Recently, I heard a story where an agent gave a seller a market analysis that consisted entirely of a page that looked oddly similar to the image attached to this post.
This example page was generated by a service within our the real estate multiple listing system, called Realist. Realist utilizes similar fancy algorithms to the online real estate portals that generate “estimates” of your property’s value. Considering that one of the largest portals to offer estimates even discloses that over 62% of the homes in SE Michigan are more than 5% (plus or minus) off the final sales price, why would an agent expect the consumer to accept an automatically generated number as an estimate of their home?
Let’s not forget the fact that selling a home is one of the largest transactions most folks will be a part of in their lifetime…
I understand the quick and rapid-fire movement of data. Consumers want a quick answer to the question of the value of their home. When a person raises their hand and says, “I’m thinking of selling my home,” the information provided should not be a simple print out of a value range that an algorithm generates.
Hand Crafted Analysis
When you decide that it is time to move, and you reach out to a real estate professional to help sell your home, look for a few things in the market analysis they create for you.
- Search Methodology: How were the properties used in the analysis found? What criteria were used to find the most recent sales and your most likely, active, competition?
- Updates, Upgrades, Expansions: Prior to experiencing your home, I only have public record and perhaps a prior listing profile to work reference. If you’ve upgraded, updated or expanded your property, be sure to tell me. These could have a substantial impact on your home’s value.
- Fresh Data: With a few exceptions, you want to ensure that the sold properties used in your analysis are recent sales. By recent, I mean 3-6 months, with a heavy leaning towards the 3 month’s old side of the scale.
- Details: While a summary of the data is perfectly acceptable, the detailed data to support the summary needs to be present and viewable. Don’t be afraid to go through the details and question information that doesn’t make sense in your specific scenario
- Clarity: There should be two numbers that are clear as day, to you the seller: list price and sales price. Sometimes, these numbers are the same, but you should still expect clarity on what to anticipate in the list and sales prices.