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Avoiding the “Zillow” Home Buying & Selling Trap! (St. George Real Estate Morning Drive Radio Show)

Below is the actual St. George Real Estate Morning Drive show, hosted by St. George Real Estate Agent Jeremy Larkin, word for word! Enjoy and please share if you find it valuable! 

Jeremy Larkin and The Larkin Group @ Keller Williams Realty can be reached by calling 435-767-9821, or emailing sales@gostgeorge.com.

Andy: Good morning. It is 8:36 on News Radio 94.9/890 KDXU. Here is your St. George Real Estate guru. It is Jeremy Larkin.
Jeremy: Good morning. Hey, I was hoping you were actually going to run with the hey, it is Southern Utah’s most accurate real estate forecast. That is what you said about Craig. Right?
Andy: That is right.
Jeremy: I do not know about that. That is what we want. We want that same kind of credibility. Good morning, everybody. Host of the St. George Real Estate Morning Drive. Happy to be here. Happy to be in studio and share with you honestly the good news of real estate. And today, we are going to help you really stay out of trouble online. On the old internet. Right. We are going to help you stay out of trouble with the information. There is so much information. There is so much information. You realize that Google is a verb now. Right? It is just a verb and it is just google it. Just google it.
Jesse: That is true.
Jeremy: I have got Jesse Poll here.
Jesse: Good morning, everybody.
Jeremy: Hey. My cohost, business partner, friend, brother. Gosh. Super funny guy. There you go. Jesse, listen. He says he is without his coffee. What is he going to do without his coffee this morning?
Jesse: I either have a water bottle or a coffee cup in my hand all the time.
Jeremy: Yeah, non-stop. Yeah. It is your stage presence. You need to have something. And you really do.
Jesse: It is my whoopie.
Jeremy: And the funny thing is it is, and you leave the water bottle and coffee mug all over the office, too. It is funny. And then he comes traipsing back in. Hey, happy that you are with us this morning. It is the 25th of April 2019. And part of the reason we time-stamped that is we are broadcasting the show right now on Facebook Live, which is easy enough, but we are also broadcasting on YouTube Live, and then we will upload this to our podcast. So we want to make sure that people know what we are talking about and when we are talking about it because the real estate market is like constantly in flux. Jesse, do you think there is another business that, in which the whole entire business environment is being reinvented as often as real estate? Do you know what I mean? Do dentists —
Jesse: I am sure there is, but it is not as public as real estate.
Jeremy: Yeah, would dentists go, oh man, the dental market is down. With everything that is going on in Washington, DC with the new presidential thing, people stop getting their teeth cleaned. Right?
Jesse: That is a good point.
Jeremy: That does not happen.
Jesse: And that is interesting, too, because your teeth are just as personal as your home.
Jeremy: Thank you. Oh, I thought you were complimenting my teeth.
Jesse: You do have pretty teeth, man.
Jeremy: Thank you, man. Top of the morning, Jessica. Good morning. Andy, is that a fair point? As a guy who, I am going to call you a lay person. You are not in the real estate business with us.
Andy: Right. I think that is a fantastic illustration of what it is like —
Jesse: It really is.
Andy: — because it does not affect everyday life for most people like it does the real estate market.
Jeremy: Yeah, correct. It is wild because the, same with radio. Here is maybe a valid point. I understand that people might increase or decrease their radio spend, like advertisers who are spending money on the radio –
Andy: That is true.
Jeremy: — based on economic conditions. But people do not go yeah, man, with everything that is going on in Congress, I decided I will not listen to the radio anymore. Or man, the stock market is up. I just do not think I am going to listen to the radio anymore. Stock market. That is just static. Most of our habits, but real estate, it is crazy. It is completely, every six months we have to reinvent.
Jesse: Actually, there is one other market that probably going through the same thing and that is the stock market.
Jeremy: Correct.
Jesse: But if you back up and look at that from a macro point of view, it is because that affects the whole world.
Jeremy: Yeah, it sure does.
Jesse: A mortgage in St. George, Utah could affect a bond sold in Germany.
Jeremy: Yeah, it actually could.
Jesse: So that, I think –
Jeremy: You are stretching it, but I will give it to you.
Jesse: Well, kind of because they are sold, I am going deep there.
Jeremy: Yeah, you got real deep.
Jesse: But you can see why –
Jeremy: I can tease this guy.
Jesse: But you can see why it is that way because getting my teeth cleaned does not affect somebody across the world.
Jeremy: It does not.
Jesse: And it never will
Jeremy: And the real estate market, it is front and center. People are thinking about it all the time.
Jesse: Right.
Jeremy: People have to live in a home. They have got to buy one. They have got to own one, sell one, rent one. They have to do something. Everybody needs a place to live, and that is just the way it is. As we move in, this has been a really interesting time. I got a text message on my way in here from a fellow, who is actually a real estate broker out of California. He said, hey do you think anybody is interested in my crazy home in Bloomington? Well, his crazy home in Bloomington is a vacation rental that is completely illegal.
Jesse: The 10,000-square-foot one?
Jeremy: Yeah. Let’s not give too much information out now. No, there are lots of 10,000-square-foot homes.
Jesse: There is.
Jeremy: Anyway, and I have not spoken with him because I went on the air. But this is the kind of text we get. Do you think anyone in your buyer pool is interested in my crazy home in Bloomington? Well, here is why he would be interested in selling it. Because the city is most likely barking at his door.
Jesse: Right.
Jeremy: Knocking at his door. So when the city forgets about it, and they do not talk about it, then he puts tenants in his home. It is a vacation rental, and it works really great. But these are the strange issues. So the City of St. George right now, Washington County, there is this big push for regulating vacation rentals. Two things we have talked about on the program. There is a big push to build vacation rentals in the county, but there is also a big push from I guess we would call it local government to make sure that we are restricting, we are controlling, or maybe even regulating. Right? We talk about a pressure reducer, a pressure regulator valve in plumbing.
Jesse: I think that is pretty accurate.
Jeremy: Yeah, they are trying to regulate it so we do not end up with what is happening, which is way too many vacation rentals in Washington County. Way too many. I just sold the Hammond’s place. Coral Springs. I want to tell you guys a quick story. We sold a vacation rental over in the Coral, I want to say Coral Ridge, but it is Coral Springs. It is over there next to the liquor store in Hurricane. I know it is Hurricane. It is a funny place to thing that that is Hurricane because, to me, that just does not seem, it seems like no man’s land where that liquor store is at Exit 16. It does not even feel like any city at all.
Jesse: I always get a kick out of wherever Utah puts their liquor stores. Because if you go in any other state, they are right downtown where everybody can get to them.
Jeremy: Yeah, they hide them.
Jesse: In Utah, we hide them.
Jeremy: They hid that thing. They put that thing out there like they are going to have to drive. So, we sold their vacation rental, and these are local folks, and a lot of our listeners will say hey, do you think we should invest in a vacation rental. This is a question we get all the time. Well, they just sold it and it was amazing because they are super happy, and we sent them out of there quick.
Jesse: I bet they were happy. They were talking about selling that a couple of years ago, and thankfully, they did not at that time.
Jeremy: Yeah, it would have sold for $240,000.
Jesse: Right.
Jeremy: We sold it for almost $300,000 and sold it in a couple of weeks. Now, the issue is for them, they were competing with, so this is where we talk about these local trends, and we are going to talk about avoiding the Zillow trap momentarily. They found that they were now competing, that Cole West, which is a big developer here in town. Well, statewide probably. I do not know how big they are. But Cole West was developing their own brand new vacation rentals on the other side of the highway there in Coral Canyon, and then they could not get their place rented out because Cole West, everybody would go to the Cole West units, and then they would go to the Cole West managed units next, and then lastly, they would go to their unit. These people said this just does not even make sense. Now, it made sense five years ago, and it might have made sense 12 months ago. And the crazy thing about real estate is it might make sense, it changes, but just understand that we are in a market that is constantly changing and here is the big change. The big change that has been happening, but it seems acute right now, is the information online. How much information, Jesse?
Jesse: Anything you want to know. If you know how to find it, you can find out. Almost anything.
Jeremy: Let’s talk about real estate. What is the challenge for the listeners?
Jesse: Well, the challenge with the listeners is there, well there is too much information. And I will give you a good point of that. If somebody does not really know how real estate works or how evaluation works, they could go on Zillow, for instance, and look at the Zestimate and, especially in the state of Utah, that may or may not be accurate by quite a bit. Now, I cannot find the data on that, but Utah is a non-disclosure state.
Jeremy: I can tell you, well, guess what I can find for you. I can give you Zillow’s data. I can get on Zillow’s data this morning.
Jesse: On Utah?
Jeremy: I can tell you exactly what. Do you think listeners would want to know?
Jesse: I want to know. I want to know.
Jeremy: Do you think that our listeners would want to know, by the way, do you know what a Zestimate is? I am sure you do. Andy?
Andy: I do.
Jeremy: How would you describe a Zestimate in English layman’s term?
Andy: Well, Zillow’s estimate of what your house is worth.
Jeremy: Okay. Perfect, man. That is brilliant. And it is fun to have you in studio because you are consumer and you are a homeowner.
Andy: Yes, yes.
Jeremy: So this is really interesting. If you head on over to Zillow dot com and plug in your address –
Jesse: There it is.
Jeremy: — they are going to estimate a value for you. If you visit Zillow dot com slash Zestimate, they will, it is interesting because Zillow has so much information that it is almost impossible to plow through the website in a logical format.
Andy: That is true.
Jeremy: It is like going to a car lot that is all of the car lots in St. George on one lot. This is wild. Well, here is the issue, and we want to help people avoid the Zillow trap. And the Zillow trap is that you go to any online, we are just going to beat up on Zillow because they are easy to beat up on. But you go to any online resource thinking that the resource is the solution because it was online. Kind of like trying to solve all of our relational problems by reading blog posts on the internet. I have definitely read some. Right? Zillow dot com slash Zestimate, they estimate in every state and every city and for every address in the United States, the value of your home.
Andy: Wow.
Jeremy: So what happens is people go in there and they obtain that information, and using that information, they make buying and selling decisions. Okay. They might make the decision to sell a home or to not sell a home.
Jesse: Yep.
Jeremy: Or to buy a home or not buy a home. Or maybe they use the information to decide that they think their realtor sucks. And this is real right? Well, Zillow said it was 440, Jesse.
Jesse: It happens every day.
Jeremy: Zillow said it was 440. Why did you say it is only 420? Which we are not going to answer that question because that is a whole separate. But does that happen to you?
Jesse: Yeah.
Jeremy: Yeah. I looked at Zillow or I spoke to seven other agents. Zillow has something called, and this is so fun, Zestimate Accuracy Table. I am going to read to you. The Zestimate accuracy depends on the location availability of data in an area. Some counties have deeply detailed information on homes such as number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage and others do not. The more data available, the more accurate the Zestimate value. Let me ask you a question. Do you guys think that the Zestimate information would be more accurate based on Washington County being a rural, 160,000-person county, do you think it would be more or less accurate than say Los Angeles, California?
Jesse: Less.
Jeremy: Right.
Andy: I cannot even imagine it being accurate.
Jeremy: Right.
Andy: When you said they Zestimate every house in America, how could they possibly be accurate?
Jeremy: Yeah. So here is what it literally does. It cannot be. So what happens is they take all this information from tax records and then whatever real estate agents supply to them, and it essentially, it averages it out. This is a funny analogy, but it is like saying well, Andy is 6 foot three or four. You are pretty tall, man.
Andy: Five.
Jeremy: Six foot five. Geeze, man. And Jesse is five foot what?
Jesse: Ten. I do not know.
Jeremy: Well, if you divide those two, you will come up with an average and that is the average height in St. George.
Andy: Six one and a half. That is the average.
Jeremy: So that would be a pretty silly indicator of the average height. Right?
Andy: Right.
Jeremy: That we took two people and we said that this is now the average height of everyone in Washington County. We would want a better data gathering. So here is what happens. I am going to read the rest. Zillow’s accuracy has a median error or 5%. Okay. Meaning, hey, it is plus or minus 5%. Okay, that means half of the home values in the area are closer, let me move on here. It gets confusing for people only because if you are not reading it. But they are plus or minus 5% accurate is what they say. Here is what they did. They produced their accuracy table and they said this is how accurate on a scale of 1 to 5 we are in every state in the United States. Okay? Zillow Zestimate Accuracy Table. One star means we were not very accurate at all. Five stars means we were crushing it.
Jesse: So I am going to go ahead and put that in the comments on Facebook Live. The link.
Jeremy: I even have an image. You can put it in there.
Jesse: Some people can –
Jeremy: Check this out. Here we go. Let me tell you where they are doing a nice job. In Maryland, they are at 4 stars. This is their self-rating. They are at 4 stars. In Arizona, they are 4 stars. Doing pretty well down there. They are running 4 stars in Nevada. Not surprising. And in Virginia. Well, this is interesting. Zillow’s self-accuracy rating for the state of Utah was 1 of 5 stars.
Andy: Ouch. That is not good. Would you watch a movie if it was rated 1 out of 5?
Jeremy: No.
Andy: I would not either.
Jeremy: Come on. Would you buy something on Amazon? Geez, if it is not 4.5, you do not buy it.
Andy: Right.
Jeremy: By the way, you should look at our reviews on Zillow. Speaking of Zillow. It is so funny, so it says this rating is tied to the median error and here is the rating as follows. Excuse me, not five stars. I misspoke. It is four stars. I do not know why I thought it was five.
Jesse: You said four.
Jeremy: Okay. Four stars. Best Zestimate. Three stars, a good Zestimate. Two stars, a fair Zestimate. One star, tax assessor’s value or unable to compute Zestimate accuracy. Come on.
Jesse: That does make sense though because they cannot, they do not get the data for Utah unless somebody gives it to them.
Jeremy: And I think the cool thing is it is an accurate, at least they are sharing it. People would not even know how to find that. By the way, 99% of the agents in the county have never seen it. We have never seen it until recently. That accuracy table, that is new to me. Right? Dave, I will take Jeremy’s estimate a million times over. You are awesome. Value from an actual local realtor. They know this town. Thank you, sir. And Peyton, good morning. Peyton is one of our friends and competitors. That is what I like about him. We call it co-opetition. He has seen them 20% off.
Jesse: It is true.
Jeremy: And by the way, we did not mean 20% off as in like get 20% off sale. He means 20% inaccurate.
Andy: You think about a $300,000 house, that is missing the mark by 60 grand.
Jeremy: Yeah, that is a good way to put it into perspective.
Andy: Holy cow.
Jeremy: And a $300,000 is the average value really in Washington County.
Andy: That is a swing and a miss.
Jesse: 350 is the average value in Washington County.
Jeremy: And well by the way, that is again why averages suck. Because it is really not —
Jesse: Right.
Jeremy: Does that make sense? You have to look at what are people really buying. 300. Right?
Jesse: Yep.
Jeremy: Isn’t that true? So isn’t it funny?
Jesse: Well, between three and four is a really pretty good solid market.
Jeremy: Yeah, because it comes up at 350. And what can people really afford? 250.
Jesse: 250. Yeah. That is even lower.
Jeremy: Not that what you are saying is not correct. I am simply saying that is why these statistics –
Jesse: I know. It is okay. You always have to (indiscernible)
Jeremy: The statistics like, so the average, again, we averaged it up. So what does this tell us? Here is the challenge with that. Now we have decided that because the average sales price is 350, that is about what people can afford. That is what we think.
Jesse: Right. And there are so many people that cannot.
Jeremy: 90%. Right?
Andy: Yeah.
Jeremy: 90% of consumers are not going to be able to buy in Washington County a $350,000 —
Jesse: No.
Jeremy: I think that is real. Now, here is the crazy part about it. You could argue and say well, how is that possible because all of the houses are selling for that much. Well, you are not taking into account how many of the people do not live here that are buying the houses.
Jesse: Yeah, we are not necessarily a normal market. Most of our buyers are either coming in from California or Salt Lake or somebody wanting to retire here or buy a second home because we are really a resort market.
Jeremy: Yeah, we are. And we get a little passionate. So maybe 90% is probably extreme. So a lot of folks cannot afford –
Jesse: There is a lot.
Jeremy: And certainly on a single household income that is the case.
Jesse: Yeah.
Jeremy: So Zillow’s accuracy table that they produced, so they are saying well, we are one of four stars in Utah. We are not doing great. Well, they are not doing well at all. Let me tell you where else they stink. This one shocks me. Texas.
Jesse: Texas. Well, no it does not. It is also a non-disclosure state.
Jeremy: Oh that is why. Jesse, help our listeners understand what that means.
Jesse: In the state of Utah, a seller that sells their home does not have to tell the state of Utah or anybody else what they sold for. Now that data is available through the MLS or the Multiple Listing Service, but when we fill out the form that says we are a new resident, we do not have to tell the state what we paid for that home. So therefore,
Jeremy: Non-disclosure.
Jesse: It is not public record.
Jeremy: So when you look at the public record it says the home was sold for $10 or other good and valuable consideration.
Jesse: Right.
Jeremy: It is a static. That is all they put on the bead.
Jesse: So that is kind of confusing because in the Multiple Listing Service, if it was sold there, that data is there. But it is not shared with the state, or the tax assessors.
Jeremy: Yeah.
Jesse: Is that pretty accurate?
Andy: So what you are really saying is Zestimate is just relying on what is given to them instead of going out and getting it? They are not working very hard to chase it down.
Jeremy: They are not.
Jesse: They cannot work very hard.
Jeremy: It is just a computerized model. It is a computerized model. Let’s break this into real terms then. All right. So if you are considering buying or selling a home right now, and if you own a home and you have owned it more than a year, let’s say you have owned it two years, and you thought I do not know if I want to live here. I have an investment property. I do not know if I want to sit on it. This would be that time. If you are thinking of selling because you want to sell because you have a reason to sell, then that is what you do. How often do we get the question is this a good time to sell? It is like well, what do you want to do? Well, we want to move. It is a great time. That is a personal decision. But if you are sitting on a property where it is like an investment property and you have been hanging around and you are wondering I wonder if I should sell this, you probably should because what we are able to do is take the data, the actual history. The crazy part about real estate is we can look in the rearview mirror quite nicely.
Jesse: Right.
Jeremy: Right. We can definitely see what happened behind us. And we can take what happened behind us and make our very best guesstimate rather than Zestimate about what will happen in front of us. And what we know is that the market is at a seven-year, actually at a 10-year peak, but we have been on a seven-year run, and I refer to this as the biblical account of 7 years of famine and 7 years of plenty. And we had 7 years, if you look back –
Jesse: We did.
Jeremy: — it is about right. And it is 5-7 years of famine. 5-7 years of plenty is what we see in real estate. So every bit of data that we have in front of us tells us that the market peaked in July of 2018. Peaked, past tense. Right? And you are going out there and you are like well I want to get this information. We used Zillow today as our poster child, but any online, heavens, we send people to our Dixie Home Value dot com which is an estimated home value. It is just doing the same thing.
Jesse: And sometimes it is accurate and sometimes it is not.
Jeremy: And we always tell folks, they get an email from us after. Hey how did it look? Did it seem accurate because we cannot even control what that automated –
Jesse: Right. That is true.
Jeremy: — model does.
Jesse: And it cannot, even if you tell it, it cannot know exactly what you have in your home. Do you have tile? Do you have granite? An algorithm –
Jeremy: 2×6, 2×4.
Jesse: An algorithm can never take what you are typing in there and spit out a true –
Jeremy: It is funny because a home is a commodity and it is also not. Meaning it is a thing made up of commodities but then they are always unique in every neighborhood, and every neighborhood is unique.
Jesse: Right. I want to go back to something you said earlier because you talked about the guy from California sending you that text. The online easy button, going online and getting this done is kind of a trap. So we have actually sold a home another vacation rental home for that same gentleman before. And had it sold pretty quickly for good money. But the easy thing to do would be just to reach out and say hey, do you think or the last time he hired a property manager who, a home like that needs somebody that is selling a lot of homes. Not renting them.
Jeremy: A full market presentation. Right?
Jesse: But it was easy to do. It is easy to go on Zillow or somewhere to find your home value. But is it going to be the best value? Is it going to be the best strategy?
Jeremy: Let’s talk about, as we wrap up this show today. If you are thinking about buying or selling, I just strongly recommend you either call us at the Larkin Group or you call your friend who you trust as a real estate agent. You call a professional. You can visit us at Sold in St. George dot com, and you say look, by the way, look at Zillow. For sure, everyone is going to look at Zillow. We do not have any problem with that. When I go into an appointment with a seller, I have already looked at it every time because I need to know, but what Jesse is talking about, look we are in this process of understanding what the consumer wants, and the consumer wants options. So if you want to sell your home, when we meet we are going to give you a couple of options. And one is our Instant Offer Program, which is where one of our investment groups can make you an instant offer on your property, cash, close 7-14 days, 30 days whatever you want. You do not have to clean it up. You have to move your stuff out. No staging. No repairs. Subject to an inspection. Right? They can make an offer. And that is what we call maximum convenience. You do not have to go through any of the heck and hell of bringing strangers in your home and all that. But most people, as in 95%, will not do that. 95% will opt to get a full market valuation. Say Jeremy, Jesse, show me how to get the most money out of my home. And that is what we call maximum value. So maximum convenience is an instant offer. Maximum value is we help you get the home staged, prepared, prepped. We market the property. We show it to lots of buyers, lots of agents. We bring people through. We negotiate a contract. We send you on your way. So let us do that. And this is really fun. And realtors are like how can you possibly do that? Hey realtors that are listening right now, is this fun? You can do that, too. My competitors who are listening, you can do this. Why can’t you do the same thing? We have buyers lined up. Investors. Now, the investors, because it is maximum convenience, they are going to pay less. Right?
Jesse: They are.
Jeremy: But everyone’s situation is unique. Guys, avoid the Zillow dot com trap, buying and selling. Make sure you call a pro. Thanks, guys.
Andy: Thanks for listening. St. George Real Estate Morning Drive. Jeremy Larkin. Jesse here, too. I am Andy Griffin. It is time for news.

Is Zillow.com your FRIEND or FOE? (St. George Real Estate Morning Drive Radio Show)

 

On this week’s show Jeremy Larkin and Jesse Poll of The Larkin Group at KW Realty discuss Zillow.com. The fact that Zillow is here to stay, consumers (want) to trust them, and how to determine if they’re your friend or foe when buying and selling real estate!

Below is the actual St. George Real Estate Morning Drive show, hosted by St. George Real Estate Agent Jeremy Larkin, word for word! Enjoy and please share if you find it valuable! 

Jeremy Larkin and The Larkin Group @ Keller Williams Realty can be reached by calling 435-767-9821, or emailing sales@gostgeorge.com.

Andy: We are still doing the technical part of things.
Jesse: Yeah, I was having some technical issues here this morning.
Jeremy: We were.
Andy: That is always an issue –
Jesse: All of the above.
Andy: We have got all the, like in this room, if we count our phones, we have like nine computers in this room. There is a laptop. There is like three desktops. We have three phones in the room. I think we are going to be streaming on Facebook Live. All kinds of things. Right, guys?
Jeremy: I actually just hung up with NASA and they have their super computer headed here on an 18-wheeler. So we are going to get that set up shortly, and your mind is really going to be blown.
Andy: Yeah, looking forward to that.
Jeremy: That is not bad, is it? Jesse, can I trust Zillow for my home value? Can we answer that question today?Andy: KDXU news time. 8:35. Welcome to the St. George Real Estate Morning Drive with Jeremy Larkin. We have really just one issue right now and Jeremy Larkin is not in the house yet. I think he is in the house. He is not in the room yet. But we will get things started and start talking about St. George Real Estate. A lot on the mind and what are your thoughts as we get things going early with Jeremy in the other part of the building? You got any ideas for me? He is still working on the technical side of things. Maybe we will keep the music going a little bit longer. If you are in the real estate market, you ought to check in with the Keller Williams team, or the Jeremy Larkin team under the umbrella of Keller Williams Realty, and it is a great time of the year to make that move to maybe your dream house. Or maybe you want to downsize if you are in a situation where perhaps your house is too big. That is kind of where I am at right now. I had raised five kids, but I have got this big old house and only two of the kids are left. So I start thinking about things like downsizing and changing the situation in my household. These are the kind of things that you think about. Dream house. Maybe you want a pool. Maybe you want a pickle ball court in your backyard. Whatever it might be. This is a great time again to contact the Jeremy Larkin Group at Keller Williams Realty. He just made it in the house, so that makes me a lot happier. I do not have to sit here and filibuster a little bit while we wait for Jeremy Larkin to join us. He is here somewhere, and he is looking rather dapper by the way as well. You ready to talk a little bit, guys?
Jesse: Yes, sir. You have got to push play on the other one, too.
Jeremy: Oh my gosh.

Andy: Oh, that is a good question.
Jesse: Yeah, we can.
Jeremy: Yeah, can we?
Jesse: Well, it is actually –
Jeremy: We can answer the question or can we trust Zillow?
Jesse: Well, I do not think you can trust Zillow without doing a lot of homework because they do not know, they do not have access to the real closed data and they do not know what your home looks like or has or anything. I can give you some good examples of that, if you would like.
Jeremy: I would love to hear. No, the listeners want to hear.
Jesse: We just saw a home over in the Legacy the other day, and Zillow says that it is a 4-bedroom, 8-bathroom –
Andy: Eight bathrooms?
Jesse: — so I know for a fact that this home has got three bathrooms.
Jeremy: Ah, the old eight-bathroom home. We know everybody loves that one.
Jesse: So chances are they are giving them probably four grand each for one of those bathrooms, so if they have got five extras, that is what? $20,000 extra that they are getting for their home value or their Zestimate?
Jeremy: Yeah, it is crazy. It is crazy, which is insane, right?
Jesse: Yes.
Jeremy: Which is insane. So I had somebody yesterday reach out to us and they said hey, I want to look at my Zillow home value. What do you think my home is worth in Bountiful? I said is your home 2700 feet? They said yeah, the main floor is 2700 feet. What do you think happened, Jesse? What do you think was missing?
Jesse: Their basement because in the state of Utah it counts basements differently and Zillow cannot track that.
Jeremy: Yeah, imagine that. Imagine that, Andy, you go on to Zillow dot com thinking of hey, I am going to find out what my home’s value is. I am just going to go ahead because I heard that Zillow, I saw these Zillow ads, and the Zillow ads are so lovely. They feature these families that are doing great family things like making pancakes. We saw one. We are going to talk about making unicorn pancakes, and we are going to talk about an instant offer program today. And you go on there thinking well, I will see what Zillow says my home is worth, but here is the problem. Zillow only, if you have a basement, they do not show it.
Jesse: Right.
Jeremy: They do not show it. Jesse, what would that mean to a consumer? Value-wise.
Jesse: Oh quite a bit. Probably half as, so on a basement, you will get about 40% more, less value than you will on your main level, so you may be missing 30-40% in your Zestimate value.
Jeremy: Yeah.
Andy: That is a lot of money.
Jesse: Right.
Jeremy: It is a ton.
Jesse: Right.
Jeremy: It is a ton. All right, guys. We are going to do Facebook Live here.
Jesse: We are getting our technical difficulties situated.
Jeremy: We have got it figured out. We had to reboot the system. So just envision, for our listeners out there, I am Jeremy Larkin, host of the St. George Real Estate Morning Drive, and I drove and it was morning and it is beautiful out there. But you are talking about you could be missing 50 to 100 grand.
Jesse: You could. Definitely.
Jeremy: Right?
Jeremy: And vice-a versa. It could be over. For a good instance is that bathroom. Their Zestimate is probably is $30,000 over what it should be.
Jeremy: Yeah. Yeah.
Jesse: What it would sell for in the market.
Jeremy: Absolutely. This is an issue, and we just went Facebook Live, so if you want to watch this morning on Facebook, Facebook dot com slash St. George Experts. Facebook dot com slash St. George Experts. Check it out. Actually, you know what? I lied. We are actually Facebook dot com slash Jeremy Larkin.
Jesse: It is on your personal page.
Jeremy: Yeah, I apologize. Facebook dot com slash Jeremy Larkin. We want to answer some of the most typically asked questions that we see in real estate, and the first one is can I trust Zillow for my home value? Now, Zillow is up to something else, Jesse, which is their Instant Offer program. What are they doing?
Jesse: They are going in to markets, and they will actually give you an offer for your home. It is right there. Hang in there. So they will give you an offer for your home and buy it.
Andy: Zillow will?
Jesse: Yeah, they will.
Andy: Really?
Jesse: And then they will turn around and sell it for market value. So that is a good thing to keep in mind that they are actually going to turn around and sell it so that the chances that you are getting market value for that home are slim and one.
Jeremy: Yeah, they are slim and none, not slim to none. Thank you. So there is a video that I watched yesterday. I guess it was released to YouTube. Zillow dot com slash offers, and here is the fun part. Here is the great part. So many real estate agents love to hate Zillow. They love to hate Zillow because Zillow, of course, is trying to take the real estate agent out of the process very subtly. So instead of running from it, we are just going to talk about it on the program this morning. So Zillow dot com slash offers, if you would like to see what that looks like. People are going to find it anyway.
Andy: Grab the bull by the horns, right, Jeremy?
Jeremy: Yeah, here is the issue. Zillow is going to make you an offer, an instant offer, online, without ever having seen your home. The offer will be subject then to them sending in a real estate professional appraiser inspector and deciding what they really want to pay for it. Okay? So first of all, Andy, if they come in and offer your $400,000 for your home it does not mean they are buying your home.
Andy: Right.
Jeremy: Right. There will be tons of fine print that says oh, that is subject to this. So here is the fun part. We saw that Zillow was doing it. What do you think we started doing? We said we have got an instant offer program. And the reality is we have an instant offer program. So if you visit Sold in St. George dot com, Sold in St. George dot com, you will see a big old button that says instant offer.
Jesse: Right.
Jeremy: Now here is one of the challenges. So Zillow is doing this. Who else is doing that? IBuyer?
Jesse: IBuyer. Purple Door.
Jeremy: Purple door. So here is what is happening. They are coming in. They are making an offer, and then they are charging a buyer’s premium of some kind which is like 3-5% of the purchase price. Right? There is no commission, air quotes.
Jesse: Yep.
Jeremy: Good morning all of our Facebook Live viewers. If you have got questions, we want you to ask them. But they are going in, hey, Andy you should vote for us for Best of Southern Utah. Right there. It is right on your screen. Just two clicks, man. Two clicks.
Andy: I have got to do it now. Yep.
Jeremy: So I was just watching it with Best of Southern Utah. So they come in and they make an offer sight unseen, which is subject to them actually inspecting it and deciding if they want to buy it. And then they charge this strange fee, this strange buyer premium fee, which is just wacked out. Right? So the next thing you know you think are getting 400, but the reality is you are actually getting 360. Let’s flip this on its head. We can bring a local investor in right now from St. George who will make an offer to buy your property, close in seven days, cash, with no strange strings attached. Really simple. They will buy your home. It will sell for blank. You will get blank if they buy it cash. Or we can put it on the market, distribute this thing to every single real estate agent on the planet. Zillow dot com included, smile and a wink. Trulia dot com. Homes dot com. Realtor dot com, all these websites, and we can sell it at market. By they way, in most cases, you will get more selling your home at market. But here is what they do on the Zillow offer ad. They show this dad in the kitchen, and he is really having a good time. He is making pancakes. And then you see he is trying to make a shaped pancake, and it says, excuse me, making unicorn pancakes is hard. And the music plays. But you know what is easy? Selling your home. And he is sitting there and bing, bing, bing, bing. His phone bings, and he is in his apron and he is talking to his child and he looks over and it says you have an offer from Zillow. 365. He goes oh. I hope our listeners can see. Do you see the face? It is the raised eyebrow look. Like hmmm, well that is interesting. Let me finish making these pancakes. So easy. Like hey, just pack up your belongings and they will be here tomorrow. But that is not real. That is actually not real. You have to understand that. So we want to go straight to our consumers here in Washington County and say look, if you want an instant offer, we will make you an instant offer.
Jesse: Right.
Jeremy: Literally right now. We have an investment group who will purchase your home cash. Let’s talk pros and cons. So the pros are you sell your home in seven days, if you want to sell it in seven days. You could sell it in 45 or 90.
Jesse: Right.
Jeremy: The investors are real flexible that way. But if you wanted to be out in seven days, if all the boxes are checked and things work out, then it could close in seven days cash. It is a cash deal. It is not contingent on an appraisal. It is not contingent on a loan. Right? And you do not have to prepare. You do not have to stage. You do not have to make beds. All those things. Now here is the flip side. That is what Zillow is trying to get people to do. Hey, look how easy it is. But see the difference is we are not going to pitch to you that it is just so much easier that you should do it. No, no, no, no.
Jesse: Well, in any part of our life, convenience comes with a cost. It always will.
Jeremy: Right. Right.
Jesse: It always will.
Jeremy: Right. So we would not propose to you that you should be doing this because it is easy. You should be doing this because for some reason it makes sense that you have got to get out of there fast.
Jesse: Yeah.
Jeremy: Otherwise, we will take your home. We will put it on the market. You will have to do some work. We will require you to do some work because you are going to say to me I want the most money for my home.
Jesse: Yep.
Jeremy: And I am going to say well, if you want the most money, then you have to do the most prep work –
Jesse: Yes.
Jeremy: — which we are going to guide you. We are going to hold your hand. We are going to walk you down the road. We are going to schedule all the showings with you. Yeah, you are going to need to make the beds. You are going to need to close the toilet lid. All that kind of jazz. If you have got dirty clothes on the floor, you had better just kick them under the bed. I do not know what to tell you. Those things are going to have to happen, and it is going to be a nightmare in some ways, but you probably will not be sad if you get the money at closing.
Jesse: Right.
Jeremy: So just be aware. Just be aware that these groups, Zillow is a big, massive entity. It is a behemoth, and they are a company that is actually running no profit. So it is one of these strange Wall Street things. They are running no profit, but they are multi-billion-dollar corporation, and their goal is to set themselves up as kind of the replacement to the real estate agent, and eventually just have the whole entire thing. So look, people are going to go there. They are going to go to Zillow dot com, look for a Zestimate. Here is what I would say. Go get your Zestimate at Zillow dot com, and then call us and say I got a Zestimate. Can you please produce a courtesy, right, free of charge market analysis for my property, and let me know what you believe it will sell for on the open market? And then we do that and then you have the real information. Then you can compare the Zillow Zestimate against our information. And if you are paying close attention you will notice that they skipped your basement. Right? So kind of crazy. I just think that people need to be aware of that. That we are not trying to get people off of there. They are on there. Good grief.
Jesse: Well, you are never going to get them off of there.
Jeremy: 20% of our clients came to us last year from Zillow. Right? Wasn’t it 20%?
Jesse: Yes.
Jeremy: 20% of our clients actually contact us through Zillow. Hey, it is what it is. But buyer beware. Right. This instant offer, the Zillow dot com slash offers thing, you are dealing with a corporation. You could just be dealing with someone right here and get all of your options. Right? And of course, their goal is it seems so easy. You do not even call an agent. You just go oh man, this seems easy. I was making unicorn pancakes for my child, and I got an offer on my phone. I should just get out of here. Right? The rest, as they say, is history. If you would like to see what we are doing with Instant Offers, visit Sold in St. George dot com slash or just Sold in St. George dot com. The Instant Offer button will hit you in the face. Have you voted for Best of Southern Utah today, Jesse?
Jesse: Not yet.
Jeremy: Andy did.
Andy: I just did.
Jesse: Because you have to wait 24 hours.
Jeremy: No, you do not have to wait 24 hours.
Jesse: Oh yeah. It will not let me do it unless it is the next 24 hours.
Jeremy: Oh no.
Andy: So he voted yesterday is what he is saying.
Jeremy: It should not be 24 hours. It should just be 12:01am. I do not know.
Jesse: Oh really?
Jeremy: Yeah.
Jesse: Because the other day it would not let me because I had just voted at like ten o’clock the night before.
Jeremy: Oh just come back once per day. That is what they tell me. I just voted. Folks, visit, if you visit the Best of Southern Utah, we are, over at the Larkin Group, our real estate team, we are aiming to win that title. Some of you saw a Facebook video I posted last week. It was me with my high school yearbook.
Jesse: I was telling my wife this morning that, because she asked me if I could do a Miami Vice pose, and I told her, you know I was voted the most likely to be the next Don Johnson.
Jeremy: Dude. I so believe it.
Jesse: That is the only title I ever got.
Jeremy: I so believe it. At every level I believe it. But if you visit Sold in St. George dot com, we made it easy. You can vote for us right through that page, and yes, cast a vote. It is Jeremy Larkin for Best Realtor and Larkin Group for Best Real Estate team. I have the very best people in Washington County working with me, and there you have it. Whose phone is buzzing?
Jesse: Yours probably.
Jeremy: I do not know. That is kind of weird. Some thing is buzzing. It is in my ears.
Andy: Not mine.
Jeremy: Man, this is weird. All right, Jesse. Should we talk about a couple other questions that these guys are, that these folks out there are asking?
Jesse: We can, but I am going to depend on you because my laptop died.
Jeremy: Did it die?
Jesse: Yeah.
Jeremy: Oh man. So this is going to be really good. So we talked about answering the best questions, the questions here in Southern Utah that people have been asking. These questions from our 2019 Parade of Homes survey. And many of you will remember that we created a survey and asked folks questions about the market and just to find out what they were doing and then we turned around and we had about 140 people respond to our survey, maybe 150. Okay, what about, Jesse, are there good options for young couples who just graduated college? I am going to qualify that because it does not have to be just graduated college, but let’s call it young couples, just graduated college. Let’s guess that these are couples that are in their like 22-25 years old range. Okay? Are there good options? Is buying a house a good idea at this stage in life? What do you think?
Jesse: I think it is because you can step into a starter home and start building equity, start building your life, and it will help you think differently. It really does. The home ownership is almost like the next step in life. It is like having a kid. It just changes your life.
Jeremy: Is there any reason, and we will back into this, are there good options? Is there any reason that they wouldn’t buy a home at this stage in their life? What would be good reasons to not purchase a home at early 20’s, graduated from college?
Jesse: If you are not really sure you are going to be here say two years –
Jeremy: Yes.
Jesse: — then it does not make sense at all because if you end up having to sell that you will end up possibly paying capital gains and that could hurt you.
Jeremy: Bingo. Yeah. Absolutely, so a lot of these couples, they are not permanent here.
Jesse: It just depends on what are you doing.
Jeremy: Yeah, at least two years, and Jesse says at least two years because if you stay in a home, sell a home less than 24 months after you purchase it, you are going to be paying what is called capital gains taxes.
Jesse: And there is no way around that.
Jeremy: No. There is no way around it at all. But let’s take this a step further. How long should people really be in their home? Like if we want to wait out a real estate cycle, what are you thinking?
Jesse: Five to ten years.
Jeremy: Okay.
Jesse: Because every cycle for the last what, 70 years has been up and down every ten years. Five up, five down.
Jeremy: Absolutely.
Jesse: Five up, five down.
Jeremy: Absolutely. There is no question. Right?
Jesse: But let’s kind of hit on that. So with that said, we are probably in the height of a market, and does that really mean that they wait? I do not know that it does. If it makes sense to buy a home.
Jeremy: Okay, let’s pretend that I am young couple. Okay?
Jesse: Okay.
Jeremy: Just graduated from college. Maybe have a baby or two, maybe do not have any.
Jesse: Okay.
Jeremy: I buy a home, but there is a concern that in the next two to three years that my wife, let’s say, or if somebody says their husband, one of us might get a nursing position in Salt Lake City, and we might leave.
Jesse: Okay.
Jeremy: But we really want to own a home right now. So what is going to happen when we go to leave? Do we have to sell it?
Jesse: No, you could actually make sure that you buy one where you could possibly rent it.
Jeremy: He is following my cues real nice.
Jesse: Okay, so in that case, and as long as you have lived in a home the last two of five years, it is not technically an investment property –
Jeremy: Right.
Jesse: — so you could still wait out a market and sell it say five years from now and be safe.
Jeremy: So you are saying my monthly mortgage payment is $1400 a month. I could theoretically rent that home for $1400 a month. Or fifteen.
Jesse: You would have to check on that, but possibly yes.
Jeremy: You would want to do some research.
Jesse: You can either definitely offset the rent or get all of the mortgage paid with the rent. That is a good possibility, but I would make sure that you prepare, think about that first.
Jeremy: Right.
Jesse: Because you do not want to have to have the money in the bank or –
Jeremy: What are options though? For these young people, what are the options? And for my team out there who are watching and listening, what are the options?
Jesse: There are plenty of options, but you really have to do your homework and you have to be quick on the draw. Because a young couple is probably going to be under $300,000.
Jeremy: And maybe under?
Jesse: Under 250, which is really a tough market still even though we are getting more inventory. My biased opinion is you have to have a good agent that has feet on the ground for you and is really looking because the homes that are the best value that are the right homes are selling so fast you do not see them.
Jeremy: They are gone.
Jesse: Yeah.
Jeremy: They are gone. So a couple of things. So there are some options.
Jesse: There are.
Jeremy: But, Jesse, I can only afford a $2500 car. There are no options for me. There are.
Jesse: There are.
Jeremy: It is just I had better set my expectations –
Jesse: Yeah, look where the expectations are.
Jeremy: And this is the same thing. And where I am going with this, right, Andy, do you have adult children? How old is your youngest?
Andy: My youngest is 15. My oldest is 27.
Jeremy: Are they homeowners?
Andy: My oldest is, yes.
Jeremy: The reason I ask you that is you have kids that you could counsel. I do not quite have a child buying a home yet. But do you think that the expectations of young people today, because of the wealth that has been enjoyed the last 30 years are different than the young people 30 years ago?
Andy: Yeah, I think so. We did not dream of buying a home at 21 years old. There is no way.
Jeremy: And the reason I say this is by the way there has been such a beating up of millennials and Gen Y and this, that, and the other. These kids are terrible. Here is the deal. We are all just a product of our upbringing. So these kids do not even know what it was like because we did not have the internet. Well, of course, they do not know. There is no reason to assault people because they grew up when they did. Just the reality is that there is so much wealth right now. Right? And when you were 21 years old, it was like man, if people could get into a 1000 square foot, two-bedroom, no bath, young and married, especially my parents, who are older, who are 78, for them to own an 800-square-foot something was like a dream.
Jesse: Right.
Jeremy: Yet what is the perception now, Jesse? I drive down there to Little Valley and what do I want?
Jesse: You want that $400,000 house.
Jeremy: I want a $400,000 home.
Jesse: And also the perception a lot of times is I will just wait for the market to come back down.
Jeremy: Yeah. Yeah.
Jesse: But what they do not think about is when that market comes back down, it most likely will be interest-rate driven. That $400,000 house that probably is not going to go down by $100,000.
Jeremy: No.
Jesse: We are not going to see a crash.
Jeremy: That is not happening right now.
Jesse: But that $375,000 house is now more like a $425,000 house because the interest rate has just went up.
Jeremy: Yeah.
Jesse: So have you shot yourself in the foot by not really thinking that through?
Jeremy: Yes.
Jesse: I think that is what we are going to see.
Jeremy: Keith asked a question. Let’s just segue there. Are home prices up right now in St. George or has higher interest rates stopped any increase in prices? Well
Jesse: They are still up.
Jeremy: Yeah, they are still up. They are still up. Are they going up? No. They are not currently going up in Washington County. Maybe in a pocket here or there. I just listed a Coral Springs condo, which is going to be kind of interesting. We will be listing it for $309,900.
Jesse: Nice.
Jeremy: Interestingly, there are three that just closed at 290, 295, and there are two under contract above 300.
Jesse: That is crazy because you know three years ago when we talked to him –
Jeremy: Yes.
Jesse: — that was 250.
Jeremy: 250.
Jesse: Holy moly.
Jeremy: So here is a pocket and the pocket is this. They are selling homes, like they are vacation rentals. Remember we talked about nightly, weekly rentals. They can be a vacation rental. Well, they are selling Coral Springs for say $300,000, 310. Across the street, literally across the street, Cole West is building new vacation rentals for 500.
Jesse: Four to five hundred. Yeah.
Jeremy: So, what you have is a little micro-pocket there where the buyers look at them and go oh, well, gosh, I would love to buy a $500,000 vacation rental and then they would walk across the street and say I guess I will buy one that was built in 2007.
Jesse: Yeah.
Jeremy: And 2007, it is the big rock fireplaces and the dark trim and the
Jesse: They are pretty cool.
Jeremy: — dark doors. Yeah, they are really cool. It is just a different style, and so some folks just say I will just take that style and I will paint it. Right? So folks, if you have not done so yet, we would ask please if you will vote for us. Sold in St. George dot com and cast your vote. That will pop up. Vote for the Larkin Group. Jeremy Larkin. Best in Southern Utah. Jesse, thanks for being on and handling things as we were having techno difficulties.
Jesse: Sorry for the technical difficulties.
Jeremy: We got it, man. We are off to the races. Have a great week.
Andy: Thanks, guys.