November 2021 Zillow News and the Latest SOMA Market Update, from Realtor Allison Ziefert

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From The Allison Ziefert Real Estate Group

As you may have heard, Zillow, one of the most popular real estate portals for consumer home searches, just announced it was closing the door on “Zillow Offers,” the “iBuyer” program that it launched in 2019. The program promised sellers an instant cash offer from Zillow without the “trouble” of preparing a home for sale and interfacing with a typical buyer. Zillow’s plan was to make light repairs and re-sell the properties for a profit. 

Read more here about why the program proved more complicated and less profitable than the company predicted. The company announced hundreds of millions in losses in Q3 with more Q4 write downs to come. Zillow is laying off 25% of its workforce. “We’ve determined the unpredictability in forecasting home prices far exceeds what we anticipated,” said Zillow CEO Rich Barton.

For a company that is known by consumers for its “Zestimate” feature, an algorithm that projects a home’s market value, this is quite an admission. Realtors have been trying to explain to consumers for years why the Zestimate feature does not accurately correlate to a home’s market value. Now, this may be a little easier to explain. If Zillow cannot accurately predict prices for itself how can it predict them for you? The viewpoint of an expert who has viewed comparable properties in person and understands the nuances that feed into market value are key.

In local market news, we are seeing a normal seasonal slowdown with fewer new buyers coming into the market and fewer new homes coming on the market. Inventory remains low and homes are still selling with multiple bids in many cases, even though we are approaching the holiday season. 

Here are our latest market reports for October 2021 for Maplewood:

Here are our latest market report for October 2021 for South Orange:

Some key points of interest…The average “days on market” for homes in Maplewood is 22 days and for homes in South Orange 23 days YTD. The YTD average sale price in Maplewood is up over 15% from last year at this time at $765,420. The YTD average sale price in South Orange is up over 16% from this time last year at $818,388. Maplewood homes are selling at an average of 108.67% of list price YTD. South Orange homes are selling at an average of 107.38% above list price YTD. There was just under 1 month of unsold inventory on the market in Maplewood as of the end of October. There was just over one month of unsold inventory on the market in South Orange as of the end of October. 

As always, if you have questions about the market, buying or selling please contact me. I’d be happy to consult with you confidentially. You can email me at to arrange a time to talk.

The Allison Ziefert Real Estate Group is a top producing real estate team based at Compass in Short Hills, NJ. We are local market experts, specializing in real estate and homes in Maplewood, South Orange, Millburn/Short Hills, Montclair, West Orange, NJ and the surrounding towns. We are driven by earning great testimonials and referral business from happy clients. You can read our testimonials here.



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