Posts Tagged ‘Real estate broker/agent’

ZILLOW. MIRAGE or MAGIC?

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Zillow is one of several Web sites which provide a wide range of Real Estate information useful to the general public. For this I salute it. However, to a great extent it has also created an image of being a free souce of accurate information on the value of individual properties.For this I condem it.

If you want a reasonably accurate valuation of your property there will be 50 local real Estate Agents willing to provide a “free” Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)in the hope that if you are selling you will consider hiring them.

If you need a detailed estimate you can pay a profesional Appraiser between $200-$300 for it. In both cases you will get a valuation based on local knowledge of the house, it’s condition, and the circumstances of the comparable sales i.e. Short Sale, Foreclosure, Probate etc.
Now consider whether a computer program having non of this highly relevant data might be able to provide a more accurate result.
I’m a great believer in the old saying that we get what we pay for. Zillow is a perfect example of that.

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Conversation With A Buyer

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The following is a result of a recent inquiry from a subscriber to the Trulia Voices website. He wanted my opinion on a purchase he was considering. He had picked up a lot of useful information but did not have the experience of the actual steps involved which allows an expert to place multiple bits of knowledge into a clear context, and then into a plan.

                                                             ____________ — _______________

Hello James,

        You are obviously doing a lot of homework yourself, as I would prior to deciding on alternate strategies for a medical problem. However, in both cases accurate information is required in order to make the optimal decision.

I believe you have reached the point of needing accurate current data, placed in its correct context, in order to decide how to proceed.

For example, let’s look at the scenario you described in your question.

Purchase price – $360,000

Loan $288,000 – o.k.

20% down – o.k. but maybe not the best choice, as you are already aware.

6.00% interest – Wrong. Worst case is 5%. (A $200 per month difference in payment)

Property Taxes about $300 per month – Wrong. On $375,000 will be $390:63 per month. A $90:63 difference.

Hazard Insurance $100/m – Wrong. $60 per month is a good estimate. A $40 per month difference.

Just these few differences would allow you to buy up to $400,000 for the same monthly cost. This takes you into the Piedmont High School district with its much superior education system.

You’ve taken the time to build your knowledge and vocabulary well. Now you need real facts and numbers in order to become an educated buyer in a market place where getting it wrong can be very expensive.

I’m not going to base important decisions about my health on “free” research and advice from the Web. I want the alternatives to be explained by a professional, and specifically as they apply to me, not some mythical Mr. Average.

I suggest you take a similar approach and hire a Realtor who will explain the options available to you, and help you understand the pro’s and con’s of each one.

Sorry if this seems “preachy” but I feel very strongly about the mass of incorrect and misleading advice and information being spread throughout Radio, T/V, “News”papers, Magazines, and the Internet. These sources are not interested in supplying information relevant to you and your situation. Their sole motivation is to sell advertising.

Why not hire your own professional who can advise and inform you based on your unique circumstances, at this specific time, and with regard to your medium and loan term plans.

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