House hunting apps’ estimates inaccurate for parts of KC market - KCTV5

House hunting apps’ estimates inaccurate for parts of KC market

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Apps and sites that people use when looking to buy a house may present certain inaccuracies for the KC market. (AP) Apps and sites that people use when looking to buy a house may present certain inaccuracies for the KC market. (AP)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The hot housing market in Kansas City right now is driving people to home-buying apps and websites. However, the numbers can be far from accurate.

The apps and sites show you homes for sale, how much they are going for, and how much they are worth. Zillow, Realtor.com, and Trulia are some of the more popular apps people are turning to.

However, buyers should be careful because they cannot be totally trusted for the KC market right now.

Take the Zillow app, for example. Say you’re looking to buy a particular home in the Westside neighborhood near downtown. It just sold for more than $330,000. However, according to its Zestimate in the app, it’s only worth $180,000!

So, KCTV5 News went to a real estate agent to find out what is causing the $150,000 gap.

Curtis Jay with Boveri Realty said you should know that KC’s urban core will likely have homes priced higher than their online estimate for two reasons.

Firstly, the apps do not accurately consider the popularity and demand for homes in the downtown area, Midtown neighborhoods, Brookside, or Prairie Village.

Secondly, homes in each of those areas can differ greatly. Some have unique finishes and character, others have modern updates, some are outdated, and they are rarely the same size.

The issue is that the sites and apps don’t know all that.

Take a particular home in Prairie Village that Jay is renovating, for example. Its Zestimate is $170,000. It’s appraisal is $415,000. That is a whopping $245,000 difference.

“They have no clue the amount of stuff that we’ve done to this, and they also have no clue of the square footage of the basement -- its useable space,” Jay explained.

Jay said that is why it’s important to not let an app’s estimate scare you away from seeing a home or making a solid offer. He said, in today’s market, most offers lower than asking price won’t make the cut.

Jay did mention there are some areas of town where online estimates are more accurate, like suburban areas such as Overland Park. There, homes in each neighborhood look alike and have similar square footage.

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