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How Much Time Do People Spend Looking At Homes Online?

Via The Az. Republic: It’s official. People love to search for houses and check out home values on their phones. New research from Google unveiled at a major real estate conference this week proves it. OK, that’s no big surprise. But the time we spend on our phones looking at houses is a bit amazing: An average of 55 minutes per visit to real estate apps, according to Google. Read more.

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Mobile Real Estate Searches Exploding

View the new Kentucky Select Properties mobile site @ http://m.kyselectproperties.com

House hunters are increasingly going mobile with their real estate searches, according to a new survey by The Search Agency, a global online marketing firm. The report shows that growth in real estate searches on tablets and smartphones has tripled in the past year, while desktop searches have mostly stayed flat. The Search Agency analyzed data from its real estate clients in order to identify online search trends from July to August as compared to the same time period last year.  Read more.

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Helpful Apps During The Moving Process

By Guest Blogger Doug Chapman at www.homedaddys.com. The thought of moving makes most all of us cringe thinking about how much time and effort is going to be put into the process. It is a daunting task, even an inconvenient task, but we have all done it in our lives probably more than once. 

 It doesn’t matter if you are moving into a new house or a new apartment, whether you are single or married with kids, there are going to be hassles involved throughout the duration of the move. However, the iPhone provides movers with a great selection of apps that will help streamline the move so that you are able to accomplish everything you need to during the course of the entire course of moving. 

Here are five of the best apps that will help you from the time you open your garage doors, pack up your storage unit, and move into the house.  Every step of your move:

 Moving List (by New Gravity Ventures)

This app on the iPhone is a no brainer to get and it only costs $2.99. It provides you with a checklist for ideas and suggestions for tasks that are needed when you are ready to move. It covers a variety of things that you must have when you get ready to move, from checklists of hiring a moving company to ways of saving money during the move. It also gives you the best ways to prepare the moving boxes with packing tape and other supplies, and it makes sure to give you a time line of when to get everything ready as well as when to call and get your utilities done.

 Moving To Do List (by Red Box Productions)

If you want a cheaper app (and I mean monetary, not in actual context), this is also a great. It is $1.99 and allows you to create your own checklist for a nearly anything, from selecting what type of move it is, to adding photos and sounds, to choosing from...

10 Things Real Estate Listing Sites Won't Say

Once upon a time, house hunting meant perusing local newspapers and being led through properties by a real-estate agent. Nowadays, most home buyers head straight to their computers: A record 90% searched online this year, up from 65% a decade ago, according to the National Association of Realtors. Trouble is, homes listed for sale online aren’t always actually available. More than a third of home listings that are labeled as “active” on third-party listing sites Trulia and Zillow are no longer for sale, according to a 2012 study by consulting firm WAV Group that was sponsored by online brokerage Redfin (which also lists properties for sale). For their part, Trulia and Zillow say such outdated posts can be the result of real-estate agents inputting information incorrectly or forgetting to make updates. Read more.

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A Few Thoughts on Zestimates

I have had several inquiries recently about incorrect real estate information on the site Zillow.com, particularly as it relates to their “Zestimate” valuation tool. As the site states, “A Zestimate home valuation is Zillow's estimated market value. It is not an appraisal. Use it as a starting point to determine a home's value.”

 As I have noted in my replies, neither our office nor our agents have the ability to remedy incorrect information on the Zillow site.

 Zillow.com gets the majority of its information from publically available data sources such as tax records, PVA info and recent sales information. Unfortunately, if the data from any of these sources is wrong it impacts (often significantly) the value of a home’s Zestimate. Homeowners can join Zillow and manually enter information about their homes. They then must choose to make this information “public” so the site can include the homeowner’s data in their valuation model.

 I’ll give you an example of how wildly inaccurate a Zestimate can be: Say someone purchased a house in 2005 for $200,000 and it was 2,000 square feet ($100 per square foot). In 2007, the homeowner added a 600 sq foot family room/kitchen addition (investing, say, $120,000). Unless this homeowner joins Zillow and manually enters the information about adding the square footage and other renovations, Zillow and its Zestimate will attach a value to the house based on the data is has, i.e. that the homeowner paid $200,000 for it in 2005 and assuming it is still only 2,000 sq ft.

 I have yet to see a Zestimate that, in my opinion, “over values” a house. In the handful of examples I have checked on, Zestimates have undervalued houses by anywhere from $50,000 to more than $200,000 depending on the amount of renovations, etc.

 When my clients ask me about Zillow and why their house has such a low Zestimate, I try to put it...

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