Over 90% of buyers start their home search online. There are multiple websites that a buyer can go to, each of them offering various facts and figures on potential homes. Obviously one of the most popular sites is Zillow.
In my opinion, Zillow has some great features—it allows up to 30 photos, whereas the MLS (multiple listing service) will only allow 15… so it’s a great site to visit if you want to see lots of pictures. But unfortunately that’s where Zillow’s usefulness ends.
The site has been in the news lately, as they are now being sued by a homeowner in Illinois who is claiming in her lawsuit that the popular “Zestimate” tool has repeatedly undervalued her house, creating a “tremendous road block” to its sale.
Zillow has said themselves that there are errors and that Zestimates are within 5 percent of the sale price 53.9 percent of the time, within 10 percent 75.6 percent of the time and within 20 percent 89.7 percent of the time. In other words, as The Washington Post put it, roughly one quarter of the time, the value estimate is off by 10 percent or more. This translates into tens, and in some case hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The problem with Zillow is that they use various algorithms to compute their “zestimate.” But no one from Zillow has ever been inside your home. They don’t know that you have a south facing unit on a desirable block. They don’t know that you have custom built-ins or the fact that you have parking. They know nothing about your home.
Zillow just launched a new website aimed directly and millennials and first-time buyers, realestate.com. This site offers “all in monthly pricing” which is great, except once again the estimates are off. In one particular case, they estimated taxes as over $24,000 a year. The actual yearly taxes were just over $6,000.
So where should you go to start your home buying search online? Each real estate office has it’s own website which should typically list all properties in your chosen area, not just those listed by the agency. Realtor.com is a site associated with the National Association of Realtors. These sites give actual, real, verifiable information—and they also provide contact information to Realtors. Because at the end of the day, although Real Estate Websites are a useful tool, nothing can compare to working with a knowledgeable, informed and professional Realtor.
Here’s a closer look at this week’s numbers in our area:
10 new listings. The average price is $ $631,799 and the average price per sq/ft is $808.
4 properties closed. The average price was $637,750 and the price per sq/ft was $826.
31 new listings. The average price is $ 784,489 the average price per sq/ft is $718.
7 properties closed. The average price was $793,000 and the average price per sq/ft was $699.
6 new listings. The average price is $ 1,309,499 and the average price per sq/ft is $788.
1 property closed. The price was $845,000 and the price per sq/ft was $558.
1 two-bedroom for $799,000 a three- bedroom house for $1,190,000 a four-bedroom for $1,999,000 and a five- bedroom home listed for $1,979,000.
No properties closed this week.
DOWNTOWN JERSEY CITY:
20 new listings. The average price is $ 646,880 and the average price per sq/ft is $852.
4 properties closed. The average price was $409,375 and the price per sq/ft was $759.
11 new listings. The average price is $836,518 and the average price per sq/ft is $815.
3 properties closed. The average price was $851,359 and the price per sq/ft was $741.
2 new listings. The price is $ $1,099,000 and the price per sq/ft is $760.
4 properties closed. The price was $ 983,750 and the average price per sq/ft was $635.
No new listings this week.
No sold properties.
(Information provided by Hudson County MLS)
Mortgage Market in Review:
Last Friday represented a potential shift in the recent trend toward higher rates that began in mid-April. 10-yr yields, which are used as momentum indicators for longer-term rates, fell below a key trend line. Momentum technicals also took a positive turn. In addition, it’s unclear exactly where motivation will come, as there are no potential market moving economic events scheduled. There are very few Fed speakers, no major Fed releases, no major economic reports, and no key geopolitical events to anticipate. That leaves market movement up to risk of random headlines and trader positioning—both of which increase volatility and unpredictability.
CLICK HERE for a more detailed analysis from local mortgage broker Michael Mundy…
ALSO OF INTEREST:
HOBOKEN TRADER JOE’S OPENS!!!
Ann Wycherley is an award-winning realtor with over 15 years of solid real estate experience in the Hoboken and Jersey City market.
She has been recognized by the New Jersey Realtors Circle of Excellence for many years, having earned the Gold Level of Excellence for 2015 and 2016, meanwhile awarded Lifetime Membership in the New Jersey Association of Realtors Distinguished Sales Club.
Other accolades include the coveted Centurion Award for the past five years running (2012-2016), which represents the premium level of achievement within the Century 21 organization.