By Robin Shapiro

People visit internet sites to check property values. Zillow, Trulia, etc. provide an “estimate” of market value. NYC real estate tax bills show an estimated value. I wrote about this in January. These estimates can be INACCURATE! Internet sites and NYC do not see the inside of homes! They take an average of approximately 15 sales in a small radius of the home during an 18-month period. This method is inaccurate because there are almost never 15 comparable sold properties near any home. Some homes are original, some are renovated only in the basement, and others might be up to date. A property with a shared driveway should not be compared with a large 60×100 property. A single-family home is not comparable to a multi-family. Bank appraisers tend to consider only the most recent sales.

Closed sales are recorded in the public record. They include only the lot size, square footage (excluding the basement), sale date, and purchase price. On the other hand, bank appraisers examine the home’s interior. These appraisers often call brokers for information on similar properties. The BEST WAY to determine the home value is to call a licensed appraiser OR a local real estate broker – not use internet “estimates.” Call me. Love, Robin.

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