Confused by Online Home Value Estimators?

Whether you are considering refinancing, selling, or making home improvements, knowing the value of your home is important. When you decide to sell your house, you obviously want the best possible price with the least amount of hassles. Pricing your home correctly is critical.  So where do you start?

A quick online search for “what’s my home worth” can give you endless online options.  However, these online estimators will likely produce varying results and will leave you more confused than when you started.

It is important to understand how these automated tools tabulate and generate these values. Trulia, a national real estate website, warns that:

“Automated online home value estimators generally use a computer algorithm that has been formulated to try to do what a human appraiser or real estate agent would do: compare the property (your home) against other nearby homes that have recently sold (the comparable properties, or “comps”). However, a computerized algorithm doesn’t have human eyes that can reality-check the comps, the aesthetics to compare your home against the characteristics that are listed for each property in the public records, or the region-specific savvy to accurately compare them against each other.”

While there are many to choose from that are similar to Trulia’s, they all operate in a similar fashion. These handy evaluations are great as a starting point.  But a note of caution—this automated value should not be relied upon as your listing price or that it is the current market value of your home.

This is where your REALTOR® comes in. They will estimate the market value of your home by looking carefully at the following items:

  • Location of the home
  • Condition of the home
  • Improvements made to the home
  • Similar homes currently on the market
  • Prices of recently sold properties
  • Recently expired or withdrawn properties

Different from a computer software program, your REALTOR® will visit your home and has likely sold homes similar to yours.  Their local area expertise and extensive knowledge of the real estate industry is something a computer algorithm cannot replace.

If you’d like to do some research on your own home, feel free to try out our online version of a home value estimator.

With all of this in mind, your agent can help you to determine the best list price to get your home SOLD.

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