Thursday, June 26, 2008

Be Careful of Estimates

The Internet brings lots of helpful information at our fingertips. Unfortunately, not all of it is accurate. And it is difficult to know what is reliable information and what isn't.

Case in point, is the fair market value of real estate. A lot of what Realtors do is recommend prices for property, both to buyers and sellers. These profession opinions are based on going in and out of a lot of property and knowing what factors such as location, features and condition will play on market value.

You can also find suggested prices for property on the Internet, sometimes referred to as a zestiment. Watch out for these estimates, whether you are buying or selling real estate. These prices are determined strictly by manipulating data. No one visits the property or drives by.

Last year, I sold a home in Avon, NY for $129,900. This was after it was on the market for many months, with a lot of advertising, six open houses and probably 30 showings. While it was a very nice house with a great open floor plan, the house needed some updating and sprucing up. With the amount of exposure and the number of people that looked at it, there is no doubt in my mind that the market value for this home is $129,900.

Want to know what the zestimate is? $147,500!!! Don't believe me? Follow this link: See home details page The site even acknowledges that the house recently sold for $129,900 but they still estimate its value at $147,500.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Itchy Belly

The folks at Eagle Vale Golf Course in Fairport were nice enough to allow me to wander the course to attempt to photograph blue herons. The herons were not very cooperative but this teen-aged goose didn't seem to notice me as he scratched his belly.

It's summer in Rochester and the weather is simply glorious! I hope you are getting out to enjoy it!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Latest in Home Design

Believe it or not, I spent a few free hours this afternoon viewing houses for fun. It was Realtor Day at Homearama 2008 and so I went to preview 7 beautiful homes that feature the latest in design and features. It was great fun. Here's a slide show of the some of the houses I got to see today.

Maybe because it is tougher and tougher to pay for a tank of gas, but these luxury homes sure seem to offer nice incentives to stay home. Several of the homes featured home theaters and at least two of the model homes offered screened in porches with gas fireplaces. All of them were professionally decorated and pleasant to look at.

Homearama 2008 continues until June 29 and so if you are thinking of building a home or even just decorating a home, I'd suggest you attend. Tickets are $9.00 ($8.00 in advance) and the hours are 2 to 8 during the week, Saturdays 10 till 8 and Sundays noon till 6. It's located at Magnolia Manor in Perinton.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Day at the Zoo

I learned something pretty cool about the Seneca Park Zoo recently. If you take someone to the zoo that is in a wheel chair, the person pushing the chair gets in free. That is so cool!
And so if you know someone in a wheelchair, take them to the zoo today! The weather is just about perfect. For more information about our zoo, go to:

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Open Sunday, 1 to 3, Henrietta NY

I hope you will stop by to see me Sunday, June 15, between 1 and 3 for an open house at 3 Langston Point, in Pittsford (take Stone Rd to Tumbleweed, then left on Cobblefield to Langston Pt.) It's a 1996 built colonial with 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and a list price of $249,000. The yard is simply awesome! For inside photos and details, go to . Some other open houses in are are are included in this link: Open House Report

Have a great Father's Day! If you're not able to spend it with your Dad, borrow someone elses father and let them know they are appreciated!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Assessed Too High!

A couple of weeks ago I got a call from the town of Henrietta assessor's office. They asked me about a former listing that I had that was assessed at $145,200 but sold after 18 months on the market for $115,000.

"The house didn't appear to be distressed. In fact, looking at the old listing it looked quite nice. Were we that wrong," the assessor asked?

My professional opinion is that the house should have sold for $129,000 but the sellers were convinced that the house was worth more based on the assessment. By the time the asking price was reduced to $129,000 the house had been on the market so long that the public was convinced that there was something wrong with it. After all, nothing depreciates a house faster than a for sale sign!

The assessor was quite distraught! The owners had never called to question the assessment. When I shared with her the flaws of the property, she agreed that it should have been assessed for less.

This is a sad story. The sellers lost a lot of money on this property. I spent hundreds of dollars advertising the property, conducted 7 open houses and more than 30 showings. The sellers was frustrated and angry at me for not selling it and listed it with another agent. It still took several months and numerous price drops to get the job done. I guess the only winner is the new buyer that got a heck of a deal on an 1800 sq foot ranch.

The moral of the story is it is okay to protest your assessment. And if you are going to put your house on the market, price it right in the very beginning.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Million Dollar Homes

Once upon a time, it was extremely rare for a house to go on the market with an asking price of a million dollars or more. Today, that's not real unusual, as noted in the real estate section of today Democrat and Chronicle. I've put together a list of Rochester, NY area million dollar listings. Many of these gems are waterfront property but the rest are just simply pure luxury!

View all properties that match your search criteria here

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Hot Properties

Perhaps the fasting moving properties these days are single family homes for less than $100,000. It seems like most times when I call to get an appointment for one of my buyers, I'm told there is already an offer in. Dang it!

Here is a list of approximately 60 open houses this weekend of single family homes in Monroe County listed for $100,000 or less. Enjoy the great weather and call me if you need real estate assistance. Customer Full Report Open House Report
By the way, the photo was taken on University Ave in the City of Rochester. It's a lovely place for a walk.