Homebuyers and sellers alike can get frustrated by the wealth of misinformation about real estate online. Today, I’ll give you a few tips to help you find accurate, updated real estate info.

The Internet is a great place to start your home search and find some information on what your home is worth. However, I hear from my friends and clients every day about how frustrating it is to sort out all of the information that they find online.

Popular sites like Zilow, Realtor.com, and Trulia can be great places to start out, but studies show that in cities like San Diego, the prices on those sites can be off by as much as 10% to 20%. In our market, that can mean a difference of anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000 off the actual market value of your home.

So, what can you do?

First off, don’t believe everything you read. If you are a buyer searching for homes, you can find some basic information online, but make sure that you go on multiple sites. Local sites like mine pull information directly from the MLS so you know that all the information you are looking at is up to date and accurate.

Buyers also need to get a pre-approval so that you can save time on your home search and know how much your loan limit is. In our market, having a pre-approval gives you negotiating power that will help you edge out the other buyers. Being pre-approved tells sellers that you are ready to buy.

“DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ ON SITES LIKE ZILLOW OR TRULIA.”

You also need to stay calm. If you’re looking at homes on Zillow, don’t fall in love too fast. The prices may be wrong and, sometimes, the house may be listed as available even though it already sold months ago! An experienced agent like myself can guide you to the right homes.

If you are selling your home, you need accurate information to determine the value of your home. If your home is unique and you’ve made improvements, then you need a proper appraisal so that you get every dollar out of the sale of your home.

So, do your research. Check out multiple home value tools to get a range of what your home might be worth in the current market.

You should also check out the comps, or comparable properties. A real estate agent can do a comparable market analysis to see how your home stacks up against other similar, recently sold properties in your neighborhood. That is the most accurate way to determine what you can get for your home in this hot market.

Ultimately, you need to be careful when you are looking at homes online or if you are trying to find your home value with sites like Zillow or Trulia. If you have any other questions about finding accurate real estate information online, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!