When you live in Northern Virginia and you’re in real estate (or even if you’re not), you don’t play the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon Game” – you play “Two Degrees From The President”.
So . . . .
This morning, I was at the Washington DC “Zillow Summit”. In case you’re not familiar with Zillow, Zillow is an online resource that some home buyers & sellers use to see what homes are selling for, what homes are available for sale & rent, and what homes are worth. They’re not Realtors and Zillow does not advise people about the market. They just gather information and share it. (You can see reviews about The Belt Team on Zillow.) As the CEO, Spencer Rascoff, told us, “We are a media company, not a brokerage.”
Rascoff (who you may have seen last week when he had a live interview with President Obama on the housing market – hence my “Two Degrees From The President” moment) went on to share with us that his wife is a doctor. And much like consumers who look at homes on Zillow think they can interpret the market – so do patients who google their symptoms on Web MD think they can diagnose & treat themselves. His point was that the consumer can have all the information there is (and Zillow acknowledges a wide variation in accuracy of their data – with a median error rate of 9.2% nationally, as well as issues with data latency), but the consumer is still better off adding a Realtor into the equation who can interpret the local market, share expertise built through experience, and prescribe a personal course of action based on local market conditions & practices.
If you follow our Northern VA real estate blog regularly, you know that we provide real estate market statistics every week for Vienna & Oakton. Some buyers & sellers may think that’s overkill. But we know from experience how the market can change in the blink of an eye. And the only way to know that change is happening is to track statistics & keep your boots to the ground. The Belt Team does both and has done so for many years. (More to come on this next week as we hear rumors & rumblings from around the country about possible market slowdowns in some places and booming markets in others.)
This morning’s conference brought home to me how vital timely information is when Zillow’s Senior Economist, Svenja Maarit Gudell, told us that “Zillow’s Zestimates are updated three times a week.” (Zestimates are another whole topic we’ll write about later! But keep in mind that as Spencer Rascoff said today, “It’s a Zestimate, NOT a Zappraisal.” Gudell added “All the Zestimate is – is a starting point.”). So if Zillow is revising estimated home values 3 times a week, then we are definitely on the cutting edge of market trends for our clients by analyzing daily (sometimes multiple times a day!) & posting weekly.
Stay tuned for our weekly Vienna & Oakton update! And call us (703-242-3975) for updates on any area of Northern VA. We sell homes across the map, more than most Realtors; and though we are on top of market trends throughout the area, we only publish the most requested statistics.
And PS – if you want to know how much your home is worth and/to search for homes online with the most accurate info, The Belt Team is happy to assist with our FREE Homebuying & Selling Tools:
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