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Brian Martindale says:

November 18, 2011 at 5:40 PM

I just completed a free “Zoopraisal” on my mother’s property just outside of Lakefield, Ontario’s village limits.

“Zoopraisal” states that the living area is 1,522 square feet.

Actual square footage?…1,060 square feet.

“Zoopraisal” states that the house was built in 1990.

Actual construction date?…pre 1970 by a couple of years or more.

“Zoopraisal” states that average property ‘estimate’ in the immediate area is $417,500.

Actual average property ‘price’ in the immediate area ranges from about $200,000. to about $250,000.

“Zoopraisal” states that it cannot calculate an ‘estimate’ of ‘value’ for my mother’s property for lack of area comparables as well as for the fact that the property is located in a rural setting. However, a number of properties have sold within the immediate area over the last twelve months, and the rural setting is right on the edge of the village border.

“Zoopraisal’s” stated square footage of the lot is off by about 3,000 square feet.

How do I know all of this?

I am a licensed Real Estate sales representative. I am also a former real estate appraiser, licensed tradesman, builder, conciliator with Tarion New Home Warranty Corp., member of the Ontario Building Official Association, to name a few pursuits. I don’t, never did and never will work for free.

The above “Zoopraisal” misinformation is what you get for free.

(NOTE: Zoocasa’s / Zoopraisal’s escape clause to the right of the calculation grid reads “These are estimates based on neighbourhood averages for this location.”)

These estimates are so wrong that it is laughable.

“Zoopraisal” is going to generate a lot of money for itself via side agreements with outfits like the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) from which it must have acquired some, if not most, of its misinformation about my mother’s property. While working as an appraiser I discovered that MPAC valuations were seldom on the mark, or in many cases, anywhere near the mark, but what do you expect from an arm’s-length government organization staffed by button pushing computer types who do NOT inspect properties for which properties they provide municipalities with value estimates (upon which “estimates” said municipalities establish their tax rate figures when taxing the property owners)?

One other thing: Because “Zoopraisal” offers their misinformation for free, if you (yes, I mean you, misinformed member of the naive public in search of quality information / education / guidance for nuthin’) want something of quality for nuthin’, join the club of dummies who end up learning the hard lessons of financial tight-wire-acts the expensive and rue-filled way, by way of often unsuccessful lawsuits against an organization that can not be held legally responsible for its misleading information because…are you ready for it?…they did not ‘sell’ (there’s that nasty word again!) the information…they offered it for FREE! The partaker of the freebee is always responsible for his/her own due diligence.

Lawyers…start your engines…the wrecks on the free ways of pie-in-the-sky drivers’ vehicles and financial lives created by Pollyanna mindsets are awaitin’ your legal expertise. Make sure you up the charges for the really stupid ones, in case they turn around and sue you for lack of pro bono performance.

P.S.: This advice is also offered for free. The difference is, I’m not trying to get rich quick by taking the time to deliver it.

My advice? If you want quality…pay for it. If you feel disenfranchised by acting upon paid-for advice that delivers a negative result, you can use the legal system, and maybe even just the threat of same, to potentially recoup your losses.

Prosecuting “FREE-FOR-THE-TAKING advice givers?,,,fergedaboudit!

Have a nice day folks! Brian


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