Even Land Park Agents Need Access to the Interiors

Sacramento home buyerWhy can’t you send me an electronic estimate of the value of my home in Land Park, asked a seller via email. He seemed rather irritated that I would a) correspond with him and expect a discussion when he preferred anonymous interaction, and b) why I wasn’t doing what he wanted me to do. After all, I’m a Land Park agent who lives and works in Land Park, and I have a ton of experience selling hundreds of homes all over Sacramento. Why, Zillow promised I would send him an estimate, and that’s what he expected. Why was I asking if I could see his home in Land Park? That just didn’t sound right.

Why wasn’t I a robot? Isn’t that what the internet is for? You ask a question and get free information? What the hey . . .

It took me a while to explain that Zillow is a private website with which I have little interaction except that it maintains my profile and manages reviews for me, and I pay to have my photo plastered around Land Park. On top of which, the homes in Land Park are special and unique. They are different from each other. They are not tract homes like you’d find in Natomas or Elk Grove. An interior inspection could make the price swing by $50,000 to $100,000 to $150,000 or more. It’s only one of the reasons why Zillow is so completely inaccurate when it comes to pricing of homes in Land Park.

Many online property value websites use a computer algorithm and do not take into consideration upgrades, orientation on the lot, nuisances next door that could affect value nor the emotional pull of architectural details. That’s why a Land Park agent needs to see the interior of the home before rendering an opinion of value.

I mean, I could send a CMA, which is a comparative market analysis, but it involve throwing numbers into the air. It wouldn’t carry any weight. It would have no meaning. It would not be an appraisal or even a very good estimate of market value. It’s not like I belong to a secret cult that allows me access to information on behalf of the seller. I need to look at the home with my own two eyeballs, the old fashioned way.

Do I need to personally inspect every home in Sacramento to determine value? Surprisingly, no. Sometimes I am right on the money just knowing the neighborhood and amenities, but homes in Land Park, regardless of my familiarity, need the personal touch. Just like homes in East Sacramento and Curtis Park and Midtown. You can’t look at numbers and determine value without interior access. No professional REALTOR would attempt it.

After I explained all of this and was successful at getting him to understand, turns out the seller isn’t yet ready to sell. Not until the fall, after his tenants move. So a value submitted today would change by this September anyway. And the September market in Sacramento is different from the spring market. We’ll meet up after the summer is over.

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