000,000. But a home that fits your wants/needs perfectly was listed for $2,059,000 until they dropped the price to $1,989,000 one week earlier. If Zillow somehow fails to notice the price change, and you’re not working with a savvy Realtor or searching a local real estate home search website like Silverlakeblog.com, you could miss out on your perfect home.
This fact alone is reason enough to never use Zillow again. Why wouldn’t you want to search for homes on a website that you KNOW has 100% up to date information? Only our local MLS Claw can guarantee that, or a website that pulls the MLS data. (this website, Silverlakeblog.com in Los Feliz is one of the best local websites).
Zillow claims that they updated every 15 min, directly from the local MLS, but somehow these goof ups still happen. I’m sure it’s unintentional, but homes slip through the cracks. Why take the risk?
At the end of the day, Zillow and Trulia should be considered fun tools to play with, and that’s about it. As long as you know the facts and aren’t stuck in the pie in the sky with Zillow. You’ll be just fine.
You can’t trust Zillow or Trulia
I’m a local real estate agent with Sothebys International Realty and It would be my pleasure to help you find the perfect property to call home in Los Feliz CA, or if you’re thinking about selling a house, condo, or multi-family building in, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Atwater Village, Glassell Park, Mount Washington, or Downtown Los Angeles, it would be a privilege to help you get top dollar for the sale of your property.
Lets chat sometime. 310-913-9477 or contact me.