Online House Value Estimates

What’s My Home Worth?

Have you gone online and typed “what’s my house worth” or “what it the value of my home” in the search bar and clicked the first result with an appealing headline? Your info was most likely sold – on many different levels. Even if you didn’t enter anything. And what about the home value it gave you?

Online House Valuation

Online House Value Estimates

A lot of homeowners go on line to looking for a quick, free house value.  I mean, why not? It’s kinda fun and interesting.

Yes, I said fun and interesting.  Searching “what is my home worth” or home address to compare what your neighbor’s house is worth compared to yours can be amusing – especially if you have similar homes and you know they have updated their home and you have not and it’s showing yours at value higher.  This may cause a chuckle – but should also make you scratch your head.  That can’t be right! It’s not reasonable.

When you need accurate numbers for selling or refinancing, it’s no longer about fun or curiosity.  It’s about money.  And when it’s about money, it’s serious. In order to understand why online estimators are just fun and not accurate, you need to understand what affects a home’s value.  See this article on determining what homes that compare to yours and Things That Do NOT Factor into Home Values. (When you are ready to sell, talk to a Pricing Strategy Advisor®.)

The algorithms used by these site producing quick, automated estimates usually include location and size for use in comparing to some market sales and tax data but there is no algorithm to determine the condition and updates of a home or see if the home has had square footage added in a remodel.

Not to mention, when you sign up on most of these house value sites you are just handing over your contact info to be sold or used by the website user per the Terms of Service.

What is the real value of your home?

If you really need to know your home value for selling or refinancing, seek professional help.  Have a FULL TIME, local agent come out and work with you to get a correct value and avoid surprises. Again, when it’s about money, the only good surprise is an unexpected windfall! 

If you just want a good guess at your value, look at your tax bill. It is likely just as close as the online estimators. You can also hire an appraiser to give you an official value report or an agent to do a BPO if you want something more accurate for divorce, estate planning, etc. If you have a good relationship with a REALTOR, they will probably even come out and do a report for you for free. See How do I price my home correctly?

BUYERS – the estimate is not reliable for sellers, it’s NOT reliable for you either!  You can’t base your offer on some online estimated value!

Have questions about the value of a home?  Let’s meet and review and do the CORRECT research!

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This article adapted from previous article: http://mytwincitiesrealestate.blogspot.com/2015/03/does-zillow-know-the-value-of-a-house.html