Realtors vs. Appraisers vs. Zillow


That’s approximately the number of times ” most recently this afternoon ” that I’ve been called by Appraisers wanting the scoop on a property I’ve recently sold, vs. the number of times I’ve called an Appraiser to find out the same.

Inside Scoop (Literally)

Which makes sense: as the listing agent (representing the Seller), I’m the foremost authority on the property in question.

I know about such intangibles as the home’s floor plan; condition; updates (or not); the quality of those updates (there’s a big difference between a DIY Kitchen remodel, and one for $150k); and the home’s overall aesthetic appeal.

A good listing agent will know the same things about the relevant Comp’s (“Comparable Sold Properties”), too.

Which is why debriefing them is like one-stop shopping for Appraisers doing their due diligence.

One-stop Shopping

Without that input, all Appraisers have to go on — besides the Comps’ sales price — is limited, objective data such as finished square feet, number of bedrooms and baths, lot size, and home style (one-story, two-story, split-level, etc).

Algorithm-driven Web sites such as Zillow are even more blindered, because they rely on publicly available (and frequently stale) sales data.

You know what they say: “(digital) garbage in, (digital) garbage out . . . ”

P.S.: Why “347” when I’ve only been involved in perhaps 250 deals? Because appraisers also handle refinancings.

See also, “Cultivating Good “Appraisal Karma”; and “Proper (& Improper) Purposes of Realtor Previews.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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