Sometimes I’m asked to ballpark a home’s value on the spot — and I usually decline because this is pretty hard to do accurately without looking at the data.
Nonetheless, some folks are perplexed by this refusal. “Isn’t that what you do for a living, Ian?” they ask. How unfair!
So last year I devised a game to turn the tables on you and make YOU guess some home prices on the spot. Only it turns out many of you are actually pretty good at it.
The rules are as follows:
- Look at three flyers of homes that sold within the last year. The prices and addresses have been removed, but you’ll get a sense for general area of the home, size and style, and some other pertinent info that would factor into the value.
- The person who guesses closest to the combined value of all three homes wins.
- As added visual help, a jar of gumballs represents the value of the winning answer. Each gumball represents $1000, and the combined value of the gumballs is the same as the combined value of the properties.
Here are snippets of the three flyers I brought with me:
I unveiled this game at my table at Kielbasa Idol — a great West Side event which I recommend everyone attend who can make it. It’s put on by the Knights of Columbus every June and features great kielbasa tastings from the local meat markets and live polka music.
Of the 43 guessers who stepped up to the table, 10 entrants (23%) were within $50,000. Three of you were within $12,000.
The closest guess was only $1,400 off. The second closest was $1,600 away.
Keep in mind this is evaluating three very different properties — so the potential margin of error is a triple threat. And this is being done without any comparable sale data, without being able to see the interior and without a drive around the neighborhood.
I’m very impressed.
P.S. While we’re on the subject: I’m always happy to prepare an estimate of your home’s value any time you’d like, even if you’re not planning to move right now and just want to satisfy your curiosity. It helps me keep my skills sharp.
The best way to request this is to call, text or email me. Contact info here.