Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Why doesn't Zillow work?

Here in New Mexico, we are what is considered a "limited non-disclosure state". This means that property sales information is only available through the MLS to licensed brokers. While in other states, where Zillow pulls the information from, the sales price information is available through the county public records - the tax assessors in New Mexico only have the information for the basis of assessing the property for tax values. Zillow uses county records to estimate their values for properties, because these values are easily available through on-line resources. In New Mexico, these records are not available to the public, so Zillow does "guesses" based on current listing information. The tax assessors in New Mexico only recently were made privy to this information, so tax values are still being calculated, so it is still difficult to pull what looks like the 'assessed' value and come up with a sales value for a property. On that same note, it is also unlawful for a Realtor to give an appraised value for a property, only a range of value for a property. This is due to laws on the books which allow only licensed appraisers to set a 'value' for a property. Realtors are allowed to give a range of market value for a property - and cannot get paid for this service.
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