Today I met with a very nice gentleman to discuss strategies for selling or not selling some of his East Austin properties. During my presentation he stopped me and asked, “What do you think of Zillow?”

The Six-Figure Mistake

I briefly described to him the flaws of national real estate sites like Zillow and Trulia. He then let me know that one year ago his lot in East Austin was valued by Zillow at $250,000. As much as I would love to tell him that’s what he could make by selling his lot, the truth is that the value is much, much lower. This lot would never have been valued at that price even a year ago, yet Zillow gave him the false impression that it was.

For privacy purposes I won’t disclose how much his property is currently valued at, but let’s just say Zillow had priced his Austin real estate at more than double it’s real value – that is a HUGE discrepancy, and it’s a shame when companies like this get people’s hopes up as to what their property values are, and then homeowners use these false numbers to calculate their net worth.

Go Local for Austin Home Values

There are many dangers and pitfalls when using these national online sites, and this is a great example. When you want to know how much your Austin property is worth, contact an Austin Realtor who will be willing to provide you with accurate numbers through a CMA that will show market trends, or hire an appraiser. I am never too busy to help Austinites get the real facts about their property, homes, or condos.

If you’ve had any issues with valuations at Zillow or Trulia , post a comment below.

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