Zillow Talk: Why You Need a Realtor in a Hot Market Like Asheville

Zillow is the industry leader… in under-informed buyers

Asheville has been a hot market for a while now. The city is rapidly growing, mostly thanks to visitors from other parts of the country who fall in love with the place and want to call it home. At Keller Williams Asheville, we’re always excited to welcome a new neighbor to our incredible city—that’s why we’ve made so many guides on things to do to help get you situated.

One of the problems with moving to a hot market is that it’s hard to keep up with trends. When you use a website like Zillow, you’re getting an estimate of how much a house is worth. What you’re not getting is a feel for the neighborhood or market trends in that area. This makes searching for homes on your own a serious headache, since you could spend all day finding places that fit your price range, but not your vibe.

We’re here to help.

Realtors Know the Community, Algorithms Don’t

Zillow can give you a starting point on your home search, we can’t deny that. While often wildly inaccurate, the Zestimate tool will give you a ballpark for how much property costs in Asheville. Their system even combs public records for tax data and previous sales, which is coupled with HOA fees, estimated insurance, and utilities to give a rough estimate of how much living in that home will cost each month.

It doesn’t, however, give you any idea of how living in a home will feel.

One of the joys of working with the Keller Williams Asheville team is that our agents have called Western North Carolina home for years, often their entire lives. Our licensed realtors know the ins and outs of Asheville in ways it’s impossible for an algorithm to match.

Sure, Zillow will tell you which schools are in the area, but what are the bus routes like? How long does it usually take for city snow plows to get to the neighborhood after a storm? There may be walkable restaurants in the area, but are they places you want to be a regular? Are the streets busy, or is traffic low enough that you can teach your kids to ride a bike in the street?

These are just some of the many, many intangible factors a realtor can help sort out for you. There are also the tangible factors that don’t show up on a quick listing—are those old window fixtures letting all of the heat out of the living room?

If you have a checklist in hand, it could take you an eternity to find something that hits every mark without a little insider info from someone who knows the community.

Zillow’s Algorithms Can’t Keep Up With the Market

We touched on it before, but Zestimates are quite often inaccurate. The reason for this is that these algorithms are only as good as the data they’re fed. If a home is in an area where there aren’t a lot of listings, or if it’s in an area going through a rapid revitalization project, you may see some massive discrepancies between the Zillow estimate and the actual value of the house.

Asheville poses a unique challenge because of how quickly it’s growing. Asheville is unique among other metro areas in that it has had sustained growth for over 40 years, with over 5,000 people moving into the city between 2012 and 2013 alone. That growth has slowed down slightly in the past few years, or at least transitioned to suburban growth. Our area sees many, many massive housing developments approved every day.

So, what does that mean for home prices?

For one, they’re volatile. Homes in Asheville are worth much more than they were a few years ago, and they’ll continue to go up in value so long as development, the market, and new residents allow it. Not only that, but Zestimates can take weeks or months to get updated, so many listings on the site have already been closed on. When you’re looking at the Zestimate online, it’s like looking through a telescope at a distant star—you’re seeing light that burned out a long time ago.

How to Beat the Algorithm

If you’re looking for homes for sale in Asheville, North Carolina, you’ve come to the right place. Keller Williams Asheville has the best, most knowledgeable team of realtors in Western North Carolina. We keep up on the latest housing data using insider knowledge that isn’t publicly available. We have a vast network of past buyers, sellers, friends, and family members in the area—so we often get tipped off on hot properties before they even hit the market.

Even better, Keller Williams Asheville has a searchable database of homes for sale in Asheville and beyond. We even present everything as an interactive map, filled with only the most recent, up-to-date information.

If you’re moving to Asheville from out of town, we want to welcome you and show you around the neighborhood. Get in touch with us today and come see why Asheville is the best mountain town in the United States.



We Are Here To Help

Our agents receive extensive training and are equipped with the latest technology to help you find your next home. Most importantly, they love working with people just like you!