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Here in the northeast region of the United States, the traditional home buying season is spring and summer while the off-season is autumn and winter. Spring starts the home selling and home-buying season with the weather warming, longer days and the impetus to be settled in a new house before the next school year begins.
Housing demand is highly seasonal due to weather and the school year so there is more inventory on the market in spring and summer which drives pricing up. The more homes on the market translates to more comparable data for appraisers to use which means a more accurate value of your property compared to the fall/winter off-season when there are fewer homes on the market therefore, less comparable data. The more data the better value for the Seller.
There is more than just anecdotal evidence for listing in the spring. A 2015 study* found that homes listed between May 1 through May 15 sold an average of 18.5 days faster than homes that weren’t listed during that time frame. Homes that sold in the first half of May were also purchased for about 1 percent more than the average listing price.
*2015 Study conducted by Zillow
Have you ever looked up the value of your home online? Where you pleasantly surprised or shocked and disappointed? Either way, the number you saw may have been misleading.
When it comes to property search websites, there are many choices. Some even offer home valuation calculations, like Zillow.
The top three sites that have the most unique visitors are Zillow, Trulia and Realtor with more than 90 percent of homebuyers starting their search online. Because so many of us go to the web first for instant information, we wondered just how accurate the information is.
Some property search sites are directly tied to the local multiple list service (MLS) like Realtor.com which means they have the latest and most accurate data on current listings and recently sold homes because they are updated every 15 minutes. Other sites like Zillow and Trulia offer property searches and valuations but can lag behind by hours or days
According to Zillow, a Zestimate® home value is an estimated market value for an individual home. The Zestimate is automatically computed three times per week based on millions of public and user-submitted data points including geography, physical attributes like square footage and number of bedrooms, tax assessments and prior and current transactions obtained through public records and the local MLS.
Zillow admits that there Zestimate algorithm is not perfect. In fact, earlier this year, Zillow CEO, Spencer Rascoff was asked by Nora O’Donnell of CBS This Morning: Are Zestimates accurate to which Rascoff replied, “they’re a good starting point.” According to the Zillow website, their Zestimate accuracy has an 8.8% median error rate in the Philadelphia market. On a $250,000 property that is $22,000!
While technology is significantly helpful in making some aspects of our lives easier, there are still some things that require the eyes, ears and brain of a human. This is a computer valuation and cannot take into account the condition of the property, the types of finishes, and the special features that make a home unique. In this case, a real Realtor or Appraiser are necessary.
So if you are searching for a home be sure to use a direct connection site like SettleSensibly.com or Realtor.com and for a more accurate valuation of your home, contact the Settle Sensibly Team for a free report at 484-540-5366.