Most people are looking for homes in Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Huntley & Crystal Lake, and they use Zillow to search online. Sound like you or someone you know? While it is a good search site, there are still many areas on this site that are misleading home buyers. Here 3 hidden secrets you need to know about Zillow homes. And if you’re not familiar with these secrets it could costs you thousands of dollars when you go to buy a new home.
My name is Pat Kalamatas, I am a local realtor serving Algonquin, Huntley, Lake in the Hills & Crystal Lake. I’m also the owner of 103 Realty. I have over 11 years experience helping buyers find homes. I can talk for hours about Zillow, but today I’m going to share 3 major secrets that you’re most likely not aware of.
I see this one ALL THE TIME. Miscalculating your monthly payment could cost you $1000’s of dollars in unplanned expenses! I think Zillow should remove this feature from their website altogether, as it frustrates many buyers that I’m working with. I see it firsthand.
When you’re on Zillow’s search site, they usually give you an estimated payment on the property’s web page. It looks like this:
Here are the many problems with this estimated payment:
A. It’s making the assumption you have 20% down payment, when most buyers today do not have that amount! And if you don’t have 20% down payment, this payment shown goes up. You’re most likely going to be adding PMI which drives up the cost.
B. They’re advertising an unrealistic interest rate. 98%+ of buyers won’t get the interest rate they’re using! Why Zillow does this I have no idea, but it’s not right. They’re advertising an interest rate that is at least .5% lower than what the average buyer would qualify for. This is another factor that’s going to jack up your payment… Be careful with what Zillow advertises, and talk to a lender first. More info about lenders that can help at our financing page.
C. The estimated mortgage is not including some key information: property taxes & home insurance! How Zillow cannot include this information is just beside me. These are 2 very big factors that will definitely effect your payment, especially when buying a home in towns like Algonquin, Lake in the Hills and Huntley.
In today’s market, if homes aren’t selling, then the sellers are taking their home off the market. Only to relist it the next day because they can trick Zillow into thinking it’s a new listing. And Zillow doesn’t have a way to track this accurately!
How does this effect you? If the market time shown is inaccurate, then how can you be sure the sellers’ asking price is a fair one? IE – if a new listing comes on at $375,000, there’s a good chance it could be worth just that, or maybe more. However, if a home has been on the market for 4-6 months and it’s listed at $375,000 the entire time, then we know it’s probably not worth it. Otherwise, it still wouldn’t be for sale.
If you don’t know the correct market time, it could be a costly mistake when you go to put a bid in.
Don’t get mislead on false market times, be careful & talk to a realtor.
Zillow has an automated home value algorithm, called a “zestimate”. They use it to estimate home values online. When in reality, these values shown are almost always wrong. Zillow was recently sued because of this!
There is nothing wrong with using Zillow to look homes online. But why not give yourself an extra advantage, and work with a realtor like me that knows the market, and knows how Zillow operates.
There is no cost for you to work with me, and not only that, you could get a FREE cash back rebate at the closing! Think about it – you could get free money and my market expertise, that is a ton of value.
Let’s work together, we’ll navigate websites like Zillow and find your dream home. And save you thousands of dollars. OR, if you know someone that’s in the market for a new home, you can pass this along.