In an age when most information can be accessed online, computer derived home values are appearing on various real estate websites. Online home values are calculated using recent sale information, location, and market conditions. If all the homes in an area were similar this data could be helpful. Not in Old Forge. The Old Forge real estate market has a limited inventory that varies from seasonal hunting cabins to million-dollar estates. For many years, the real estate website Zillow has been supplying estimated property values called Zestimates. These estimated home values are often severely inaccurate when applied to the Old Forge real estate market. Real estate agents can purchase websites that function using similar algorithms. Often, these agents will represent on social media that one can find out what their home is worth “in seconds” if they visit their website. Make no mistake, these are lead capture sites, an effortless way for real estate agents to obtain your contact information under the guise of providing you with an accurate home value. As an experienced Realtor, I have concerns about the ethics of any agent that would be so disingenuous as to make representations that a home’s value can be determined without a property visit.
An important part of our job, as Realtors, is to advise our clients on how their property compares to listed and recently sold inventory. An experienced agent will not provide you with a home value without seeing your property in person. When I visit a property, I evaluate the floor plan and finishes. I will ask about the location and condition of your septic system and well. I will want to know about your mechanical systems and the condition of your roof, windows and siding. I will assess the location, privacy and neighborhood noise. If your home is located on the water, I will want to see the waterfront features. I will take note of the views and usable outdoor space. We live in a beautiful area and the properties that showcase natural beauty are often the most alluring to buyers. I will take reference photos throughout the visit.
Upon returning to the office I will revisit the comparable recent sales/inventory. I will discuss property details and comps with my team. I am always amazed by how invaluable our collective experience can be! After this discussion, I will reach out to the client to advise them on a marketable price of their home. Determining a market value is too important of a detail to rush.