There are several such alterative sites. http://www.realestate.com/
is one, but no website can give you an “accurate” price for a home. They all offer estimates
. At the end of the day you
(the buyer) are the one who decides what the home is worth. If you think the house is overpriced then move on; there are plenty of other homes to choose from. Zillow is a guide—nothing more. In addition to the figure you get there, look at the asking price from the seller. Then feel free to make them a low ball over. Given the market where you are the seller may bite, say no, or try to negotiate.
Remember Zillow covers the whole country. In some markets it is a very useful tool; in other markets it is of little value. For actual asking sale prices check out realtor.com or ziprealty.com. For foreclosure listings try http://www.realtytrac.com/
. This site offers a free trial period but then you have to subscribe. I am not a fan of realtors but an experienced realtor who has worked with a lot of first time home buyers is what you should be looking for. Also if you find a realtor with ABR in their title, it means that they went and had more training with buyers and hold a certification. If you are lloking at a short sale or foreclosure, the only designation recognized by NAR, is the SFR desgination. Many times designations are pointless, so I encourage you to interview the realtor and see how much they know and ask for references.
Bay is right on point. Exept for one thing about the realtors lol. Although some are crap. I've dealt with some realtors that made me want to shoot someone. The worst part of my job is dealing with other realtors. What part of the country are you in? The reason I ask is because here in Atlanta, there are spots that are still falling, places that are stable and are showing some upswing. Getting the advice of a seasoned realtor is valuable, just make sure you do your own research too. One thing i always so is pull up the tax record. I see what the home is valued at by the state, tthen what it was bought for, and thenm what they are asking for it. Then i look at all the houses within the proximity that are the same or most similar (comps) and make my asking offer based on what the houses actually sold for and what I feel is a good deal. If they accept the offer, GET AN INSPECTION and make sure that the offer gives you an out if you don't like what it reveals. A couple hundred bucks here can save you thousands!