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I briefly discussed my belief regarding how the public is deceived by online home valuations on the Sellers page.
I’ve been working full time listing San Jose homes and selling homes since January 2003. There is no doubt in my mind that the public is wildly deceived by public real estate portals that offer free online home valuations. That statement is backed, at the time of this writing, with 13 plus years of full time experience.
I believe the consuming public has a right to know the truth. We can only make informed decisions when we have the facts and the truth. A basic understanding of how third party real estate portals work may help.
The graphic below is an example of what a consumer may find online while searching for a home valuation. Notice the the words “Get Your Complete & Accurate Home Value Report Now!” As discussed in detail below, there is nothing, “complete” or “accurate” about the reports. The “deceptive spin” on those words means complete and accurate based upon the aggregated data used to generate the report. Rarely do the valuations generated by these systems provide a true and accurate reflection of the actual market value of a home. If you have not seen a similar page, once the consumer starts to type in their address, the box will begin to “auto populate” addresses the system “thinks” you may be typing. I say “thinks” because the computer algorithms, much like a Google search, are designed that way.
Zillow Does Not Provide Home Values
Zillow is in the business of selling leads to real estate agents not home valuations.
The company gets their data, in large part, from the Multiple Listing Service (“MLS”). I say in large part because, For Sale by Owner and rental data may also be found on their site. Personally and professionally I disassociate myself from the company. I view all third party real estate home value sites as a form of real estate prostitution. Prostitution used in this context to mean corrupt or unworthy use of talent for financial gain. Prostitution of MLS data; prostitution of selling the data/leads back to agents; and prostitution in deceiving the public into a belief or perception that by providing certain information the consumer will get a home valuation.
It is one reason why I do not ask my clients to leave testimonials on third party real estate sites such as Zillow. Having client testimonials on their site may leave a consumer to believe that I promote their business model. I don’t. I am not a fan of deception or prostitution. Some clients have, over the years, left a testimonial on a pubic real estate portal. I prefer to keep what my raving fans have to say about me on my own website. It is one of many ways of keeping my business clean and honest.
Third Party Data Obtained from local Multiple Listing Services
Third party real estate sites, aka portals, obtain the data they use on their sites from the MLS. The data is used to lure consumers to their website for a free home value or “estimate” of home value. Simply enter the information requested, specifically the property address, and magically the consumer is directed to a page with data regarding the property.
On that lead capture page the consumer has the option to “Get Your Home Report.” Consumer signs up to get the free report. The company now has your information to sell to real estate agents who call the consumer, you, in hopes of winning your business and listing your home for sale.
The data received most likely will not reflect a true home value. As I mentioned on the Sellers page of this website:
“There is no way a database can accurately value a home. Online home value estimates are generated from aggregated “data” from surrounding properties. The only way to provide an accurate valuation of any home is for a trained and experienced professional to enter the home and assess it in terms of condition.”
There are simply too many factors that must be considered in providing an opinion of a home value. You can read more about this on the page for Sellers.
The reason the third party real estate portals show up in an online search is because they have the big buck marketing dollars. It is nearly impossible for an agent, independent broker and even some large national and franchise brokerages to compete with their marketing dollars backed by investors and supported by the fees real agents pay for leads, or the MLS data they use to rank with the search engines.
Also on the lead capture page the consumer, a buyer looking to purchase a home, has the option to contact a local agent. In the lead capture area is a list of three agents to choose from. The agents listed there are the agents that pay the company a lot of money each month for leads. As for local agents … we don’t really know. Agents pay by zip code or multiple zip codes depending on how much money they want to spend each month for leads.
I point this out merely to support my statement about the company being in the business of selling leads.
As an independent broker I am in the people business. I am loyal to my clients, not shareholders. I earn my living by helping people. It’s true that a sale of a home is inevitably involved in my helping people in my business. I live by the Golden Rule. I treat others the way I want to be treated. My definition of helping people does not include misleading people or deceiving them in any way.
I connect with people who reach out to me for my professional help. That means that I return calls from people seeking information and help; I return emails seeking help; and if a consumer completes a form on my site seeking information and help, I respond to it.
Connect with People by Permission Only
My promise and guarantee is to engage with consumers, and clients, openly and honestly. That means that I do not chase people for business. My time is spent working exclusively with people who want and need my professional services.
If you plan to list your San Jose home for sale and want an honest and accurate valuation, you will find no deception or monkey business with me. To that end, I do not subscribe to third party home valuation software programs. The request is made by completing the form below or you may simply call me at my office at 408.972.1822 to get the process started.
My well documented value based approach to listing and marketing a San Jose home for sale is proven to get results. If you have landed on this Home Value page you may well have done so because you are searching for a home valuation.
If you choose to complete the form below know that you will not receive an automated valuation within one minute of submitting your contact information, or at any time. My customer focused business model prevents the use third party home valuation providers. I believe the practice is deceptive and misleading.
The process with me starts with a conversation. During our conversation we will decide together if moving to the next step makes sense. The next step will include a visit to your home. During my visit I will ask you a lot of questions. The questions are designed for general information purposes as well as to uncover what may be hidden value in your home.
I will evaluate the interior and exterior of your home. Other considerations such as actual physical location, recent comparable sold homes, and current market conditions are factored into how I derive a current market value of your home. This level and depth of evaluation and analysis is simply not provided with online valuations. After all, how could it be when no person, certainly not a licensed local professional, has even seen your home? As previously mentioned, that is not the point of automated valuations. The point of automated valuations is to generate leads.
People request home valuations for many reasons. I have talked with homeowners who requested a valuation and learned that they were “just curious.” They had absolutely no intention of listing their home for sale. They bought last year and just wanted to get an idea of what the property is worth today. They were essentially tracking their investment.
If you plan to sell or know that you need to list your San Jose home for sale then call me or complete the form and let’s get the process started.