Home Buying | Our Blog

Tuesday, October 2, 2018   /   by Alexander Haigh

How Do Zillow’s Zestimates Really Work?

Zillow is the whale of online home searches—87% of people searching for homes online go to Zillow.com.
The website has a cool little widget called a Zestimate which allows you to plug in your address and receive an estimate of your home’s value. My own website, viewfloridahomesnow.com, has a similar feature, as well as a list of available properties.
How does the Zestimate differ from my process? The Zestimate is an algorithm that links together information from the MLS and public record. It doesn’t have the capacity for critical thinking; Zillow doesn’t know how your home differs from the homes it’s comparing yours to.
At the end of the day, a Zestimate doesn’t recognize the unique features that your home possesses which might affect its value.
Further to that, not all the listings that are shown on Zillow are available anyway. Many have already been put under contract or sold. However, Zillow does sell information to rea ...

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  home buying

Tuesday, October 2, 2018   /   by Alexander Haigh

5 Steps to Buying a Home in Our Seller’s Market

If you want to buy a house in our seller’s market, there are five steps you need to take.
Before you embark on any of these steps, though, you should first hire an experienced agent to guide you through the whole process. As the saying goes, people like to do business with other people they know, like, and trust, and working with an agent or team with a respectable name can improve your offer in the eyes of listing agents.
Now, onto our five steps.
First, don’t make your best offer first, but be ready to make your best offer after that. You don’t want to make a super-low offer, but you need to have a clear understanding of the home’s value so you can make an offer that’s a little below it and leave some money on the table to work with going forward.
Next, don’t overanalyze the home’s asking price—just look at it critically and determine whether the home is priced properly or is overpriced. If it’s priced properl ...

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  home buying

Monday, October 1, 2018   /   by Alexander Haigh

Top 3 Real Estate Scams You Need to Avoid

Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home, there are three common real estate scams that you need to watch out for.
The first scam involves false wiring instructions, which can happen to you whether you are looking to buy or rent a property. The internet is a broad place, and scammers can find out if you are looking for a home. If and when they do, they will reach out to you by impersonating a real estate professional and give you instructions to wire them money to an unknown bank account.
The second scam involves Craigslist. In this case, scammers find vacant homes and list them as “For Rent” or “For Sale” on Craigslist. Once somebody responds to their ad, they will once again give instructions for wiring them money. If you see a property on Craigslist and its rent price or sale price is very low for the area it is in, that might be a scam.

The third scam involves moving trucks. In this scenario, the scammers find out that you are movi ...

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  home buying