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Another Tool For The Belt

June 12, 2013

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When a client is looking to sell their property they now have a whole host of exciting new tools to help them.  Technology has changed the real estate game for the better by providing both agents and sellers more information.  As realty agents it is our job to help our clients understand these new technologies.  Part of that responsibility is discovering how much a home or property is worth.  In 2006 a company named Zillow created an online tool called Zestimates that aids home sellers in focusing in on a value.  Six years later Redfin, Trulia, and the major banks began to follow suit.

Value Estimators
These value estimators use public data, detailed user input, and complex algorithms to calculate the value of a home.  According to Zillow, the values they produce are within ten percent of the final sale value.  So while the data could be more accurate, it gives a good idea to the seller, and may make your job, as an agent, easier.

Smiling woman using smart phone

Redfin
Redfin’s tool is less accurate than Zillow’s as it only allows users to pick homes similar to their own.  This simplified process is great for sellers looking to get a general idea of what their home may be worth.  Real estate agents should suggest Redfin for first time sellers.

Problems
The issue with these kinds of tools is twofold: one, they instill a false sense of confidence in the seller; and two, that confidence may lead to brash decision making that could hurt the client in the long run.  As agents it our job to present these tools to clients, but to caution them on the results.  Providing our customers with all the tools they need is necessary, but educating them on their use and drawbacks is even more important.

Working with these tools, agents and sellers can work together to sell a property quickly.  The more informed each party is the better prepared everyone will be to make an educated decision.

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About century21affiliatedchicago

Century 21 Affiliated-Chicago (“C21AC”) is a full service real estate brokerage firm located in Chicago with a focus on residential and commercial properties. Our agent base and management team includes a wide range of specialties serving customer needs across the ever changing real estate landscape, with expertise in many niches, including REO transactions, investment sales, bulk purchasers and sellers, commercial product and traditional residential transactions. C21AC is part of Century 21 Affiliated (“Affiliated”), a top 5 franchisee in the Century 21 system with over 30 locations across the Midwest and over 32 years of history. C21AC entered the Chicago market in February 2011 to re-launch the Century 21 brand in the downtown area and to bring a proven operating platform to the large and fragmented Chicago real estate market. At Century 21 Affiliated, the customer comes first. Our complete commitment to delivering top-notch customer service to our clients is what distinguishes us from our competitors and makes us such a powerful force in the real estate industry. Specialties Residential Sales, Commercial Sales, Short Sales, Bulk Sales, REO's, Leasing, Business Services

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