Q: Knowing that I would be selling my home, I have been following price ranges for comparable properties to my home on a couple of major real estate websites. Now that I am ready to list, all the agents I’ve talked to say that the websites are so out of line that their recommendations are worthless. What a shock!
A: Real estate websites have transformed the whole experience consumers have of homebuying or selling — they have made public what used to be private and difficult to get to — namely, listing and sales data about homes across the country.
Several of these sites offer nearby recent sales, with the promise that savvy sellers like yourself can simply go online, input your address and find out what specific homes in your neighborhood have sold for lately — some even go so far as to take the leap from what those homes have sold for to placing an estimated value on your home.
These sites try hard to do a lot of the work for you — surfacing the homes they see as comparable to yours. However, these are, at bottom, computer programs.