. ASK RAY, from Page 31
lennial generation (those younger than 40) trust referrals and recommendations by strangers on websites such as Yelp more than they trust referrals from family or friends. I don’t know about you, but my parents taught me to never take candy from strangers.
While it’s perfectly reasonable to research products and read reviews of restaurants and businesses, I would never trust an anonymous review from a perfect stranger above the advice of family and friends. A glowing restaurant review could have been placed there by the owner of the restaurant. Likewise, a negative review might have been submitted by a disgruntled restaurant employee.
There is no way to verify much of the information on the Internet. Caveat emptor, or “Let the buyer beware.”
The Internet is a great tool. You can use the Internet to find the lowest price for a 46-inch Panasonic television — because they are all identical.
Homes are different: No two homes are alike, ever. At best, third-party real estate websites provide a general indication of real estate values, but they should not be considered a reliable method of determining the precise value of real estate in most instances. The problem arises when a buyer trusts a computer-generated estimate of value over other evidence of value.
Have you looked up the value of your home on a third-party real estate web-site? How accurate was the estimated value? If you bought or sold a house recently, how did the estimated value compare to the actual sale price?
Most people realize that estimated home values are not always in-synch with market values. I don’t believe a low estimated value will be a serious problem at the time you sell.
I advise my clients, the value of a free estimated home value is worth what it cost you: zero. For the most accurate property valuation, contact a Realtor. Determining value is what we do for a living.
RAY AKERS has been a licensed Realtor for more than 25 years and is a lifelong Seattle resident. Send your questions to email@example.com call (206) 722-4444.