I cannot tell a lie. This article been lifted wholly from Realtor.com but it really explains why buyers and sellers alike should take these Web based real estate estimates with a grain of salt….or a bag of salt. Data is a good thing to have at your disposal but when it comes to buying and selling real estate in Darien or elsewhere, its only a small part of the picture. The old saying is “Garbage in, garbage out” and thats what Web estimates amount to ……in my estimation.
Reprinted from REALTOR.com
Real estate websites serve as an important platform to help buyers find their next home, and certainly help sellers expose their listings to those buyers.
But in our view, real estate websites are a starting point, not the ultimate decision engine.
Accurate data and up-to-date listings are very important, but ultimately, we believe the expertise provided by a real estate professional is a far better indicator of true market value than an estimate derived by machine.
That’s why we only display REAL PRICES on homes for sale on REALTOR.com®. Real prices that have been established between a seller and the listing broker, not a mechanized estimate.
Estimates may be OK if they’re used as a reference point to gather general information, but we feel placing mechanized estimates on an active listing that’s been priced by a local professional familiar with the market is misleading.
At best, these estimates are confusing to consumers. At worst, they create the perception of market conditions that don’t accurately reflect reality.
That’s why we don’t do it.
The real estate market is not a “paint-by-numbers” animal. Local market conditions can vary drastically from zip code to zip code, neighborhood to neighborhood, and can change at a moments notice.
Foreclosures and short sales – or the removal of distressed inventory all impact what’s actually happening.
Estimates that are placed on listings that already have an established sale price not only create a recipe for inaccurate information, they also create a strain on real sellers and a strain on the agents who work hard to create CMAs and pricing strategies based on what’s actually happening.
Sellers deserve better than that. Buyers deserve better than that.
Lost in the machinations and histrionics that permeate the discussion about listings and accurate data is the one thing that should be crystal clear:
Real Estate is NOT a game.
It’s a serious business with significant financial and emotional ramifications for the parties involved in every transaction.
And at REALTOR.com®, we have a responsibility to provide accurate information and accurate representations of what’s actually happening in the market – so consumers get the REAL story about what’s happening in their market.
And we do this by displaying real prices from real professionals in every market we serve.
That’s the thing that can really help consumers get a flavor of what’s happening locally, and that’s what we deliver.