Local realtors say websites distort the value of real estate

Not so long ago, homebuyers started searching in Sunday newspapers.

You can now go directly to Zillow or similar sites such as Redfin and Realtor.com.

A recent buyer told Boston 25 News: I just bought a house a year and a half ago and was crazy about Zillow. “

Another woman said, “I like Zillow. It’s very informative and informative and helps me narrow down my searches on Google.”

These sites are a way to track real estate that is growing faster than the price of a suburban single-family home.

“Zillow is the country’s most visited real estate market with about 200 million unique monthly users,” said Amanda Pendleton, Zillow’s home trend expert.

However, some realtors say they are actually at a disadvantage to buyers and sellers, so there is growing opposition to these online platforms.

At the heart of Zillow’s appeal is Zestimate.

“Zestimate is what Zillow best guesses about the value of your home,” explains Pendleton. “This is an AI-powered computer algorithm that captures millions of data points, primarily public information about your home.”

“Unfortunately, the online algorithms are very inaccurate because each house has different variables and characteristics,” countered Gene Hashkes, a realtor at William Raveis Real Estate in Newton.

Hashkes tells someone to really understand what a property needs to see it physically. “This algorithm does not take into account aspects such as the condition of the house, regardless of whether major ticket items such as roofs and heating systems have been exchanged.”

Marie Presti of Stoneham and Newton’s Presti Group also doesn’t trust Zestimate.

She says Zillow may see two similar homes on the same street and rate them the same, not considering that one is in a reserve and the other is in a busy supermarket. increase.

According to Presti, it can create a distorted sensation for the entire market. “I have sellers looking at Zestimate, they feel their home is worth more than $ 100,000, and I have to say, but you have these adjustments And it’s difficult .. But you also need to set their expectations. “

“I would like to say that Zestimate is a quote with a Z in front of it,” Pendleton said.

She says the company believes Zestimate is a great starting point for buyers and sellers. “This is Zillow’s best guess as to whether a home is really worth it, and it doesn’t replace a good local agent.”

Home buyers and sellers we talked to say these sites are addictive. “It’s fun to see. You just see what’s there, what the prices are, and what the market is like. That’s why I love Zillow.”

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