This Is Why Relying on Zillow Is a Bad Idea

Don’t let this happen to you!

The ad was captivating. It grabbed your attention and pulled you in, but don’t fall for it.

There are several reasons people go to Zillow, but here is proof that you shouldn’t make any important decisions based on what you find there.

  1. Buyers are looking for homes
  2. Sellers are confirming the value for a list price
  3. Buyers are confirming the value before making an offer
  4. Folks are “checking out” a potential real estate agent
  5. Pictures, maps, neighborhood info

The dirty low down:

Number 5 is easy: Zillow harvests photos and data from numerous sources and provides it for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy it. Even if the photos are not current, you aren’t going to make too big of a mistake just from looking at them.

Number 1 is also easy: Not everything you see on Zillow is actually available for sale. There are dozens of reasons why properties are shown when they aren’t for sale. This company exists solely to lure viewers and collect information to sell to real estate agents. The data doesn’t have to be accurate; it just has to be attractive.

Numbers 2 and 3 can be lumped together. Value. Zestimate. Automated Valuation. Pricing. Whatever you want to call it, you can’t trust it. It is wrong. My blog Your Home Valuation is Wrong from July 30, 2018 goes into more detail. https://jimsweat.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/your-home-valuation-is-wrong/

Number 4 can be a real problem. It’s a problem for the buyers and sellers, and also for the real estate agents. I sell two or three times as much real estate as the average agent, but you can’t tell that from looking at Zillow. They say that I have not sold anything in the last 17 months. https://jimsweat.wordpress.com/2018/09/20/really-zillow-again/

Yes, I can go in and manually update it, but that doesn’t mean it will be accurate next week. Here today, gone tomorrow is reality with these guys.

They were happy to use my photos, my descriptions and marketing remarks on my listings they used as “bait” to attract potential buyer and seller leads, but when those homes sold, Zillow conveniently “forgot” to credit me with the sale.

Blog post January 16, 2015 titled Real Estate Misinformation and Extortion tells how after 20 years in real estate, Zillow showed me completing 2 (two) total transactions. Two. After I had been a full time licensed real estate professional for twenty years! I had owned a real estate company part of that time. I had obtained my ABR, CRS, GRI, CDPE, e-PRO and ILHM designations – many of which require a certain level of production to qualify. But the big gorilla of real estate information credited me with two sales!

https://jimsweat.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/real-estate-misinformation-and-extortion/

You can’t make this stuff up!

And again:

My blog post Boom! Yes That Was My Head Exploding! from August 6, 2015 tells when I found out Trulia and Zillow wiped my slate, again. After over 20 years as a full-time licensed real estate professional, part of which I was broker/owner of a real estate company, Trulia credited me with 1 (one) total career sale and Zillow showed me having 2 (two) sales in my entire career!

https://jimsweat.wordpress.com/2015/08/06/boom-yes-that-was-my-head-exploding/

You don’t have to make things up, they prove every day that danger lurks if you blindly follow.

The thing to remember is that Zillow exists purely to make money from real estate brokers. If they have decent information on the website, great. If not, it doesn’t matter as long as they can lure people there, collect the contact info, and sell them to an agent.

There are thousands of companies that do the same thing: provide real estate information for the sole purpose of collecting leads to sell to real estate agents. Zillow just happens to be the biggest, and therefore can do the most damage.

Zillow has some great ads: A wonderful mix of emotional heart-tugs and perceived factual data.

Too bad people make important life decisions based on the fake news and false information.

http://www.SweatSellsFlorida.com

All the Best!

Jim Sweat, ABR, CLHMS, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO, ILHM

Featured in Scene Magazine’s Men on the Scene 2016 issue

Author of REAL ESTATE CSI: CONTROVERSY, SECRETS, INSIGHT (coming soon)

Jim Sweat – Helping Buyers & Sellers Choose Wisely Since 1995 ™

Re/Max  Alliance Group

1314 E. Venice Ave, Venice, FL 34285

Mobile: 941-306-7384

http://myfloridahomesmls.com/JimSweat (Home Search)

https://jimsweat.wordpress.com/ (Blog)

www.linkedin.com/in/jimsweat (LinkedIn)

A Proven Professional Working for You!

23 Years Experience

Advertisements

All-Time Record-Breaking Home Sales in Sarasota & Manatee Counties

Real estate experts predict that more existing homes will sell in Manatee and Sarasota counties in 2015 than during any other year in history.

And that is in a market with low inventory levels!

On a pace that the president of the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee calls “historic,” Sarasota County is expected to exceed an all-time high of 11,550 home sales by year-end. In Manatee County, sales need only average 360 per month in November and December to break an 8,004-sales record set in 2013. Nearly twice that number sold in October.

By the end of October, the pace of sales had dropped only modestly during the autumn selling season, which is historically viewed as being “slow.” At the same time, median prices are near a five-year peak and homes are typically staying on the market a little over a month before selling.

Excerpted from article  published November 30, 2015. Written by Matt Johnson, Bradenton Herald business reporter.

Strong demand is pushing prices up substantially. That trajectory may slow as more sellers put their homes on the market, but with the number of homes for sale at or near a half-decade low, some buyers are jumping in while properties are still available where they want them at the prices they want to pay.

Housing inventory has been well below the six-month level of supply that defines equilibrium between buyers or sellers.

In October, the supply was between 3.5 and 3.9 months across the single family and condo markets in the two counties.

Higher prices, low inventory and rising interest rates may temper the sales pace next year, but all indications are the all time sales record will be broken this year.

 

Landfalling Hurricane Map

Florida has gone over ten years without a hurricane landfall. Wilma was the last one in October, 2005. That is even more incredible when you realize Florida has 1,350 miles of coastline around the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.

This map shows some “pockets of concentration” where hurricanes seem to funnel in with regularity.

There are numerous theories as to why Southwest Florida, and Sarasota County in particular, have been so fortunate. Knock wood, throw salt and cross your fingers that I don’t jinx it by mentioning some of them!

One theory is the Continental shelf and depth of the Gulf near Sarasota. Another is the effect of the Jetstream. But the most commonly quoted reason is legendary.

This is an excerpt from a Sarasota Herald Tribune newspaper story June 18, 2007:

The story goes something like this, with the emphasis on “something.”

Sarasota is protected from hurricanes because the American Indians who once lived here knew it was a safe place, which is why they decided to live here.

Or, the American Indians who once lived here blessed this place and made it safe from hurricanes.

Or, the ancient American Indian burial grounds scattered throughout the county are keeping the storms at bay.

Sarasota has not been a bull’s-eye for a major hurricane since reliable records began in 1871.

But it was damaged to varying degrees by hurricanes in 1926, 1944 and 1950, as well as Donna in 1960 and Charley in 2004.

A number of other explanations for the relative safety have surfaced, most of them questionable.

One gives credit to nature’s fortunate placement of dunes off the coast.

Another, to the magic powers of Siesta Key’s white sand beaches and underwater crystals.

Whatever the reason, we are just glad to be fortunate and able to live in such a beautiful place!

I am all for being lucky!

Respectfully,

Jim Sweat, ABR, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO, ILHM

REALTOR

Author of REAL ESTATE CSI: CONTROVERSY, SECRETS, INSIGHT (coming soon)

American Realty of Venice, Inc.

700 W. Venice Ave

Venice, FL 34285

941-484-8080

http://myfloridahomesmls.com/JimSweat Home search

www.linkedin.com/in/jimsweat LinkedIn

https://www.zillow.com/reviews/write/?s=X1-ZUyz3incawqo7d_93ahq Zillow

How Many Million Dollar Homes Sell Every Day in the Tri-county Region of Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte?

How secure is it to purchase a high-end home in this southwest Florida area? Let’s take a quick look at two of our local islands, and then the numbers for each county.

In the last 12 months, there have been 25 closed sales on Casey Key. All but three of them were for over a million dollars. The average sale price was $2.62M, the median was over $2M.

Fifty three single family homes, on Siesta Key, over $1M, on the waterfront sold in the last 12 months (more than one per week). Average sale price was almost $2.6M; with the median at $1.8M.

When I expand the criteria to all sales on Siesta Key for $1M or more, there are six with accepted offers, averaging almost $2.4M asking price; seven are pending with average list price of $2.15M; and 78 sales have closed, with an average selling price of $2.25M. That is 1.5 sales per week, pretty strong demand for million dollar homes on just one barrier island in Sarasota County!

When I proceed to pull the statistics for all of Sarasota County, it confirms that there is a robust market in the $1M and up price range.

Thirty one homes are active with contract (accepted offers in place) with an average list price of $1.72M. Seventy five homes are pending, with an average list price over $2.3M.

395 homes have sold for over a million dollars in the last 365 days in Sarasota County! More than one per day, with an average sales price over $1.9M. The average days on market is 183 in this price range, so it may be a stretch to call it “brisk”, but 395 closed sales is certainly proof of a strong and healthy demand for high end homes in the Sarasota area!

Manatee County has five homes AWC – active with contract, averaging $1.8M; eighteen are pending, averaging $1.74M; one hundred twenty three (123) homes have sold averaging over $1.5M.

Charlotte County is smaller and has six high end homes with accepted offers (AWC) that average $1.59M; ten are pending sales averaging $1.64M; twenty homes have sold with an average sales price of $1.57M.

Total sales for million dollar homes in the Tri-county region are 538; average is almost 1.5 sales per day. So, how secure should someone feel about buying a high end home in Sarasota County, Manatee County, or Charlotte County?

Five hundred thirty eight sales indicate a lot of millionaires are interested enough in our area to put some serious money into real estate here.

Here are some additional things to think about.

Even though the experts were wrong about how quickly interest rates would go up, they will eventually rise beyond the historic lows we have been enjoying. A boost to our area is that property values have been increasing in most of the country, and that will allow many folks who were waiting to regain their equity, to sell up north and move to Florida.

Thousands of baby boomers retire every day, and many of them have spent their entire lives dreaming about owning a home in Florida so they can escape the cold that makes their bones ache!

It isn’t just homes that are selling. When you follow the money, you end up in the Tri-county region.

Last month, Publix paid more than $17 million dollars for the shopping center at University Parkway and Market Street in Lakewood Ranch. In the past year, it also acquired centers in Sarasota, Parrish, Englewood and Port Charlotte.

Publix is just one company that is expanding in the region. A lot of big names are investing heavily in SW Florida. The UTC Mall is the only mall that opened in all of the US last year. Many other big names have either just come to the area, or expanded in the last few years. I am working on an updated list of businesses that have opened commercial locations recently.

I feel good confirming that there is such an active high end residential market, on top of the massive investment regional and national companies are making in our area. This all bodes well for the future, and proves that a lot of smart money is flowing directly into the Sarasota County region.

Follow the money, it leads to Sarasota!

Sales data compiled from the My Florida Regional Multiple Listing System for 3-18-2014 to 3-18-2015.

Respectfully,

Jim Sweat, ABR, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO, ILHM

REALTOR

Author of REAL ESTATE CSI: CONTROVERSY, SECRETS, INSIGHT (coming 2015)

American Realty of Venice, Inc.

700 W. Venice Ave

Venice, FL 34285

941-484-8080

http://myfloridahomesmls.com/JimSweat Home search

www.linkedin.com/in/jimsweat LinkedIn

https://www.zillow.com/reviews/write/?s=X1-ZUyz3incawqo7d_93ahq Zillow

What is the Gulf Shore Lifestyle? Who is Jim Sweat? Why Should You Care?

Gulf Shore Lifestyle

Stunning sunsets ~ shimmering waters ~ and world-famous, sun-kissed sugar sand beaches.

Championship golf ~ fine dining ~ shopping ~ the fine arts ~ boating ~ fishing ~ hiking ~ biking ~

festivals year round ~ and nature trails galore.

Southwest Florida holds the key for your family to enjoy the rewarding moments of life.

Dreams do come true in the prestigious “Gulf Shore Lifestyle” ~ realize your dream now!

Jim Sweat understands the unique features that make your home a haven and offers you personal service from highly trained professionals, guiding you to a lifetime of pleasant memories.

Take the first step.

Call Jim Sweat for a personal consultation.

Author of REAL ESTATE CSI: CONTROVERSY, SECRETS & INSIGHT (coming soon)

I am publishing an insider’s look at the world of real estate, exposing dangers and dirty tricks that cost you money.

Previously a broker/owner in Michigan, now focused on buyers and sellers in Sarasota, Charlotte and Manatee Counties along Florida’s beautiful Gulf coast. Specialties and advanced training in Residential Listings and Sales; Luxury Homes; Distressed Properties (Foreclosures & Short Sales) and Buyer Representation.

Buying or Selling? Hire a professional to represent you! Buyers want the right home at the right price. Sellers want top market value, in the shortest amount of time, and with the least amount of hassle. Jim Sweat has over 20 years of results-proven experience to help you accomplish your goals and bring about a successful closing.

You have to be careful where you vacation – it can change your life! We were only here for a week the first time we visited the Venice-Sarasota area of Florida. A few months later, we sold our real estate company & our house in South Haven, Michigan and made this beautiful location our home!

To serve you better, Jim has earned numerous designations through his commitment and dedication.

Specialties:

  • ABR – Accredited Buyer Representative
  • CRS- Certified Residential Specialist
  • GRI- Graduate Realtor Institute
  • CDPE- Certified Distressed Property Expert
  • e-PRO- Certified Internet Professional
  • ILHM- Institute for Luxury Home Marketing Member
  • Educational Achievement Award Recipient
  • Residential Sales Council Member

Serving buyers, sellers and investors since 1995. I have worked for national franchises and local independent offices, including the brokerage we owned in South Haven, Michigan. We sold the company, and our home, in 2006 to move to Florida.

You want an agent who is focused on you, your sale and your goals.

My focus is on you.

There are thousands of Realtors in the local area all clamoring for your attention. But your move isn’t about me or them.

It’s about You.

Your Life, Your Goals.

I am here to help you evaluate your situation; determine the best course of action; and implement the strategies to achieve your goals of buying and selling in the shortest amount of time, with the least frustration, and the most net profit in your pocket.

I am industrious, innovative and hands-on; utilizing the best of today’s technology and good old-fashioned customer service.

Respectfully,

Jim Sweat, ABR, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO, ILHM

REALTOR

Author of REAL ESTATE CSI: CONTROVERSY, SECRETS, INSIGHT (coming soon)

American Realty of Venice, Inc.

700 W. Venice Ave

Venice, FL 34285

941-484-8080

http://myfloridahomesmls.com/JimSweat Home search

www.linkedin.com/in/jimsweat LinkedIn

https://www.zillow.com/reviews/write/?s=X1-ZUyz3incawqo7d_93ahq Zillow

Can you believe what I found when I searched “Jim Sweat” online?

Online search reveals “Segal’s Law” scenario.

Wow!

This is a problem for me, other Realtors, and our clients.

Segal’s law is an adage that states:

“A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.”

It refers to the pitfalls of having too much potentially conflicting information when making a decision.

The same thing happens on the internet. I just searched my own name, something I have to do from time to time because I am in a very public business.

The results showed that I have been in the real estate business for 4, 8, 9, 17 or 20 years. Quite a spread.

My production during that time is even more interesting: I have sold 1, 2, 43, or a vague “hundreds of homes” during my entire career.

When you go online to get answers, you want good information. Admittedly, many of the websites I found myself on I have never heard of before, but I did only look at the ones that had my “actual info” and not one of the dozens of other Jim Sweats out there.

Let’s be smart about this. To sort through all of the garbage online and get the real scoop, let’s just look at the best websites.

Is it safe to assume that the top two sites would have the best information? I am talking the two with the most monthly visitors; the largest dollar valuations; publicly traded companies that dominate all of the others for real estate search. This should give us the most accurate, up to date information available, right? They even state that they update their information regularly.

Zillow and Trulia (who are in the process of merging, subject to government approval) are the dominate players in real estate search, and they do not have my information correct. Not even close.

Yes, they have my 20 years right, but Zillow had me completing only two (2) sales during my entire career, and Trulia had me down for just one (1)!

I am in the process of getting those things updated, so the numbers should be different by the time you look for yourself. But, let’s get real! I have had a profile on each of these sites for over five years! How long does it take to “update regularly”?!?

So, is the problem that I have not paid them to make my information accurate? Possibly. I have called them and they tell me they will update my information and it will begin to fill in. But I didn’t pay them, and nothing changed. Trulia says I don’t have any reviews, but there are seven on the site. However, I don’t have any ratings because the reviews were added by folks before the ratings featured existed.

Millions of people go to these sites every month. I would like to ignore them, because the information is factually-challenged, but I can’t do that when most of my potential customers are on these sites.

What about all of the websites I have never even heard of?

See my blog: Real Estate Misinformation and Extortion for more details on the extortion that takes place. https://jimsweat.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/real-estate-misinformation-and-extortion/

Thousands of companies’ business models can be summed up simply “Get money from agents”.

I used to try to keep my info updated on real estate sites, but there is no way to keep up.

The public is going to get a LOT of bad information when they go online. There is no alternative.

Be careful, folks! There is a wealth of information, and misinformation, available online. Find someone trustworthy to help you make sense of it all. It could mean thousands of dollars in your pocket!

Respectfully,

Jim Sweat, ABR, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO, ILHM

REALTOR

Author of REAL ESTATE CSI: CONTROVERSY, SECRETS, INSIGHT (available 2015)

American Realty of Venice, Inc.

700 W. Venice Ave

Venice, FL 34285

941-484-8080

http://myfloridahomesmls.com/JimSweat Home search

www.linkedin.com/in/jimsweat LinkedIn

http://www.trulia.com/profile/jimsweat Trulia

https://www.zillow.com/reviews/write/?s=X1-ZUyz3incawqo7d_93ahq Zillow