Zestimate – Using it with cautions
From the buyer’s perspective, the question of what is the “True Value” of a house cannot be answered. Simply by the fact that no two homes can occupy the same physical space; hence, they are not identical. Even two “identical” homes (same lot and house size, layout, appliances, etc.) may face different directions, be in different conditions, neighborhoods, etc. Determining what the house is worth to a buyer is both science and an art.
The science is to carefully understand the “what” one buys (size, condition, amenities, etc.), and knowing what recently sold in the immediate vicinity that compares in terms of size, condition, schools, access to jobs, etc. then adjusting for variations.
The art side is the investigation…how “hot” is the house? Is it one week or one month on the market, what’s the market trend, how many potential buyers have inquired about the house or expressed interest in making an offer, what does the seller really want (most money, fast close, rent back, nice family, etc.) from this sale? And of course, what are your buyer’s “must” haves versus “nice” to have? Can they afford it? Is this the right house for them or are they totally beaten down to the point that all they care about is just getting it done? The last thing a smart Realtor wants is to get a call from their buyer, telling them they bought the wrong house and you pushed them into buying it.