- Getting started with realAs
You're here, so you're already on your way.
Enter an address, suburb or postcode in the search field above and you'll be taken to the home you're looking for or to a list of homes realAs currently has on file.
If you've chosen the list, tap on the arrow next to the address you are interested in and you'll see the realAs prediction, unless you see...
Where's the predicted price?
You need to be signed in to realAs to see predictions, make comments and follow homes.
Sign in or join up when you're prompted.
It happens (but it's happening less and less). If you're looking at a home that we don't yet have details for, you can get the ball rolling. Click on "Enter Agent/Your/Sold Price" and enter the details — and we'll get to work on getting a realAs prediction for you.
Why join the buyers at realAs?
Because good things happen:
- you'll see price predictions instead of all those $***,***s
- you can add your own price estimates
- you can make comments
- you can follow homes and your list will always be there
- your phone, tablet and computer will all be kept up-to-date
Join up other devices?
Your phone, your tablet, your desktop or laptop – you can keep them all up-to-date by logging in with the same email address and password you used when you first joined realAs.
What's a user name?
Whatever you like as long as it's nobody else's. It's the name you choose that others will see.
Once you have joined, there's a small star which appears at the top of homes you find. Clicking on it adds that home to the list of those you're following. One more click it takes it off your list.
Find the homes you're following
Click "Price Watch" at the top of the page
Read comments and make them?
Others' comments will appear. Make your own in the Comment box.
Who sees what you say?
Your comments are public. Nobody else sees your price estimates.
- Having Trouble?
Need a password reminder?
Enter your email address where you're prompted. You'll receive an email with instructions. A link there will bring you back to a screen where you can enter your email address and a new password.
Why all the $***,***s ?
Why can't you see home prices?
You have to be signed in. Follow the prompts to join up or sign in.
Change your username, email address or password?
Click on the "Logged in as username" to change your username, email address or password.
Does realAs work off-line?
No. There has to be an internet connection so you can receive 'live' information.
- There's no realAs prediction?
realAs predicts: "To Come"?
If you're one of the first to look, we may not have enough info yet. Fill in the details and we'll fix that.
Whoops! No home listed?
Try entering the address slowly and see if it fills in for you (it can be a problem, we're working on it). If that doesn't work, please use the form below to let us know the address and the agency. We'll follow it up and get back to you.
You're in Queensland?
It's against the law to provide auction price predictions in Queensland, so realAs will only provide prices for private sales.
The home is not on the market?
realAs can't predict prices for homes that are not for sale — the algorithm depends on crowd-sourced data.
- About Prices And The Homes On realAs
What if a sale price is higher than predicted?
Yes, there are boil overs.
David Morrell's advice? Walk away.
When you know what a price should be and it looks like a home will sell for well above that, either save your money (there will be other homes) or go ahead, but be aware that your purchase is probably being made for emotional reasons.
What if a price is lower?
There are bargains. Smile.
How current are predictions?
They don't get any fresher. They're 'live'. Historical data plays only a small part in realAs predictions.
Which types of properties are included?
realAs is for established residential homes – houses and apartments. It does not include commercial properties, land, new developments or rental accommodation (we've got to start somewhere).
Why isn't my home here?
realAs only has homes which are really for sale (to make sure they're legit and that no-one is adding someone else's home). If your home is on the market and we haven't picked it up, give it a few days and check again. If it's still not here, please let us know through 'Your Turn' at the bottom of this page.
Does realAs cover all Australia?
Yes and no. So far we are strongest along the East Coast, but we're growing stronger everywhere, every day. The more people use realAs, the better it gets.
- Quotes, Valuations, Estimates and realAs Predictions
How can one home have so many different prices?
A lot depends on where those prices are coming from.
The Agent's Quote
Agents have two preoccupations. One is persuading sellers to give them their homes to sell, the other is persuading buyers to buy them (OK, there's a third — it's banking the commission cheque).
There are honest agents (yes, really) and there's the rest. The rest will tell sellers they can get more for their homes than any other agent so they'll lead them to expect prices that could be a mile above reality.
But then they need buyers. So to get them interested, they'll quote them a whole lot less and count on talking them into paying more once they've got them in. So, if it gets to an auction, expect to be asked to pay a fair heap more than the agent suggests will put you in the running.
Private sale? Agents often over-quote and expect you to haggle. Don't disappoint them.
These are the numbers that banks rely on when working out whether to give you a mortgage. They're legal documents provided by qualified valuers, usually after they've inspected the home and gone into every detail.
They tend to under-estimate what a home will actually sell for; but that's because they have to be conservative.
We know for a fact that buyer estimates provide the most current idea of what a home will sell for; and they take in all the intangible qualities that can affect a price.
The problem is that they can vary greatly. But there's a solution…
realAs predictions begin with buyers and add a series of safeguards. They take in all the buyer emotions that estate agents will tell you are impossible for an algorithm to deal with (it's how the algorithm was designed, people).
It's the wisdom of the crowd plus some heavyweight computing.
Because they are 'live', realAs predictions can change as, say, an auction approaches.
Because they're independent, because they're created only for buyers, accuracy is the only realAs price agenda.
Agents' quotes, sworn valuations and realAs predictions are created for very different reasons. Each serves its purpose.
- How is realAs so accurate?
It helps to know how realAs predicts prices
realAs is based on one simple truth: It's buyers, not agents, who decide how much to pay.
That's the key.
How realAs is different is that it brings proven methods together in a new way — including crowd-sourced data (your own and other buyers' estimates) with machine learning and predictive computing (the realAs algorithm).
It's first-in-the-world accuracy that has not been possible before.
How accurate is realAs?
A lot more accurate than most people expect. We have listened to hundreds of buyers everywhere from the streets outside homes that are open for inspection to surveys on the web. Most tell us that they want to know how much a home will sell for within 10% of its actual selling price.
realAs does a lot better than that. Currently:
- close to 90% of predictions are within 10% of sale price
- the average realAs prediction is within 5% of sale price
That includes private sales and auctions.
What is to stop people manipulating prices?
… is the first question a lot of people ask.
There are checks built into the algorithm which already discover close to 80% of test manipulations. That figure will continue to improve.
There is also the fail-safe of people like you calling out suspect results. They're followed up and any persistent manipulators can be identified and blocked.
How trustworthy are comments on realAs?
… is often the second question.
realAs is by buyers, for buyers. Its comments areas are similar to sites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp and Urbanspoon.
If you disagree with a comment, say so. If you believe a comment is unfair or is attempting to manipulate a sale, alert realAs by giving us details at 'Your Turn' at the bottom of this page and we'll take action. 'Nuisance' users can be identified and blocked.
Our over-riding concern is to make sure you can trust what you see on realAs.
Can you rely only on realAs?
We'd love to say yes, but the answer is no. There are times realAs will be wrong. We believe that's less often than anything else on the web, but you must still confirm realAs predictions and information for yourself.
How independent is realAs?
Completely. We are not associated with any real estate agent or website or with anyone or any company which could present a conflict of interest. realAs is wholly for buyers.
- Play Nice
We encourage everyone to have their say as freely as possible but to keep things friendly we will remove comments that:
- are misleading or deceptive
- are defamatory, libellous, fraudulent, obscene, offensive, abusive or unlawful
- are made for commercial purposes
- that divulge personal information without the permission of the person involved
We have ways of preventing these kinds of comments appearing on realAs, but if any do slip through the net please let us know through 'Get in Touch' at the bottom of this page.
And please accept that you are responsible for any comments you make – in both ethical and legal senses.
- How realAs Began
Australia's first buyers' advocate. Battler for buyers for longer than anyone and winner over shonky agents at auctions, private sales, in courts and parliaments (laws have changed because of David's crusade against under-quoters.)
He's our mentor. Now he's yours too.
realAs was David's idea. He has long known that it's buyers who decide how much to pay and that knowing what a sale price will be levels the playing field – and puts an end to agents' manipulations.
2011. Work starts on the algorithm
RMIT University takes up the challenge to develop a method that will predict prices. The marriage of new information, crowd-sourced data, predictive computing and machine learning leads to the realAs algorithm.
It's the Hills Hoist of valuation systems – an Australian world-beater.
The longer realAs story
David Morrell has built a career as a disruptor. Once among Australia's most successful real estate agents, he became troubled that the dealings between buyers and agents were so often one-sided and unfair. Too many agents were manipulating the sales process and it was costing buyers too much in wasted time, money and, often devastatingly, hope.
David, together with business partner Chris Koren, set up Australia's first firm of buyer advocates — to work exclusively for buyers from the time they were looking for a home, through auctions or negotiations, all the way to settlement.
They were told it couldn't work and then went on to disrupt the entire real estate industry. There are now hundreds of buyer advocates around the country and Australian real estate will never be the same again.
realAs was David's idea. It started with a conversation with a friend who was developing a web-delivered service. David wondered whether the methods he had perfected to buy real estate could be adapted for buyers to use themselves. David's idea addressed two challenges: Buyers needed to know how much to bid at auction or offer in a private sale, and they needed to get the truth behind the real estate listings — the photos that make everything look perfect, the descriptions that overlook any and all deficiencies.
When buyers have an accurate idea of likely sale price they can save a great deal of time, money and disappointment. Rapidly evolving technology was creating a way to make this information accessible to all. Predictive algorithms were becoming increasingly sophisticated and, combined with machine-learning, increasingly accurate. Web-based crowd-sourcing meant the most critical information, from buyers themselves, could be gathered.
In 2011, the real work began. In partnership with Andrew Newbold and Jeremy Press, a company was formed and algorithm development and customer research began. An early false start had been an attempt to work with a US group in developing an algorithm. An international search led to, amazingly, world-leading talents virtually just around the corner: RMIT University.
The initial data needed to develop the algorithm was crowd sourced through potential buyers. They were asked about predictions, prices, needs, search methods and how an app could assist with these time-consuming tasks. In that way, realAs was developed in large part by buyers themselves.
Their price estimates produced predictions that were close to 5% of actual sale prices.
The algorithm then had to prove itself when data was gathered online. Buyer acceptance and participation were still to be measured and demonstrated.
The first real test was in Richmond, Victoria, at 10 auctions on one Saturday in late 2013.
For two weeks, buyers were asked to enter their estimates and follow realAs to see how close its predictions were. The realAs predictions were then published online the night before the auctions. One home had sold prior. realAs averaged within 5% of actual prices for the remaining nine.
The agents' reactions? Some applauded the project, believing that it would help bring greater certainty to both buyers and sellers; others were clearly threatened (one notorious in the area for under-quoting) and tried to intimidate realAs staff who were distributing invitations to participate.
Since then realAs has been tested broadly throughout Australia. The app has been taking its final shape and the algorithm continues to 'learn'. Face-to-face research has been augmented and validated via online research among buyers — the indications are that over 80% of those polled would register, that participation in entering data is roughly twice what is estimated as needed and that the accuracy of realAs predictions easily meets or exceeds what home buyers say would be useful to them.
- The Wish-list
Will there be agent rankings?
realAs has been comparing what agents say homes will sell for against what they actually sell for. Some agents are a lot better (more honest?) than others.
Yes. They can be ranked.
When you enter agent quotes and sales results you're helping build a ranking system which can put an end to under-quoting. That's great news for buyers and, especially, honest agents.
When will realAs be on Google Play?
It’s on the way. In the meantime, go to realAs.com on your Android device and you can add the app to your home screen.
- It's About Your Question
Where is the question you really wanted answered?
It's not here? Please get in touch through the 'Your Turn' form at the bottom of this page and we'll get back to you.