Patricia S Harris
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Yesterday I was visited by men from "google". In parenthesis because as the conversation continued, it was revealed they are contractors; not employees of Google. They were promoting Google Local and offering that my office be photographed a la Google streets for the interior of my office. They say it costs me $449 for the google photographer to do the google virtual tour of my office. So my question is, is this legit? Do I need to pay the fee, or is Google offering this as a free service to ensure as many businesses have the VT on google?
I just got a glimpse of their next ad: Hi, we're Zillow. When you want the wrong value of your home, don't forget to visit Zillow.com. We're here to make your life hell, when you try to sell your home, for what we tell you its worth. At Zillow, the joke is on you!
Miriam, according to EVERY Appraiser I've spoken to, and what I learned to 3 weeks of Appraising school, is that to simply look at price/sq ft to determine the price of another property is improper, inaccurate and a flawed method. Before looking at square footage of a property, they look at utility (# of BED and less at # of bath's), other features of the home (garage vs. carport, pool), quality and level of upgrades in the home (flooring, kitchen, bath's, etc...) once all that has been adjust for, an adjustment is then made for difference in square footage. BUT its not simply taking the price/sq ft of a recent sale and multiplying it by the square footage of the subject property. Appraiser's, at least in this market, in fact its all Federal guidelines for Appraiser's, use the Sales Comparison Approach. If you look at any Appraisal, price per sq ft ONLY appears on the report for Cost Approach, and at the bottom of each comp, but here it appears after all the adjustments have been made. So until you make the adjustments to the property you're trying to determine the value, you can't use. Just telling you what I was taught, what I read in the text books, and what I've been told.
And here is another point I've been trying to get across. The internet, and its most popular search Engine, google, makes multiple sites with the same data, useless. When you listed a property, before all these new sites, and it goes on to your MLS, it then feeds to Realtor.com and your IDX site and/or your Brokers IDX site and all the other IDX sites in your MLS. At this point anyone doing a search for a listing in your market will find it; depending on your website, and your SEO and other factors, your listing will be found on the first page of google and any other search engine. With the addition of Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com, etc.... the chances of your listing being found has NOT increased; instead, the chances of the buyer finding your listing on YOUR site, has DECREASED. What I want to say next will surely get me in trouble. But just let me end it this way, take a look at these sites and see who is advertising on them; look at their production.
Of course not but the private equity funded disrupters are so much faster than our Inman Men at HAR. They will have committee meetings fir years while our intellectual property data is sold for a pittance.
Most if not all of my sphere /referral/repeat clients contact me first because they want the emails from the MLS directly which in their opinion is "from the horse's mouth" and the most credible data source.