realAs is an app and website which buyers can use to do a lot of what we do. It should. It’s based on methods Morrell and Koren has developed over the past 20 years.
The app was David’s idea and he is one of the founding partners of the company which developed it. It’s something he has been thinking about for a long time: A way that people who are buying homes at all levels — not just the top end — can get access to the knowledge they need to even up the odds with the agents.
With realAs, buyers can see what real prices are and not have to rely on trying to work out what agents really mean. In testing, realAs has been returning results that are on average within 5% of actual sale prices.
It’s based on an algorithm that has been developed by the computer scientists of one of the world’s top-rated universities in computer sciences, RMIT University, and it has been three years in the making and testing. Along the way, the realAs project has taken in the views of hundreds of buyers (accosted on footpaths outside homes open for inspection, recruited online) about what they expect and what they need. They also provided the price estimates that algorithm development began with.
Currently, the algorithm is producing the following results:
- predictions are on average within 5% of final sale prices
- 64% of predictions are within 5% of final sale price
- 89% of predictions are within 10% of final sale price
- 99% of predictions are within 20% of final sale price
This is world-beating accuracy for online home price prediction (including the two leading real estate sites in the US).
It’s not only prices, buyers can also exchange views about homes they have seen and the estate agents who sell them — they don’t have to rely on what the agents say or the photos that make the smallest rooms look huge on the real estate websites.
realAs had its first public test in 10 auctions in Richmond late last year. Predictions were published the night before the auctions and again averaged within 5% of actual sales results.
What did the agents think? Some welcomed us with open arms, saying they’d had it with under-quoters dragging everyone down, some others (notorious under-quoters) reacted to the people distributing our leaflets with intimidating threats and, in one case, “accidentally” bumping one of our helpers into the gutter.
So now it’s Day One of The Real Thing.
It’s early days, so not all properties are there — but most are and the number is growing.
Please try it. We’d love to hear what you think.